Fava's features

This is an overview of some of the more advanced features that Fava has to offer.


The editor provides a convenient way to edit the source file. If you want to use a file different from the main file to be opened by default, use the default-file option. If you have insert-entry options set, the cursor will by default jump to the (date-wise) latest one in the opened file.

The editor supports auto-completion for various entities, e.g., account names, payees, and tags. Trailing whitespace is highlighted in red. The Tab key in the editor can be used for indentation - to escape this keyboard trap, press Escape and then Tab directly after it.


On the Query report you can execute queries like with the bean-query command-line tool. For an explanation of how these queries work see the Beancount Query Language Reference.

Fava displays charts for BQL queries - if they have exactly two columns like the following example with the first being a date or string and the second an inventory, then a line chart or treemap chart is shown on the query page.

    SUM(COST(position)) AS balance
    account ~ 'Expenses'
GROUP BY payee, account

Fava supports downloading the result of these queries in various file formats. By default, only exporting to csv is supported. For support of xlsx and ods, install Fava with the excel feature:

pip3 install fava[excel]

Adding Transactions

By clicking the + button or using the n keyboard shortcut you can open a form to insert a transaction to your Beancount file. The position that transactions are inserted at can be specified in a flexible way using the insert-entry option. If you want to set a bookmark to this form, adding #add-transaction to any URL in Fava will open it on load. Tags and links can be added in the form by adding them (separated by spaces) to the narration field, e.g., narration #tag ^somelink.

Up-to-date indicators

Fava offers colored indicators that can help you keep your accounts up-to-date. They are shown next to accounts that have the metadata fava-uptodate-indication: TRUE set on their Open directive. The colors have the following meaning:

  • green: The last entry for this account is a balance check that passed.
  • red: The last entry is a balance check that failed.
  • yellow: The last entry is not a balance check.

In addition, a grey dot will be shown if the account has not been updated in a while, as configured by the uptodate-indicator-grey-lookback-days option.

Displaying only relevant accounts

To help display only the most relevant subset of accounts when managing a large number or a deep hierarchy of accounts, Fava offers the following options:

  • show-closed-accounts
  • show-accounts-with-zero-balance
  • show-accounts-with-zero-transactions
  • collapse-pattern

Opening an external editor

Fava can open up your source file in your favorite editor directly from the web interface using the use-external-editor configuration variable through the beancount:// URL handler. See the Beancount urlscheme project for pre-configured URL handlers for macOS and Cygwin.

Multiple Beancount files

When you start Fava specifying multiple Beancount files, you can click the Beancount file name on the top left to switch between the files.

If you regularly use certain views in Fava with different filters, you can put links to them in the sidebar. Custom links can be put in the Beancount file, utilizing the custom directive:

2016-05-04 custom "fava-sidebar-link" "Income 2014" "../income_statement?time=2014"

"fava-sidebar-link" specifies that this directive is for a custom sidebar link, followed by the title to display in the sidebar ("Income 2014" in this example), and finally the URL to link to. The URL can be relative, like in the example above, or absolute, even linking to an external site.

Two frequently used custom links are for showing all Documents and all Notes found in the journal:

  • For all Documents: /<slug>/journal/?show=document
  • For all Notes: /<slug>/journal/?show=note

There is a special URL handler /jump which can be used to jump to the current page with given URL parameters. For example, /jump?time=month will show the current page but change the time filter to the current month.


You can change the language of the interface by specifying the language option. If no option is specified, Fava tries to guess the language from your browser settings.

Documents upload

One or more documents can be uploaded by drag and drop on account names or Journal rows.

Uploading documents

To store a document in a specific account, just drag and drop the file on the account name in a tree-table.

While still dragging, the background-color of the account name will switch to blue, indicating that you can drop a file there.

Once dropped, a popup will be shown where you can rename the file before storing. If the filename does not already start with a date (YYYY-MM-DD), the current date will be added as a prefix automatically.

The file will be then stored in your Beancount documents folder, in a sub-folder named after the account. You can set the path to the Beancount documents folder by specifying the option "documents" "/Users/test/invoices"-option (absolute or relative to your Beancount file) in your Beancount file.

Beancount will automatically discover files in your "documents"-folders and generate Document entries for them.

When enabling the tag_discovered_documents-plugin, these Document entries will be tagged with #discovered and can be filtered in the Journal:

plugin "fava.plugins.tag_discovered_documents"

Uploading statements

When dropping a file on a transaction (or one of its postings) in the Journal, the file will be uploaded as described above, and a document-metadata-entry inserted for the transaction in your Beancount file.

When dropped on the description the subfolder corresponds to the account of the first posting.

Note: Uploading statements modifies your Beancount file!

When enabling the link_documents-plugin, the Document entries created by Beancount (see above) will be tagged with #linked, linked to the corresponding transaction and can be filtered in the Journal:

plugin "fava.plugins.link_documents"


The entries that are currently shown in Fava, with filters applied, can be downloaded in Beancount format by clicking the ⬇ (Export) button in the sidebar.