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List Preview in New ABAP Debugger

This blog is about a lesser known option in New ABAP Debugger that lets you see the list buffer or list preview.

Few years ago I asked my senior to help me in debugging a sales order transaction.

He did a /h , jumped into debugging and immediately switched from new(er) debugger to old(er) debugger. He found out the answer in a matter of minutes.

When I asked him the reason behind using older debugger, he said he is used to it, and several options are missing or difficult to find in newer debugger.

One such “missing” feature was the ability to see list preview (the output of WRITE statements executed so far).

That point onwards whenever I was debugging a report where WRITE statement was used all over the place, I used to switch to old debugger to see list preview.

I discovered today that New Debugger of Netweaver 7.0 EHP2 and above have the list preview option.

You can execute below code and by the time debugger is launched, list buffer would have 5 lines.


  WRITE / sy-index.

  IF sy-index EQ 5.




Let us look at various ways to see list preview.

1. Classic Debugger

Click on application toolbar button Display List(Ctrl+F12)


See list preview


2. New Debugger – 1

Choose Menu > Miscellaneous > List Display


3. New Debugger – 2

Click on New Tool button on right pane of any tool


Choose Tools > Special Tools > Console: XML and List Preview


Go to tab ABAP List


As the name suggests, this tool is to preview simple transformation and list buffer.

You can read details about the tool here.

Console: XML and List Preview Tool – Test and Analysis Tools in ABAP – SAP Library

This tool helps you see list preview and other debugger tools in single window.

Clicking on “Formatted Preview” button will take you full output just like options 1 and 2 (including icons, colors etc).

4. Classic/New Debugger

Type variable name (SAPMSSY0)%_LIST in variable tool


Double click to see contents of internal table and see contents of column name LINE.


Method 4 is taken from below discussion in ABAP Development.

How to debug Abap List in New Debugger?


List preview is no longer a reason for me to switch to classic debugger.

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