Using Layouts

Visualizing and presenting your data in different ways

Updated over a week ago
Coda logo

Inside this article

One of our most important building blocks - views - becomes more powerful with layouts.

Layouts allow you to customize how you view information for a single row in a table, whether that's in Detail view, within a row detail, or via Forms. You can hide and reorder columns, of course. Or, even emphasize what's important by changing and expanding the layout in new ways with drag-and-drop, nested views, and more.

How to use layouts

You can access the layout feature any time you open or view a single row. Options include:

  1. Right-click a row and select “Expand row”

  2. Use the Opt + Space keyboard shortcut

  3. Hover over a row and click the expand icon to the left of the row to open a Row

  4. Convert your table to a Detail display

  5. Create a Form for your table

If you haven’t yet created any custom layouts in your doc, you’ll be seeing the Default layout. The default layout mirrors the table or view that you’re expanding from. So columns will show in the same order that they do in the underlying table or view. Default layouts cannot be edited.

Creating a new layout

If you want to customize the layout of your rows beyond the default layout, you’ll have to create a new one. To do so, expand the row and select the three vertical dots in the upper right. Hover over Pick a different layout, then select + Create new.

Screen Recording 2021-08-09 at 04.18.44 PM.gif

Editing layouts

To edit a row layout, first, expand the row. Then select the three vertical dots in the upper right, and select Edit layout. You should also see this Edit layout option when looking at a Detail view table or when editing a Form.

Screen Shot 2021-08-09 at 4.25.11 PM.png

Note: if Edit layout can’t be selected, this is likely because you’re using the Default layout, which isn’t editable. So instead, select the Pick a different layout option.

Once in the edit menu, you can select any of the Quick Styles for a great starting point, or you can build from scratch. You can select which columns to show or hide from the panel on the right. Then, you can drag and drop items to create the perfect layout for your team. You can even drag each item to make it longer or shorter on each line.

If you want to edit a particular column in that layout, just click on that field. You should then see a suite of options in the right panel. Here you’ll see the usual column settings, as well as options to display a column label, font size, and more. Different column types have some different options, so be sure to check this out.

Screen Recording 2021-08-09 at 04.00.22 PM.gif

If you like the layout you've created and want to reuse it elsewhere in your doc, you can name it by clicking on the layout name in the upper right.

Screen Shot 2021-08-09 at 4.30.26 PM.png

From the three vertical dots in the upper right, you’ll see options to duplicate or delete your layout.

Screen Shot 2021-08-09 at 3.47.21 PM.png

You’ll also see some controls towards the bottom of the right panel. Hide the Hidden columns link to prevent your viewers from seeing the v Show hidden columns link when viewing the row detail. Hide the Comments option to remove the comments section from the bottom of your row detail.

Screen Shot 2021-08-09 at 4.32.52 PM.png

Creating subtables

Layouts also let you work with your references in a more dynamic way. If one of your columns is looking up information from another table, you'll be able to decide whether or not you'd like to see the details in their table form by toggling the Display as table option to "on" while in the editing view for the layout:

Screen Shot 2021-08-09 at 4.37.21 PM.png

Then, you'll be able to work in the table just like you would in its original location in your doc:

Screen Recording 2021-08-09 at 04.44.20 PM.gif

To read more about subtables, check out this article.

When to use layouts

You can view your information in a bunch of ways in Coda. But, how should you decide?

  • Table View - Stick with the standard table view if you're using your data as a repository, or if you're not sure how you need to use your data yet.

  • Card View - If you're used to working in a kanban style, this layout will be your best bet.

  • Chart View - You'll use charts anytime you need to visualize data to understand trends.

  • Detail View - You'll want to use Detail view anytime you want to see a row's information front and center. Commons uses include customer profiles, product details, location specifications, etc.

Watch a video about layouts


Can I hide items in the layout without affecting the table?

If you would like to hide items from your layout view, simply drag them to the bottom of the layout. You can then click the Show hidden columns link to reveal them again.

Can I set different layouts for different views of the same table?

Yes! You can set unique layouts for different views of the same table. You also have the option to use the same layout for different views.

Did this answer your question?