10 Ways to Use Salesforce Inspector
With a myriad of productivity tools to choose from, Salesforce-related Chrome Extensions prove time and time again to be a low setup effort time saver for both Salesforce Admins as well as power users.
In this post, we will explore how Salesforce Inspector in particular can help you navigate even the most complex Salesforce instances to find the right information, and even make changes or troubleshoot in no time.
What Is Salesforce Inspector?
The chances are that you have already heard about (or even used) Salesforce Inspector. It is one of the top rated Chrome extensions – with more than 400K Salesforce professionals using the tool, regardless of experience.
As mentioned above, the extension is extremely easy to set up, as you only need to add it to your Chrome browser. There’s no managed package, no extra configuration – it’s just an additional layer on top of the Salesforce interface. It appears as a little arrow on the right hand side of the screen, which you can toggle to display a panel when needed.
How Salesforce Inspector Can Be Used
Let’s deep dive into how this Chrome extension can help your day to day…
1. View All Fields and Values With a Couple Clicks
First and foremost, Salesforce Inspector is an amazing tool when it comes to checking out the values of those fields which are not on the page layout. Is it not only a way for users to see the values they have on a given record, but also a great way to navigate through related records by clicking the Id value from the lookup field. (Note: Users need to have at least read access to these fields.)
Believe it or not, the Show all Data option is available for Reports as well. This is one of my favorite features as I don’t have to go back and forth, adding or removing columns in the Reports view, to see what folder the report is in or when it was last modified.
2. Search and Filter
From the moment the side panel is open, the Objects search bar becomes available to use, from any Salesforce page. You can search by multiple parameters, such as the Id for an individual record or the object name.
If you search by the Object’s name or prefix and open it in the extension panel, the “Show all data” button will no longer show a list of records, but actual fields.
After clicking the button, a list of available fields for the Group object is now displayed on the page, as well as related objects below, including the relationship field.
There will most likely be situations where you need to narrow down the results. This could be when working with objects, such as the Account or Opportunity, that are bound to have a high number of fields. These will all show up when you use “Show all data” for an entire object or an individual record, as we did above.
Salesforce Inspector allows you to search through all available data, be it Label, API Name, or even Help Text. In comparison, the Fields & Relationships Tab in Salesforce only returns results based on the field’s label, even though it displays the API Name. This means that with Salesforce Inspector, even if there is a situation where the Label and API Name do not coincide, the result will still show up.
Check out how easy this is to use below!
3. Query and Export
The Data Export option in Salesforce Inspector opens up a query editor, where you can write SOQL queries just like you would in the Developer Console or Workbench, without the extra navigation.
Additionally, you can save the queries you use frequently and export the results to further manipulate if needed.
You also have the ability to export metadata by using the dedicated button located towards the bottom of the Salesforce Inspector panel if needed.
4. Edit Fields and Error Handling
Sometimes, just viewing the fields is not enough and edits need to be done. If you choose to use Salesforce Inspector to analyze record data in fields which are not on the layout, as long as you have permissions to do so, you can edit most of them directly within the list of fields.
However, it is important to keep in mind that Salesforce Inspector does not support selecting the actual values from a list as you would in Salesforce when updating picklist fields, for example. It does allow you though to save any data you’d like just like Data Loader would, but then may throw an error. So while text fields can easily be updated from this Chrome extension, it does become tricky for other field types.
One thing I also noticed within Salesforce Inspector is that it displays (Unknown) if a field exists for the Object you are checking out, but you do not have permissions to it.
5. Insert, Update, or Delete Records
Perhaps this comes as a surprise, but on top of being able to export record data, all metadata, and custom query results, Salesforce Inspector can serve as a quick way to import data into your Salesforce org, into either standard or custom objects.
Make sure to read through the import help before starting, and note that Bulk API is currently not supported.
6. Check Your Org’s Limits
One other handy feature in Salesforce Inspector is the ability to inspect your “Org Limits” just by clicking the dedicated button in the extension window. For example, especially when working with multiple integrations, the Daily API Requests is something you will be interested in keeping an eye on. You can check out the documentation detailing the API Limits here.
