Inline Editing for Salesforce Reports: Update Records Faster

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With the risk of sounding biased (and maybe I am), inline editing within Salesforce reports has been one of my dreams since I first discovered list views and the joys of inline editing they provide. Great news – both users and admins can finally quit dreaming about being able to inline edit in reports!

In this article, we’ll jump into how you can inline edit in reports and learn about some important considerations.

What is Inline Editing in Salesforce?

Inline editing is the ability to change the value of a field, without needing to navigate to a record. Inline editing means being able to update a record from somewhere other than the record page, such as a list view or report. It has multiple benefits including fewer clicks and greater user adoption of features and Salesforce.

What is a Salesforce Report?

Standard Salesforce reports are something surely every admin and most likely the advanced users are accustomed to building day-in and day-out to visualize the data in various ways. 

Reports represent the analytics base of Salesforce as well as a dynamic, user friendly and much prettier alternative to pivot tables and many excel formulas. Until recently, they have been the key way to view Salesforce data. However, reports only allow you to view data, not amend it.

Salesforce Reports vs. List Views

One of the most frequent user questions I bump into is definitely “How can I export my Opportunities to update each one in Excel?”.

This presents several problems. For a start, we don’t want users editing data outside of Salesforce! Second, the ‘Export Reports’ permission does not offer granular control over which objects can be exported, therefore with this permission, a user could export any report and its data if they had access to the report. In order to avoid a possible data leak, the alternative was to recommend a list view be used to update various Opportunity fields.

With the right permissions assigned, users are able to edit certain fields, for up to 200 records at a time.

There are a few drawbacks to prompting users to use list views:

  • Without the ‘Manage Public List’ view permissions, they cannot be shared.
  • Users who do have the ‘Manage Public List’ views permission can edit/delete all existing public list views from any Standard or Custom object (yikes).
  • List views are less used than reports and often less familiar, resulting in an adoption effort. 
  • Check out the other limitations based on field type and object here.

Inline Editing in Reports

The limitations around list views, as well as a huge demand to improve native reporting capabilities, did make inline editing within Salesforce reports a dream come true. 

With the release of this new functionality, Salesforce upped their user experience game considerably and, even though still in Beta, the capabilities seem to be expanded with every release.

Setup Inline Editing in Reports

Similar to the Dynamic Gauge Charts, Inline Editing in Reports can be enabled from the Report and Dashboard settings. 

What can be Edited within Reports?

When this functionality was initially made available as part of the Summer ’21 release, it was great to play around with, but there were a limited number of field types that could be edited. Salesforce has made considerable effort to improve upon this, and in the Winter ‘22 release, many more fields became available! 

The first thing I wanted to try was editing Opportunities as if I were a Sales Rep. The fact that picklists and standard date fields were initially not available was a drawback. With the Winter ‘22 release, this is no longer an issue and Sales team members as well as Sales Ops can edit key Opportunity fields such as ‘Stage’, right within the report!

Initially, only one change was supported at a time, and the report refreshed as soon as ‘Save’ is hit to reflect the most up to date information. This meant that I couldn’t edit multiple ‘Close Date’ fields on multiple records and then save. I would need to make a single change and then make edits to another field on a different record, repeating the process as many times as needed, or simply use list views instead.

As part of the Spring ’22 release, Salesforce made editing multiple rows and columns from different records at the same time available right within the report run page.

Not has mass inline editing become available within reports, but also changing a field now makes other related fields display as Pending until the report is saved – for example, changing the Account Name on an Opportunity will mark the Employees value as Pending as they depend on the Account record.

Along with the Summer ’22 release, editing multiple fields from the same or different records (rows or columns in the report) became generally available for your users’ productivity to skyrocket directly from the report run page, with only one save!

You can check all the details around this functionality, as well as limitations, in the Winter ‘22 , Spring ’22 and Summer ’22 release notes. To get a sense of how this feature has evolved, it’s worth taking a look at the Summer ‘21 notes as well.

User Enablement

One of the benefits of using reports is that user adoption is likely already pretty high. Your users are already familiar with creating and using reports, therefore adoption of inline edit for reports should be a piece of cake – it’s going to add extra functionality to something they’re already doing, but with fewer clicks and Excel exports! 

Updating the ‘Next Step’ on an Opportunity might prove crucial for Sales Managers to know exactly how the deal will be progressing. Instead of opening individual Opportunities and searching for the field on the layout, Sales Reps can now open the report from their team’s dashboard and enter their notes while even making use of a chart to better filter records.

For more complex organizations, another huge advantage will definitely be the ability to better isolate data with the use of cross-filters in reports, which is not an option when using list views.

Note: Another thing reports and list views have now in common, is that editable fields will have the pencil appearing when hovering over them, while non-editable ones will display a lock. This will ensure that users won’t spend time trying over and over again to make a change.

