I am creating a new text field for my contact object.

Once I create this new field, I'd like it's value to be pre populated with the value from another contact field, but only when I initially create the new field.

With any new contacts added, this field should not be populated.

Clearer Explanation:

Creating a new field under Contact called Organizationof type Text

When I create this field I want it to get it's default value from Account which is of data type Lookup(Account). So that for all existing entries, the Organization fields value will be the account name as text.

Is it possible to do this?

  • Just use Data loader for this task, or Anonymous Apex code
    – o-lexi
    Commented Nov 16, 2016 at 18:20

2 Answers 2


If you want this new field populated on existing records, you are going to have to dataload the value. Run a report for all of your existing contacts with the fields ContactID and Account Name. Export the report, change the column name from Account Name to Organization and save as a CSV. Go to Setup > Data Management > Data Import Wizard. Launch Wizard, choose Accounts and Contacts, Update existing records, upload your CSV, hit next, match your column (should automatically find the contact ID and new field label) and start the data load. All of your existing contact records should be updated within minutes.

  • Do you have any idea why nearly half my records would be failing to update? My research suggested this happens when mapping ids are incorrect but I just exported the data and re-imported right away. Commented Dec 1, 2016 at 16:59
  • You should have received an error email message with an attachment that gives you the error. Can you let me know what the error message is?
    – joe.stolz
    Commented Dec 5, 2016 at 16:42

Field update with workflow rules. It something like this.

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  • But it needs to be dynamic based on the contacts assigned account name. Commented Nov 16, 2016 at 17:42
  • so, to do so, you should user the formula editor
    – ransommule
    Commented Nov 16, 2016 at 17:43
  • sorry, with formula editor i dont think it is possible,.
    – ransommule
    Commented Nov 16, 2016 at 17:46
  • you can create a workflow rule, to be fired only on record creation
    – ransommule
    Commented Nov 16, 2016 at 17:46
  • Would it be possible to give me an example to put me in the right direction? Commented Nov 16, 2016 at 17:56

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