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Improving User Experience in Lightning Email Templates: Managing Multi-Select Picklist Values as Merge Fields

In Salesforce, multi-select picklists are a versatile tool for capturing multiple values in a single field. However, displaying these values clearly in merge fields, especially in email templates, can be challenging. In this blog, we’ll explore how to create a formula field that formats multi-select picklist values with line breaks, making them easy to read in any document or email.

Use Case

Consider a scenario where you have a multi-select picklist field, Multi_Select_Field__c, with several possible values, such as:

  • Value A
  • Value B
  • Value C
  • Value D
  • Other (not mentioned above)

When generating emails or documents, you need to ensure that the selected values are clearly formatted with line breaks. Additionally, if the "Other (not mentioned above)" value is selected, it should not appear in the formatted output.


To solve this problem, we will create a formula field that checks each value in the multi-select picklist and concatenates them with line breaks. This approach ensures that the formatted values can be used directly in email templates or any other text field.

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Create the Formula Field

    Navigate to the Object Manager in Salesforce and select the object that contains the Multi_Select_Field__c field. Create a new formula field with the following details:

    • Field Label: Formatted Values
    • Field Name: Formatted_Values
    • Return Type: Text
  2. Define the Formula

    Use the INCLUDES function to check for each value in the multi-select picklist and concatenate them with line breaks using the BR() function. Here is the complete formula:

    This formula checks each possible value in the Multi_Select_Field__c field. If the value is selected, it adds the corresponding text followed by a line break. If "Other (not mentioned above)" is selected, it returns a blank string.

  3. Use the Formula Field in Email Templates

    With the formula field in place, you can now use the Formatted_Values field in your email templates. This ensures that the selected values are displayed on separate lines, making the email content more readable and professional.


If the Multi_Select_Field__c field contains the values "Value A;Value B;Value C;Other (not mentioned above)", the Formatted_Values field will output:

This formatted output can be directly included in email templates, ensuring clear communication with your recipients.


By using formula fields to format multi-select picklist values, you can significantly improve the readability and professionalism of your email templates and other communications in Salesforce. This straightforward approach ensures that important information is conveyed clearly and accurately.

For more information on Salesforce formulas and customization, check out the official Salesforce documentation: Salesforce Formula Functions. Happy customizing!

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