Create select list columns

Get instructions on how to create and customize select list columns in Coda, with tips for using them effectively in your Coda documents.

Updated over a week ago

Have you ever gone to organize data in a table and realized that inputs are not consistent so you have both “Completed” and “Done” in the same list of statuses? Or maybe you accidentally spelled Mississippi wrong and now you have two references to the state in your data. Never a problem again with Coda’s select list columns.

Select lists function as a drop-down of options in a column. They give all collaborators access to the same information when making a selection and Coda stores any formatting so options stay organized and consistent throughout your docs.

Within this article you’ll find...

Create your select list

If you have an existing column in your table that you want to turn into a select list column, hover over the column name and click on the column format icon that appears on the top right. Then, hover over Column Type to reveal the full list of column type formats. If you are adding a new column, this list should pop up automatically.

Hover over Select list in the options to open options for setting up your list. If you click New, Coda will use the items that already exist in your column (if any) to populate the list. If there is no data already, Coda will prompt you to add options.

Below New you will see Presets. Coda has created options from some of the commonly used Select lists - Status, Priority and Size. Hover over each to see the recommended options for these lists and select if they are relevant to your set up.

You can also use data from other tables for your Select list. Coda will show other tables within your doc under Use Values From.

Creating a select list .gif

Edit a select list

Are you working in a table that already has a select list set up but you want to make some changes?

Navigate back to the column format icon and click Select list options in the drop down to open the options panel which includes:

  • Click on the formatting A to choose different color formatting for each option.

  • You can adjust the order of options by clicking the dots on the far left and drag-and-dropping your selection.

  • + Add Option: This button adds new options to your select list. Remove options by hovering to the right side of the panel (right of the formatting A), and then clicking the trash can that appears.

  • Convert to table: clicking this will generate a new, single-column table, with each item in your list automatically becoming its own row in this new table. Taking this action will automatically convert your column type to a Relation, since the column is now referencing rows in a separate table. Learn more about this feature below.

  • Allow multiple selections: This is defaulted to Off and which means collaborators can only select one option for each row. Click the toggle on if you want to allow multiple options to be selected.

  • Value For New Rows: select and pre-set an option for new rows that are added to your table. Coda will default to a blank entry.

  • If you click Option Settings you will find:

  • Sort: sort the order in which your selectable items appear in the dropdown menu. If None is showing, select list options will appear in rows as they are listed out at the top of the options box however you can choose to sort by Ascending and Descending.

  • Allow quick adding of new items: toggle on to allow new items to be quickly added to your list via the row itself (see example below). If you’ve converted your select list to a table, toggling this option on will also allow editors to add new rows to the referenced table.

select list options.gif

Turn a select list into its own table

Sometimes you may want your select lists to live in their own separate table so that you can add other relevant data. Like, say you start a tasks table and add a select list column for each task's team. And later you decide you want to start tracking other information about each team, like its members or location.

The best option in this scenario is to move the values of that select list into a separate table that other tables can reference values from.

That's just a few clicks away! Open the Select list options and choose Convert to table. You can also adjust the name for the new table and its location if you like. This will generate a new, single-column table, with each item in your list automatically becoming its own row in this new table. Taking this action will automatically convert your column type to a Relation since the column is now referencing rows in a separate table.

Select list to table.gif

Create a select list from an existing table

Sometimes you'll want your select lists to pull content that already exists in one of your doc’s tables. Not a problem!

You'll use a relation column format. Since relations connect your tables to together, any changes you make in the relation table will automatically populate in your select list.


What is the different between a select list versus a relation column?

Select lists and relations are similar column types. They both allow you to create a list of selectable items. The key difference is that relations reference a separate table, and allow you to select rows from that table. Select lists consist of text values, stored in the settings of the column.

How do I change the colors of the chips in my select list?

You can do this by using the formatting tool in the Select list options. For even more color and font options, you can explore conditional formatting (tip for conditional formatting: create a separate table (instructions above) for your select list to make it easier to determine what the conditional formatting applies to).

Can I change the order in which options appear in the drop-down for my select list?

Yes! You can drag and drop options in the list in Select list options to put them in a specific order. If you are just looking to sort, you can choose an ascending or descending sort.

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