A choice list is used to store a predefined set of values either in the form of radio buttons, drop-down list, or input box with lookup. A choice list may be as simple as Yes/No values.
There are two types of choice list fields:
- Choice fields store a single value selected from the values list, for example to store the Priority of a record or the user's Time Zone.
- Multi-choice fields allow users to select multiple values, for example to store a list of all states in which a company maintains service centers.
Choice lists can be used to drive dependent fields that are only shown if the choice is set to a particular value. For example, Steps to Duplicate Bug might be shown if the Category choice field is set to Bug, but not if it is set to Enhancement Request. For more on this topic, see Visibility Dependent Fields.
Choice lists can also control the values shown for other choice lists. For example, the list of Version Numbers might be different if the user chooses Product A rather than Product B. These are referred to as Hierarchical choices.
Managing Choice Lists
To view all choice lists in the system, navigate to Setup > System > Manage Choice List. This table shows the table where each choice field is used. Click the Edit icon next to any choice list to open the Edit Choice List wizard.
Choice List Order
You can drag and drop choice values to reorder them in the Edit Choice List wizard, accessed from the General tab of the field wizard or at Setup > System > Manage Choice Lists.
When searching, the system recognizes the order of choices in the list and can use the relational operators >, <, >=, <=. This means that putting the choice list in a particular order can help records be searched more efficiently. For example, if the values in the Priority choice list are Critical, High, Medium, and Low, then a search for 'Priority >= High' will find Critical and High priority records only. It is the order of the choices in the list, not the alphabetized labels that are used to determine the search order.
There are two options for the display order of a choice list – 'As in choice list order' or Alphabetical. If you want to use the relational search operator on a choice field, using the 'As in choice list order' option is recommended.
Deprecate or Delete Choices
Choice list items can be edited if you need to make a terminology change only. You can also deprecate choices by hiding them from the drop-down list. To do this...
- Edit the choice field (Setup Table > Fields tab).
- On the General tab of the Field wizard, select Edit Choice List.
- Select an item and click Hide.
We recommend deprecating items by hiding them rather than deleting in most cases. This can be very helpful in cases where choice field options must not be removed because they contain legacy data in the database, but are no longer relevant for future use. If you do want to delete a choice from the list, be sure to use Mass Edit to update any records still using the choice value.
- If you edit an existing entry in a choice list, the values in records containing the value will be changed.
- If a Choice list is deleted, then fields that used it must be deleted to maintain system integrity. The Integrity Manager will systematically review each instance and request that you confirm each deletion is acceptable.
- It is possible to modify choice lists when importing data if the option to 'Create missing choice values' is enabled. System-reserved choice lists can't be modified during import.