Since global variables can not be used in Filter criteria, I created a formula field, to pass it through. But referencing this formula (with global variable) in a Lookup Filter does not work

Custom Setting: CompetitionSettings__c

  • Number: WinnerThreshhold__c

Custom Object: Participant__c

  • Number: Rank__c
  • Formula: IsAWinner__c [Rank__c == $Setup.CompetitionSettings__c.WinnerThreshhold__c]

This works so far and is displayed in the layouts. But as soon, as I try to reference this field in a filter criteria on a lookup, saving the criteria fails:

Custom Object: Price__c

  • Lookup: AwardedTo__c

    Criteria: Participant__c.IsAWinner__c equals value TRUE

When I try to save this criteria, I get this Error message:

Error: Error in referenced formula IsAWinner__c, Field $Setup.CompetitionSettings__c.WinnerThreshhold__c does not exist. Check spelling.

But it exists and it works in other contexts

Everything I found online is this, where his statement at the end is:

It looks like the actual problem is any $ formula fields referenced in a lookup filter...

But there is no reference for this information.

1 Answer 1


Currently that's not possible. The salesforce documentation on Global Variables states that the $Setup variable is only available in Visualforce pages, formula fields, validation rules, flow formulas and process formulas.

Depending on what you want, there's a somewhat doable workaround here.

You can also vote on this idea.

  • Thanks, this is a qualified answer. The workaround is not an option in my case, but at least I finally have the answer. Idea is upvoted. Thanks!
    – itsmebasti
    Commented Apr 20, 2016 at 12:41
  • Quote from the workaround blog you just linked: "$setup fields aren’t available in the lookup filter selection and when they are referenced in formula fields the filter can’t be saved with an error stating that the $setup field cannot be found."
    – itsmebasti
    Commented Apr 20, 2016 at 12:44

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