The Google Chrome Extension That Will Save You Hours

The Google Chrome Extension That Will Save You HoursA whopping 70% of Admin Hero readers access the website from Google Chrome. It’s a modern browser and part of the reason for its popularity, aside from its speed, are the powerful extensions.

So, what is this mysterious extension that can save you hours? ColumnCopy. ColumnCopy allows you to click right on a list on any website and essentially copy the values. Not only does it copy columns, but it can also copy table values. Once copied, the values of the column or table can be dropped into Excel, Google Docs or right into Salesforce.

Here are some examples of ways that I’ve used it over the past few weeks to save me hours.

Copy Picklist Values

Every Salesforce Administrator has experienced this; you have created a new picklist field and wanted to use the values in another picklist field elsewhere in Salesforce. So you intend to copy the values out of the field before saving, but you forgot to do so. Face palm. I don’t know how many times this has happened to me as an Administrator.

https://gyazo.com/e5df925aba834a90d0b879205bdf1ef2

I ran into this very same issue last week while configuring a client’s org. But, with ColumnCopy, I was able to copy all of the picklist values of the field with a simple right-click of my mouse and copy the values for use elsewhere in Salesforce! Without the extension, I would have had to rekey all of the picklist values.

Note that a new Salesforce feature called Global Picklists is available in the Spring ’16 release which could eliminate the need for this headache!

Copy Field Labels on a Page Layout

Again, working in a client org last week, I was doing a “stare and compare” on a series of fields created on the Account. I was reviewing the list of fields on the layout to determine if they match the new updated values provided to me in an Excel spreadsheet.

https://gyazo.com/61dcbae62b41d1c10c2a14a5821c6862

I realized that if I could capture the field labels from the layout and put them into Excel next to the new values, I could more readily indicate which fields needed to be updated, added or removed. ColumnCopy to the rescue! With a simple right-click, I had the values of the Account fields copied and pasted into Excel for review.

Object Metadata Export

Exporting Salesforce object-level metadata such as fields, field values, and data types is relatively easy, but what if you want to audit the fields and field values for a single object? Use ColumnCopy to copy the entire fields table and paste it into Salesforce!

https://gyazo.com/2a2782519f2838be953da2985a0a255e

Exporting validation rules and workflow rules are nearly impossible. Using ColumnCopy, the Validation rules page values or Workflow rules can easy be copied out of Salesforce and into a Google Sheet for evaluation and note taking as part of the audit.

Falling Short

The extension is really great, but it does fall short in a few areas. The values are copied only as text so if there is a need to have an HTML version copied, try Copytables – a similar Chrome extension.

Also, it doesn’t do a good job of capturing checkboxes in Setup. Notice in the last example above the Track History column values didn’t copy over. A small price to pay in my opinion!

Extension Security

It’s important to note that Chrome Extensions are generally created by a third party – and not all of those third parties are reputable companies. Google does not have an official security review process for extensions which means that any developer can create an extension and publish the app.

For this reason, it’s important to review the app privacy policy and understand not only what information needs to be granted to the app to work, but also what the app developer plans to do with the information the app has access to. Always be aware of the extensions you’re installing – not just those that are Salesforce specific.

I hope you find this tool valuable! I know I have. It’s become one of the very few Chrome extensions that I use on a daily basis!

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35 Comments


  1. Rachel Dew

    February 8, 2016 at 9:07 am

    Hi Brent,

    Oh this is exciting! Thank you so much for highlight each use case and for sharing the chrome extension.

    Reply

  2. Ishrat Fatima

    February 8, 2016 at 9:08 am

    Hi Brent – thank you for alerting us about the “copy this column” feature with Chrome – super useful and I know it will save me some time! I also use the “Enhance Salesforce Dashboard” feature which auto refreshes the dashboard and allows for up to 7 columns.
    https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/enhance-salesforce-dashbo/mogildlgjglckdcfclpbcbidpdkjgeeb?hl=en-US

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      February 8, 2016 at 11:26 am

      I’ve heard good things about this extension as well, but haven’t used it myself. I’ll have to give it a spin!

      Reply

    • Chirag Mehta

      February 9, 2016 at 2:37 am

      Thanks Ishrat!
      Brent – Do check out “Enhance Salesforce Dashboard” extension and let me know if you have any feedback.
      PS : I’ve developed Enhance Salesforce Dashboard 🙂

      Reply

  3. Matt Nesci

    February 8, 2016 at 9:12 am

    Brent great tool!!!

    Just a note on picklist values. You can click on the printable view for picklists and copy the values from that view. However, this extension makes it even easier !!

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      February 8, 2016 at 11:26 am

      Still a great trick to know about Matt! Thanks for sharing.

      Reply

  4. David Limiero

    February 8, 2016 at 9:12 am

    Great find. Thanks!

    Reply

  5. Bruce Dixon

    February 8, 2016 at 9:17 am

    Whoa. This is fantastic.

    Reply

  6. Eddie Trumble

    February 8, 2016 at 9:24 am

    Thank you for highlighting this great tool! Just another reason to subscribe to Admin Hero!

    Reply

  7. Kelly Kanches

    February 8, 2016 at 9:24 am

    This is awesome!!! Thanks for sharing! Massive time saver!!!

