Search Layouts, Often Forgotten and Misunderstood

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Search Layouts, Often Forgotten and Misunderstood

Applies to: Lightning and Classic

One powerful yet often forgotten configuration areas within Salesforce is the Search Layouts options.  This functionality isn’t talked about much and it may not be as sexy as other configuration options but it can make a big difference in usability and adoption.   So lets talk about what they are and how they work.

Search Layouts are used throughout the system where there are lists of data.  The most common list would be the list you see after doing a search or the list you see when you click on a tab.  The fields that show on these lists and others can be adjusted to help identify the records you’re looking for.

All standard and custom objects have Search Layouts that can be customized.

  • For standard objects, select Setup | Customize | <object name> | Search Layouts.
  • For custom objects, select Setup | Custom | Objects | <object name>.  Scroll down the page to the Search Layouts section.


You are now presented several options so lets explain each of them:

  • Search Results – this is the list that you see after searching for a record using the global search box.
  • Lookup Dialogs – this is the list you see when you click on the magnifying glass on lookup fields.
  • Lookup Phone Dialogs – similar to the Lookup Dialogs but specifically related to those using Softphone integrations.  This controls the fields the display on the softphone lookups.
  • <object name> Tab – if the object has a Tab, this option controls the default set of fields that are displayed when the tab is selected.


Also hidden in with the Search Layouts are a couple other helpful tricks:

  • <object name> List View – when you select a list view from a tab, you’ll see buttons listed above the records.  This section allows you to control which buttons are displayed.
  • Search Filter Fields – this is a great feature for the global search dialogs that allows you as an administrator to add additional filters options.  For example, you have a Contact Lookup box and you search for the name “Smith*”.  The results of that search could return hundreds of records.  By adding a Search Filter Field on Mailing City or State, you can now filter the search results to “Smith” who live in Dallas, TX.
  • Lookup Filter Fields – similar to the Search Filter Fields, the Lookup Filter Fields are specific to Lookup screens.  For this option to be available you must have Enhanced Lookups turned on for the object you’re working on.   You can turn this on, if needed, under Setup | Customize | Search | Search Setting.  Once turned on, the Lookup Filter Fields will show as an option under Search Layouts.
Terry Miller
Terry Miller
Terry has spent over 20 years focused on business leadership and information technology. As an independent consultant, he enjoys working with a variety of customers to help them solve business problems using the Salesforce® platform. His ability to quickly identify bottlenecks and provide understandable solutions has gained him the trust of his customers. If you're looking for expert guidance on your next Salesforce® project, click here to contact Terry today.

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