Creating Custom Fields in Salesforce

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Salesforce.com is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) system. In this article, you will learn how to add and map custom lead and contact fields to your Salesforce instance.
Salesforce comes with many fields out of the box, however, there is also room for customization. This customization allows you to configure Salesforce to meet the specific needs of your business. 

Note: You must have administrative privileges in order to create or modify fields.

In this article, you will learn how to add custom fields to your Lead and Contact Objects, add fields to the Page Layout and how to map custom fields.

Creating New Custom Fields

All custom fields will have __c appended to the end of their API Name. This is important to note for any integration you have that also use this field.

1. Locate and click Setup on the top right of your screen. 

Capture1.PNG2. On the left panel, go to BUILD > CUSTOMIZE > LEADS > FIELDS . Then scroll down to Lead Custom Fields & Relationships and select NEW.
3. Select the appropriate data type and click next

  • Descriptions are given for each data type.

4. Enter the necessary data
  • Include a description even though it is not required. This will help others in the future see why this field was created and what it is used for.
  • Help text shows when a user hovers over the field.
  • If you choose Picklist (shown below) insert all values that will be used, separating them with a new line.

capture4.png5. Establish field-level security
  • Determine which users you want to this field to be visible for
  • Determine who you want to have edit access or only read-only access to that field
6. Add to Lead Layout if you want the field to immediately be visible to the users specified above. You can always go back and add to the layout later (this process is covered later in the article). If you would like to add it, select the check boxes next to the Page Layout Name (seen below).

7. Follow the exact same process above to add to the Contact Object. (If using a picklist, make sure names match exactly)


Custom Field Mapping

Mapping fields together links the lead fields with other Object fields, in this case, the Contact Object. This is important for when a lead is converted into a contact. If the fields are mapped correctly, the information in the lead field will properly populate the contact field. This reduces the need for additional data entry, and keeps data and reporting clean.

To map custom fields, follow these steps:

1. On left panel of your admin window, go to CUSTOMIZE > LEADS > FIELDS

  • Scroll down and select Map Lead Fields
Capture7.PNG12. Find the field name, and click the drop-down. Find the corresponding Contact field name.
  • Make sure to click save at the bottom!

Add Fields to Page Layouts

1. In your admin window, go to CUSTOMIZE > LEADS > PAGE LAYOUT

  • Click edit
Capture9.PNG2. Find the field, and drag and drop the field into the layout below.  

Capture10.PNGCapture11.PNGOnce added to the page layout, these fields are visible to those specified in the field security rules. In this case, I made this field READ ONLY, you can tell which fields are read only from the lock icon next to it. The red star denotes a required field. You can edit this by highlighting the field and clicking on the wrench icon, then updating the Field Properties:

Capture12.PNG3. Make sure to save your layout!!

4. Follow the exact same process for the Contact Page Layout.

By following these steps, you created two new custom fields that are properly mapped together! Now, once the lead is converted, the billing status will also be populated onto the Contact.

Your version of Salesforce will determine the number of custom fields that you can create. If necessary, fields can be deleted, however, make sure to map out your strategy before creating fields to avoid this. You can update custom field mappings at any point in time.
Author:Amy Waller
1 Comment
LVL 66

Expert Comment

by:Jim Horn
Nice 'How To' article.  Voting Yes.

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