7. Fast Object Setup Navigation
This feature may be useful for admins working with Salesforce Inspector, however, power users who have the view setup and configuration permission can benefit much more from this feature.
While an admin with customized application will be able to see the “Edit Object” option when clicking the Settings wheel from a record, users have to navigate to Setup, Object Manager, to then check, for example, the validation rules or layouts. So this object setup shortcut will save them time.
8. Quickly Edit Page Layout
To this date, the ability to edit the page layout directly from a record is something I find useful in Salesforce Classic. Even though Dynamic Forms is growing in Salesforce orgs, it might still be the case that certain objects have quite a few page layouts in use. However, while there is an option to edit the Record Page from the Settings wheel, there isn’t one for the page layout in the Lightning Experience.
Navigating to the edit page of the page layout assigned to your user is something Salesforce Inspector supports as well, as an additional option under the right hand side arrow when viewing all record data. This can easily save you quite a few clicks, especially if you’d have to check the layout assignment first, then actually start making the updates.
9. Show Field Metadata
While this doesn’t appear to be an option for Lightning Experience yet, Salesforce Inspector has an option to Show Field Metadata directly on records in Salesforce Classic.
Luckily, however, this does work on User and Territory Records without switching to Classic, hence making it easy to find out the API Name of a field especially when the label doesn’t coincide, or to view the formula behind a formula field. You can then navigate to either Lightning or Classic setup to further edit the field, directly from the information bubble which appears when hovering over the field.
10. Login as Any User in No Time
As a Salesforce Admin, you are most likely logging in as other users in the org to either test features such as a new Record Page in a sandbox, or to troubleshoot an error they’re seeing in the production environment. Out of the box, you would have to navigate to the user record, and then login as them.
With Salesforce Inspector, this can immediately be done from any page, simply by searching the user’s name, email, or alias in the Users tab from the side panel, then clicking “Try login as”.
While Salesforce Inspector is the original Chrome Extension used by thousands of Salesforce professionals, Salesforce Inspector Reloaded (a newer extension based on the original version) is also worth considering when it comes to User Management and other additional functionality.
Within this new version, you can navigate straight to the assigned permission set assignment page for a specific user, or simply the user page if you click on the hyperlinked User Id.
In addition to these task specific features, Salesforce Inspector can easily be used across multiple Salesforce orgs even in the same browser window: be it production, sandbox, or developer editions, without having to authenticate or follow any extra steps.
All in all, Salesforce Inspector remains one of my favorite Chrome extensions to use on a daily basis, regardless if I am working in a sandbox environment or investigating an issue in a production instance.
If you haven’t already, you should definitely give this extension a try and see for yourself how much it can improve your experience across various processes related to Salesforce.
I already could not live without SF Inspector but learned a couple new tricks (reports & page layout). Thanks for putting together such a comprehensive guide!
Hello Joy! Great to hear you learned new things from the article, thank you for sharing!
For number 9 – show Field Metadata, this is a great feature but I cannot see it when using inspector. Is there something you did to add this feature or maybe its just that I am using an older version, I am using (v1.14 / 56.0)
Hello Stephen! It’s not something special I’ve done and the I also have the same version. As I mentioned in the section from the post, it mostly works in Salesforce Classic, or on the User and Territory2 records in Setup (that’s where I mostly use this as I am mainly working in Lightning).
For seeing field API Names in Lightning on Accounts, Leads, etc. I’m using the Show API Names Chrome extension if needed (https://www.salesforceben.com/most-popular-salesforce-chrome-extensions/)
Hi Andreea 🙂
Thanks for the great tips..there were a couple I had never used!
For 4. Edit Fields and Error Handling
If you hover over ‘picklist’ in the Type column, it will show you the available picklist values at a glance. Not great for picklists with large sets of values but definitely helps out in a pinch!.
Hey Mark – Happy to hear you enjoyed the extra tips! Regarding the picklist values at no.4, you can hover and see the values separated by a comma but it’s definitely a pain and you will still have to type the values in as you know, hence why I mentioned it doesn’t support actually showing them like Salesforce would for example. Additionally, at least for me, the hovering sometimes works sometimes doesn’t.
To avoid any confusion, I rephrased the sentence in the post to be more clear. Thank you!