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I need to have a field that takes the text value of another field, and creates a developer API name out of it.

Ie.

Object__c.Name = 'FAQ: How to use salesforce?' gives Object__c.APIName__c = 'FAQ_How_to_use_salesforce'

I have a feeling only a trigger can properly do this, but I want to see if anyone has simpler alternatives? (ie, Formula field?)

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As you said, its just a formula field.

SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(Name, ":", "_"), " ", "_")
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