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Formula won't calculate a non-displayed field

I am creating a custom button.

Because the formula in the custom button wizard would not do a compound lookup (where we need to retreive a field of another record field like {!Renewal_Summary__c.Client__r.Folder_Location__c} ),

I created a new field of type formula that returns a field of a related object (Account__r.MyField__c)

This works fine if I include the new field in a page layout, but resolves to null if the field is not displayed.


Is this expected? No one ever wants to see this value displayed.

Are you setting the security on this field to be visable?  If you uncheck the visable then the value will default to Null because the User cannot see the field.

Sorry, but I don't understand where I would set security on the field. I am using Professional edition, so perhaps this is something I would see in Enterprise. This is a custom field in a custom object. I will assume that the security field is being set in the background when I remove the field from the Page Layout, but why default a value to null if it is used by a button that the user sees?