NEW from the Tether Tips Blog – Using Default Picklist Values in a flow

A really helpful tip from our Salesforce Administrator Simon O Leary this week.


So, you want a Salesforce screen flow which you can jump in and out of without losing all of your progress? Well, that’s easy for most fields, but picklists are a little different… Let’s take a look! 

Below we have a simple screen flow with 3 fields. “Form of Transport” is a basic picklist with values such as Bus, Train or Car. The issue is when you create a picklist choice set in Salesforce, you can’t select that as a default value.  

Our Screenflow:

Screen flow displaying the Form of a Transport Field without a default value

For anybody unsure how to create a picklist choice set, I have included the setup for it in the image below. I name these “plFieldName” so it is easier to find later on as, once you start including hundreds of variables, it can get a little harder to find what you need.

Setup for creating plForm_of_Transport

Now that we have the picklist values loaded in, we need to set up the default. This will be done using a formula in the ‘Manager’ tab on the left-hand side of the flow. Simply click “New Resource” and select Formula.

Creating the default formula

Again, I call this “defaultFieldName” as it makes it easier to find. In a large screen flow with 200+ fields you will have a lot of picklists so this can save you a lot of headache if you do it from the beginning! 

The Formula I use is here is:

IF(ISBLANK(TEXT({!Get_Opportunity.Form_of_Transport__c})), ‘Please Select’, TEXT({!Get_Opportunity.Form_of_Transport__c}))

Just replace the fields (the bits inside the {}) with your picklist field and you’re good to go! This formula means if nothing has been selected it will display “Please Select” and will otherwise display the chosen value. Unfortunately, we also can’t set a formula as a default value in a screen flow… So how do we handle this?

What we need to do is create a “Choice”, again using the “New Resource” button in the Manager tab of the flow. Here we input our formula from before in the label and value boxes as seen in this image:

And now we are finally ready to set our default value. If we quickly jump back into our screen, we can make sure we have our choice [choiceForm_of_Transport] and picklist choice sets [plForm_of_Transport} displayed in the ‘Select Choices’ section. Then we select the Choice variable in the ‘Default Value’ box, click done and save our flow!

Running the flow for the first time

The first time we run the flow it will say ‘Please Select’ as that is what we told it to do in the formula. If you would like it to say something different you can easily change it in the flow manager tab. After the first run through it will have the selected value displayed.

And with that, you have a default picklist value and my job here is done! I will include images below of the final setup for the flow in case somebody is trying to follow only using pictures (Yeah, I do that too).

Final Setup of Picklist Flow Component

We hope this has been helpful and thanks for reading!

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