Overview of global sets

Overview of global sets

Use global sets to manage picklist values that are common across modules.

You may have picklists in your CRM system that have the same set of values. Normally, you would have to create and maintain a copy of this set of values separately for each picklist.

If there are three industry picklists in Leads, Accounts, and Products modules, each one of them will be linked to a set of local picklist values. This is despite the fact that the values in each of those local picklists are identical.

Using global sets, however, you can create and maintain a single set of values and associate it with as many picklists as you want.

If three different modules have three different picklists with the same set of industry categories as picklist values, they can be associated with one global set having those values.

What are global sets?

Global sets are collections of picklist values that can be associated with multiple picklists across modules:

  • They are collections because you can't link parts of a global set with a picklist; you can only link the entire set of picklist values.
  • They are associated with one or more picklists. This means that changes made in a global set will be reflected in all associated picklists.

Benefits of using global sets include the following:

  • Eliminate the need to repeatedly enter a common set of picklist values when creating multiple picklists.
  • Simplify the process of adding, updating, and deleting picklist values that need to be consistent across multiple picklists.

Some useful built-in aspects are as follows:

  • Changing a global set value automatically updates that value in existing records, workflow rules, field updates, reports, etc.
  • Flexibility to switch the association of a picklist from local to global set and vice versa.
  • Mapping values when switching from local to global set. This includes the following:
    • Automatic mapping of values that are present in both the local picklist and the global set.
    • Manual mapping of values that are present in a local picklist but absent in the global set. You can map these values to existing values in the global set.


Users with the Modules Customization permission enabled in their profile can use global sets.

When should global sets be used?

Use the criteria below to determine whether you should use global sets in a given scenario:

  • If the picklist values are specific to one module, local picklist values would be the more effective option.

    • For example, picklist values like Invalid number , Number is busy , and Requested call back are specific to the Calls module. In this case, add them as local picklist values.

  • If the picklist values are needed across modules, a global set would be the ideal option.

    • For example, sources of leads are often used across Leads, Contacts, and Deals modules. In this case, create a global set with lead sources as picklist values, then associate this global set with picklists across those modules.


Your business caters to a wide range of industries. Teams across your organization look at industry categories as a means to understand the needs of your customers better. Accordingly, picklists with industry types as values are present in multiple modules. These values are stored in multiple records and used in workflow rules, reports, and so on.

Maintaining such picklists is a time-consuming process:

  1. Each time these values are needed in a new picklist, you have to manually enter a large number of them.

    Three picklists need to be filled with the same set of values. Each value is filled by hand and it is tiresome as each picklist has 10 values.

  2. In response to internal and external changes, you may need to update these values frequently. Recently, you had to split the "Govt/Military" category into two smaller categories: "Government" and "Military". To do this, you had to make the changes by hand in every relevant picklist.

This process is undesirable for two reasons:

  1. It's inefficient. You're repeating the same set of steps in multiple locations.

  2. It's error-prone. Since you're making the changes by hand in multiple locations, you may forget to add or remove a value in one or many picklists, you may enter different spellings in different places, or you may commit other possible errors.

Using global sets, this process is simpler, faster, and more accurate:

  1. Create a global set with industries as values.
  2. Simply associate multiple picklists with this global set instead of manually typing in values for separate local picklists.
  3. Update a value in the global set and it will be reflected in all the associated picklists and other places in the CRM.

This is more efficient and less error-prone than the process required for local picklist values. These advantages persist in other scenarios where the same set of picklist values are used in multiple picklists.

If you want to use global sets in your CRM system, see Working with global sets.

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