    Reply

  8. Tiffany Parker

    February 8, 2016 at 9:40 am

    Fanfreakingtastic Brent!!!! What a good find. Thanks for sharing this will be SUPER helpful while documenting my current org.

    Reply

  9. Mark Aman

    February 8, 2016 at 10:18 am

    If you’re need to use Firefox, it has a column copy feature built-in. On a Mac at least, press the Command key, then drag through the copy values you want to copy and press Command+C.

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      February 8, 2016 at 11:27 am

      Thanks for sharing Mark! There may even be an available extension for Firefox, but I’m a Chrome user and didn’t think to check the Firefox marketplace!

      Reply

    • Glenn Weinstein

      March 6, 2016 at 3:24 pm

      Trust me, this extension is way better than a vanilla Command+C on a Mac.

      Reply

  10. Mark Aman

    February 8, 2016 at 10:19 am

    If you need to use Firefox, it has a column copy feature built-in. On a Mac at least, press the Command key, then drag through the copy values you want to copy and press Command+C.

    Reply

  11. Jeff Jones

    February 8, 2016 at 10:19 am

    Brent, I figured I’d click on the post and see an extension I already use, but I was wrong! More time saved ahead for me! Thank you. Are you open to seeing the other extensions your readers are using, saving additional hours?

    Reply

  12. Brian Fey

    February 8, 2016 at 10:41 am

    Nice. Thanks!

    Reply

  13. Hilit

    February 8, 2016 at 10:56 am

    This is really great! I was hoping to be able to copy a column or a table right out of the records view for contacts or any other object but it didn’t work. Any idea if it’s possible at all?

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      February 8, 2016 at 11:29 am

      I did hear that for some folks, a restart of the browser was needed to get this to work correctly. I haven’t experienced any issues with it however. You may want to try the alternative extension mentioned at the end of the post if this one isn’t doing what you want.

      Reply

  14. Jackie

    February 8, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    Stopped what I was doing and installed this little gem! Thanks for sharing your great find!

    Reply

  15. Mary

    February 8, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    Love it! Thanks for the tip.

    Reply

  16. Vedrana Madiah

    February 8, 2016 at 3:31 pm

    It is like you read my mind this week. Thank you! This is awesome.

    Reply

  17. Chirag Mehta

    February 9, 2016 at 2:38 am

    This looks really good extension. Thanks B, for sharing same.

    Reply

  18. Ragnhild

    February 9, 2016 at 4:46 am

    Have used it for an hour now and is absolutely thrilled! Will be extremely helpful in my admin work.
    Especially like copying a summery report and be able to paste it in to Excel exactly the way it looks, instead of exporting the report.

    Reply

  19. Justin Mitchell

    February 9, 2016 at 10:26 am

    Thanks for sharing, I’ll definitely be using this.

    Regarding the hyperlinks issue: if you look at the options for the extension (Settings > Extensions > ColumnCopy > Options) you can choose to either have it copy “raw text” or “Create Excel style CSV hyperlinks, ie: =HYPERLINK(“http://example.com”, “Example”)” so that mostly eliminates the shortcomings you mentioned!

    Reply

    • Brent Downey

      February 24, 2016 at 3:48 pm

      Oh, that’s awesome Justin! I’ll have to go in and take a look right now!

      Reply

  20. Jake Schmitz

    February 11, 2016 at 7:20 pm

    Thanks, Brent! Here are some must-haves for time saving!!! I’m sure lots of admins and consultants out there already know about these, but I have saved so many hours of my life I feel like I just have to share:

    1. Force.com LOGINS: a must-have for all consultants! (https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/forcecom-logins/ldjbglicecgnpkpdhpbogkednmmbebec)

    2. Salesforce API Fieldnames: for those of us too lazy and like avoid clicks! (https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/salesforce-api-fieldnames/oghajcjpbolpfoikoccffglngkphjgbo)

    3. Salesforce Navigator: this extension has saved me HOURS of “useless clicking” (https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/salesforce-navigator/ecjmdlggbilopfkkhggmgebbmbiklcdo)

    4. Salesforce.com Enhanced Formula Editor: helps you keep track of all your parenthesis, haha (https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/salesforcecom-enhanced-fo/cnlnnpnjccjcmecojdhgpknalcahkhio)

    5. Salesforce.com Quick Login As: helps with troubleshooting an ironing out security profiles FAST (https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/salesforcecom-quick-login/dccccilgophpadpomgajjlkkioipoojh)

    Reply

  21. Raja Islam

    February 15, 2016 at 10:49 pm

    Interesting. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

  22. Mathieu Szymkiewicz

    February 17, 2016 at 3:40 am

    Thank you so much. This tool is totaly awesome.

    Reply

  23. WILLIE DUMAINE

    February 19, 2016 at 11:49 am

    Thanks Brent for sharing the info on the chrome extension. It certainly saves me tons of time.

    Reply

  24. Katie

    February 26, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    Brent,

    Wanted to let you know that I downloaded the extension mere minutes after you posted this article and in the weeks since, have found it a tremendous time saver! I’ve passed the “secret” to my boss and several of my end users who all have the same enthusiastic response as I did when reading your blog post.

    Thanks for providing a solution to a problem I didn’t realize could be solved!

    Katie

    Reply

  25. Andres

    April 9, 2016 at 8:26 pm

    Great article, thanks, made me look into many other free salesforce chrome extensions out there!

    Reply

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