In this article

How to use column formats
Watch a video about column formats
Why column formats matter
Types of column formats
Spotlight on the canvas column type

Column options

Spotlight on the progress bar column type
The power of the lookup column type
Column formats FAQs


How to use column formats

To set the column type:

  1. Hover over the column name, and click on the column format icon that appears in the top right. Then hover over Column type to reveal the full list of column type formats.

  2. When you create a new column, you'll be prompted to choose a format or type it in to search.

For some column formats, you can indicate additional parameters, such as selecting the format in which you'd like to view dates.


Watch a video about column formats


Why column formats matter

Column formats in Coda help you customize how data is displayed and expressed in specific columns. In Coda, columns usually represent attributes of things. Column formats help you express the nature of these attributes (e.g. birthdays should be dates) and better display the data (e.g. the image column format will display image urls as actual images).

Column formats can be useful in many different ways. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Data input: Column formats can assist with data input by maintaining uniformity and giving you a shortcut. For example, you may want to restrict the options in a Status column in a project tracker to "Not Started", "In Progress," or "Completed". The select list column format allows you to do just that AND provides a drop down to select those options from, for easy data entry

  • Present information in a useful way: Column formats also display the data (and input options) in more useful ways. For example, the date column format allows you to configure exactly how you want the date to look and how you want to interact with it. You can also create quick checkboxes and sliders.


Types of column formats

We offer a number of different column types, and we sometimes even add new ones.

We even offer a wide range of pack columns, depending on which packs you've added to your doc.


Spotlight on the canvas column type

The canvas column type allows you to add an entire canvas to your row. It can be used within a given row and can be edited like any other page canvas—meaning it can have tables, views, images, etc. This effectively gives you the ability to have entire pages housed within a single row! The canvas column type can be managed exactly like other columns—that is, it can be re-ordered, renamed, deleted, etc.

🌟 For more in-depth details on the canvas column type, check out this article!


Column options

Regardless of which column type you choose, you'll be able to make additional adjustments to the column via the column options. To access this, click on the column format icon in the column header, then select [column type] options.

Depending on the column type, you'll see different options here. From these settings, you can also set a default value for new rows or a formula for the column.


Spotlight on the progress bar column type

The progress bar column type allows you to visually represent the status of each task in your project.

Progress bar new.gif

🌟 For more detailed information on the progress bar column type, go here.


The power of the lookup column type

One of our most powerful column formats, lookups allow you to link information from another table to the current table. This is a great way to ensure that information in your doc is consistent across tables and sections. As a heads up to spreadsheet aficionados, our lookup column format works a little differently than vlookup.

How to use lookup columns

Lookup column formats allow you to reference an entire row from another table in the current table. You can then project information from the newly-linked row to other columns in the current table.

  1. When you set up your column to lookup, you'll be asked to select a table within the current Coda doc. You'll be importing row information from that table.

  2. To reference a specific row, you'll want to select the display column value of the row you are referencing.

  3. After you set up the lookup column, you can then reference data from the looked-up table.  

  4. To make changes to information in looked-up columns, head to the original table and update the source material.

🌟 You can read more about the power of lookups here.


Column formats FAQs

How do I add an image to a table?

Start by clicking the column format icon and select the image column type. 

Now, simply paste the links to the .jpg or .gif of the image, and you'll see them render in your Coda doc. 

How can I set the default value for a column?

Check out this helpful article.

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