Earlier, the traditional way of using Picklist field in Salesforce was by creating custom fields (Picklist or Multi-picklist) for different objects with the same Picklist value. This was manual and inevitably, a repetition of work for a Salesforce Administrator. So, Salesforce came up with this new trend called Global Picklist, where you can create a Custom field that can be used Org wise for N number of objects. You can use Global picklist as Picklist or even as a Multi-Picklist data type in an Object.

What Is Global Picklist?

Global Picklists let you efficiently reuse a single list of values for multiple custom Picklist fields. With them, we can easily share Picklists across objects by creating Picklist fields based on the master list of values. Your Picklist data stays clean because users can’t add erroneous or redundant values through the API.

Great!! When and where can I get this Feature?

This feature is available in Salesforce Classic only. Global Picklist was in closed pilot in the winter ’16 release. In spring ’16 Salesforce moved it to open pilot. This means that they will be available in all DE and Sandbox orgs, without requiring Salesforce to activate them, once Spring ’16 version is available everywhere.

Didn’t quite get it! Any Example?

For example, consider the Industry Picklist that is synchronized between Leads and Accounts. It would greatly streamline administration and data quality management, especially for organizations with extensive customizations of Salesforce.com.

Use Case:

If you are using Salesforce for an Organization, for example Contacts, Leads, Opportunity, Cases should have a field called Department, and traditionally Administration has to create Department Picklist field in each object and values too.

But with the usage of Global Picklist, you can Create Department field with various values and use that field as a source for custom Picklist or multi-Picklist fields in different objects.

How to Use Global Picklist?

A Global Picklist is a restricted Picklist by definition. When you create a global Picklist, the list of values you specify is protected. Only you can add or change values by editing the “master” Picklist.

When you create a custom Picklist and base it on the global Picklist, its list of values is automatically populated and non-editable. Users can’t load extraneous values to the global Picklist or to Picklist fields that are based on it through the API.

Create a global Picklist from the Setup tree. Then create custom Picklist fields the way you always have. But now you have the option of using a global Picklist definition for as many custom Picklists as you want.

Global picklists

Go to Setup > in Quick find type “Picklist”> click on Picklist

Create your global Picklist and specify its’ values by clicking on “New” button.

Global picklists


And update the Picklist values accordingly.

Global picklists

Global picklists


Create a New custom field with Picklists data type based on the global Picklist which inherit its’ values. When you edit the global Picklist, the other Picklists that use its values are also updated.

Limitations of Global Picklist

  • Global Picklists can be packaged with an app only in Developer Edition and Sandbox orgs.
  • The list of inherited values doesn’t appear on the detail page for a Picklist that’s based on a global Picklist.
  • For custom Picklist fields based on a global Picklist, you can’t change the custom Picklist from a single-select to a multi-select Picklist.