Is there a limitation merging dependent picklist values into a VF email template? I have a picklist (Case.Denial_Reason__c) that is controlled by Case.Status.

I can merge values such as status or text fields from Case just fine:



^ these both are merged and displayed ^

However, if I include:


It's not merged/displayed. I've triple checked FLS is correct for this field. I also included the controlling field with the dependent field, still nothing.

My next thought was to create a text formula field that simply channels the value from Denial_Reason__c, i.e. TEXT(Denial_Reason__c):


but it's not merged. However, as soon as I change the formula field's value to be a static string such as "HELLO", the formula field is merged/displayed.

It seems as though anything that uses Case.Denial_Reason__c as its true "source" can't be directly merged. I think I'll have to write the value in the relatedTo object's trigger handler, unless I'm overlooking something here?

1 Answer 1


Absolutely baffled as to why this fixed the issue, but here's an explanation for anyone that encounters this post:

The transaction to produce the email from this template looked like this:

  1. Update case to meet certain criteria (i.e. Status == _______ )
  2. This update caused service-layer Apex for Case before update logic to fire, creating a Communication_Job__c record (this is the type the template is relatedTo
  3. The creation of this Communication_Job__c record fired a workflow, which sent an email alert using the template in the original post. The Case fields were merged in through the Lookup from Communication_Job__c to Case.

Moving the service-layer Apex logic in #2 to after update in our handler solved this issue - the dependent picklist in question now appears as expected in the template. This will forever haunt me....

  • Missed a closing paren on item 2. Interesting problem.
    – Adrian Larson
    Aug 16, 2016 at 20:30

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