How to change Standard Field Labels

A Salesforce field has three parts in its name - the Field Name which is the unique name of the field (for example, FirstName, or Custom_Field) the Label, which is what users see on a page layout (for example, First Name or Custom Field) and the API Name which you would reference in integrations or formulas (for example, FirstName or Custom_Field__c). It's not advisable (and often not possible) to change the Field Name or API Name, but changing a Field Label is trivial and can often improve user adoption with little impact on functionality.

  1. How you can tell that a field came from a Managed Package. Look for the icon and the fact that there's a defined Namespace (that will become part of the API Name)
  2. Field Label - what appears on page layouts for users to see
  3. Field Name - the unique name which has no spaces or special characters
  4. Field API Name - the integration name, which is the namespace prefix, followed by the complete Field Name and __c (to mean it's a custom field)

If you change the Field Name on a custom field that you created or from an unmanaged package, you'll see this. It's okay. Just be careful if you've used this field in a merge template already, as it may have a problem after the change. Some templates use Labels rather than the name.

Renaming Standard Field Labels

Standard fields on standard objects are easy to rename right in the Setup menu. Go to Build > Customize > Tab Names and Labels > Rename Tabs and Labels.

Renaming Standard Field Labels

Click Edit to the left of the Standard Object Name. Note the Next button in the lower right. You can click that to go right to rename the fields without touching the name of the object itself.

Now you can rename the labels as you wish and it will have no ill effect. Click Save when done.

Renaming Managed Package Field Labels

You'll notice that while you can rename custom objects in the above screen, you can't rename Fields there. Instead, you have to leverage a feature called Translation Workbench in order to change Field Labels on managed packages (fields that are noted as Managed and have a namespace)

Go to the Translation Workbench in Setup and select Translation Settings if this is the first time you've used this feature.

Renaming Managed Package Field Labels

If the feature is disabled, enable it (don't worry, you can turn it off later should you wish) and Add English as a Language, as shown. It seems strange that you'll be translating English in to English but that's exactly what you're going to do!

Now you can select Override to make your changes. Follow the steps here to rename managed package field labels.