Salesforce Reports Inline Editing Use Cases

Seamless Record Updates

Inline editing in reports isn’t just for the Sales team! The inline field edit can be a time saver for Support and Marketing teams as well. For example, if the Marketing team is using Salesforce Campaigns, there is surely at least one dashboard used to track performance or perhaps other KPIs.

With this new functionality, marketers do not have to drill down into the individual records anymore and then return to the report but can actually make adjustments to the key fields as they go. 

Note: Fields used within reports as groupings are not available for inline editing.

Data Correction

This feature is also hugely beneficial for myself and my fellow Admins. When troubleshooting different automations triggered by value changes, such as a boolean or perhaps a date, we typically use a report to measure the impact by the number of records.

As long as the field permissions are in place and the field is not marked as read-only on the layout, records can be edited one by one to do such testing without having to open 20 tabs and switch between them – if that’s not making our lives easier, I don’t know what is.

Summary

Inline editing within reports is a valuable functionality (even though still beta) that is sure to help you drive adoption with your users while keeping them within Salesforce rather than external tools, such as Excel. 

If you’re new to Salesforce or would simply like to learn more about Reports, feel free to check the dedicated trailhead modules by Salesforce on Trailhead. 

26 thoughts on “Inline Editing for Salesforce Reports: Update Records Faster

  1. Thank you for this article! I am reviewing the implementation of the feature at org I work for, and noticed one difference between behavior and what’s described in the note part – I observed that custom date fields have pencil icons and it’s possible to add a date, however, Save button is greyed out. Looking at release notes, custom date fields remain non-editable, so a lock icon should appear. Were you able to test that bit?

    1. Hello Margo,

      Thank you for the comment! I have indeed tested this out in my developer org within an Opportunities report, editing a custom Account date field. I have done this again now and worked without a problem, the save button wasn’t greyed out when saving.

      The confusion might come from the fact that Custom Date/Time fields are not available for inline edit in the Summer ’21 release notes, but as part of Winter ’22 they are no longer mentioned as a limitation at the bottom of the page. I can’t speak for the org you are working in so I would suggest you check out the limitations mentioned in the Winter’22 release : https://help.salesforce.com/s/articleView?id=release-notes.rn_rd_reports_inline_editing.htm&type=5&release=234 , for example it might be the one relating to fields within object which doesn’t have record types enabled.

      Let me know how it goes, this is a really nice feature to implement 🙂

      1. Hey Andrea,
        Thank you for checking this! I realized that the issue was because the date field I tried to update was placed on a separate tab in Lightning App Builder (still within same object record page). After I moved the fields on the page layout to the default tab, I was able to edit the fields in the report. I wasn’t aware of this limitation, since the Page layout did include the fields, but they were split in separate tabs.
        Maybe I am missing something, and need more testing, but if this is the case, then probably we’ll need to wait for further feature improvements 🙂

        1. Hey Margo,

          Really appreciate you getting back to me on this one as it is indeed a strange behavior. I will also try to replicate it and do more testing, which is obviously something I would recommend you continue doing as well. As far as the example I used while writing the article, this still works as expected in accordance to the Winter’22 update and all custom field edits within reports (date,boolean,number, etc.) that respect the release notes guidelines could be saved with no problem on Accounts, Opportunities and a custom object from a managed package (tried different objects to cover more examples).

          Depending on your findings during testing, you can then make the decision to turn this on or not for your particular org. As you can imagine, we can speak to the general functionality but the implementation of it will always be dependent on what you have in your Salesforce org.

  2. Hello Andreea,

    Thank you for this article! Most fields works well but I can’t edit rich text field. This is a custom field. Is there a limitation on rich text?

    1. Hello Yvonne,

      Glad you enjoyed the post and happy to hear the functionality is working well for you!

      Indeed, Rich Text fields remain a limitation for inline editing within reports. There isn’t a mention about this in the Spring’22 release notes, but hopefully it will be in the Winter’22 ones.

  3. Hi Antrea,

    Thanks so much for the detailed article!
    Is there a way to define which users are allowed to inline edit reports and which are not?

    1. Hey Chava,

      Glad you enjoyed the piece! There is, and permissions are based on field level security (granted through either profile or permission set), the presence of the fields on the layout as well as access to Record Types where applicable. Practically, the edit access piece has many similarities to the list views and having the pen next to the field on a report is an indication that it can be edited inline.

  4. Michele Kleinhomer

    Reply

    I stumbled upon a similar issue today. I had a checkbox on my report. I was able to edit the checkbox but the Apply button was greyed out. i found that I needed to add the checkbox field on the record’s page layout to be able to make an update to it on the report. This is strange as I would not expect the requirement of the field to be on the page layout for the inline report update to work.

    1. Hey Michele!

      I agree it is a bit out of hand, hopefully this will be made a bit easier in future releases as the functionality becomes more and more widely used.

