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I'm creating a custom contact field using the "formula" data type and I'd like the field to access information from an account field. When I simply type in the name of the account field the "check syntax" button says the field does not exist. How do I properly tell Salesforce to access such fields?

For clarity below is a fictional example of what I am trying to enter into my "Error Condition Formula":

ISPICKVAL (account_field__c , "test")
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In order to refer fields in a related object (in your case account is a related object) you have to use dot notation.

To make the process easy, go to "Advanced formula" tab in formula editor and use "Insert Field" button. It will let you navigate to related object fields through UI and once you have find your field click "insert". It will insert the correct field relationship name in the formula editor.

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You have to reference it through its relationship to the other object via dot notation. So if your account field is called Account_Field__c then from the contact it would be Account.Account_Field__c.

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You can declare the formula field like ISPICKVAL (account.account_field__c , "test"), where account is the parent of contact and account_field__c is field in Account.

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