  5. We have inline editing enabled in our org.
    While updating the ‘Next Steps’ field of Opportunity, clicked on the pencil icon next to the ‘next steps’ field, and entered some value in the text field.
    The ‘Apply’ button is still greyed out and we’re not able to save.
    Any suggestion on this is appreciated.

  6. Hey TG,

    Do you by any chance have multiple Opportunity Record Types? Are you using the standard Text field Next Step from the Opportunity or is it a custom one you’re trying to edit?

    Have you tried replicating this behavior in a sandbox or developer org as well? I have just went into a random Opportunities report and edited the Next Step standard field without a problem.

  7. Charles Fosbroke

    Reply

    Hi,

    I have a question that I am having trouble finding the answer to. I would like to enable Inline Editing for Reports in my Org, but I need to be able to limit it to certain fields, and certain users. Does anyone know if this is possible yet, or if it is on the roadmap? Thanks.

    1. Hey Charles,

      Happy to hear you’re exploring in-line editing – at this time however, the feature can be enabled for the entire org only. There isn’t a way for it to be enabled based on an user, role or profile.

      As far as making it available only to certain users, the way you can do that to a certain extent is to control the access through field level security. This means only giving certain users edit access to certain fields, and they will be able to edit them (as long as they’re supported) in reports as well.

      Of course there are fields such as the Opportunity Stage which a lot of folks have access to edit, hence there isn’t a lot of granular control. Hopefully this explanation helps, maybe Salesforce will allow this to be better controlled in further releases.

  8. Is this a feature that can be controlled to only allow certain users, say with a Permission Set? Or is it all users once it is enabled?

    1. Hello Shelly,

      It is, but I don’t believe it is in the sense that you’re looking for. The in-line editing is enabled at org level, and in order for supported fields to become editable, the user should have write permissions on them through either the profile or permission set.

      So for your specific use case, if it works to remove the write permissions for the fields who shouldn’t be edited neither through in-line editing in reports nor through the individual edit pages from records, that would be the way to ensure users won’t be able to edit.

  9. Hi Andreea,

    Why can’t I do inline edit for “Rating” field in report? This is standard field in Account object. Thanks.

  10. So here’s a weird one. We wanted to see if we could inline edit campaign member status in a ‘campaigns with campaign members’ standard report type. We found it was locked and I figured it was because campaign member status is a little funky field. My colleague then asked the implementation partner that she works with and they added a custom field onto campaign member, added it to the report, and suddenly campaign member status is editable. Is this a weird known workaround? I have tested by removing the random field, saving the report, and inline editing goes away but when i add it back, it is available again. I know that I’ve been doing salesforce for way way too long and i’m definitely a few bananas short of a bunch but this one is blowing my mind.

    1. Hello Brenda! That is definitely weird – I have indeed noticed that Campaign Member status was locked on the report page, but considered it was because of it being a funky field hence a limitation. Out of curiosity, I have tried the “workaround” with the random custom field (I chose to create a picklist on the Campaign Member) but sadly I couldn’t replicate the behavior you noticed. This could be a workaround, but at least in my developer sandbox it didn’t work 🙁

  11. Hi there! Thank a lot for this great article! Is it possible to edit the Opportunity Amount field? I am struggling to do this

    1. Hello Viktoria

      Happy you enjoyed the article! This is actually something I tried when writing the article, and I found that it wasn’t available to edit int he report run page (I did not have record types enabled in my developer edition, and the field was on the layout assigned to my profile). Went into that environment now and enabled Record Types just to test this out, and it is still not supported apparently. Since I couldn’t find any documentation specifying more details yet regarding the Opportunity Amount (or standard currency fields) being a limitation for in-line editing, let’s hope it will be part of future releases.

      In the meantime, what I have done in my sandbox was to create a custom amount field and that one was editable, so even if it’s not anywhere close to ideal this can be used as a temporary workaround if it is business critical for in-line editing to be available, then the value in the custom field can be used to populate the custom field with a flow.

  12. I have the feature enabled. I have a Campaigns with Opportunities report set up with url-based dynamic filtering.
    Sometimes when the report loads, the fields are inline-editable.
    Sometimes they show as locked with a message: “Inline editing isn’t supported for this cell”

    This is the exact same report, filtered for the exact same records. I just hit the browser refresh button and it changes from editable to locked.

    Perhaps this is why it’s a beta feature.

  13. Is it possible to mass update the same field for multiple records at the same time without clicking through one by one? For example, in a list view, I can select all cases or select multiple cases at one time using the Shift key. Once selected, I could select the field to edit, make the change, and have an option to update only that single record or all selected cases.

    Is this available through the report in-line edit feature?

    1. Hello Jimmy! This is something I was curious about myself, but sadly this is not something available with in-line edit in reports, or at least not yet. The only way to edit multiple records on the same report run-page now is to individually modify the fields for each of the records. There is also no mention in the documentation either for being another possibility at this time.

      https://help.salesforce.com/s/articleView?id=release-notes.rn_rd_reports_multi_inline_editing_ga.htm&type=5&release=238

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