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Accessing locking & permissions
Unlock button
Doc locking examples

You may want to provide more detailed control over the specific types of changes users can make in a doc.  This can prevent accidental changes and provide a cleaner experience for contributors who only need to make certain changes. If you're on a Team plan or higher, you'll have access to Locking & Permissions. 

Accessing Locking & Permissions

You'll find your Locking & Permissions options under the Doc Settings menu:

The locking menu has three parts: This Section, All Sections, and Permissions.

All Sections

Let's start with the All Sections menu. Here's where you can determine the default behavior for all the sections across your doc. Not to worry, you can always customize behavior for each individual section too.  You'll have three choices:

  • Full control - this option means that Editors and above will be able to take all actions inside your doc.  This includes adding, deleting and configuring objects like tables, views, buttons and controls.
  • Interact only - here you can toggle on and off the various activities you want people to do without needing to unlock
  • Read only - this will put the doc in read only mode for editors unless they unlock

For the Interact only  section, let's explore what these definitions mean in a bit more detail:

  • Buttons & controls - This allows users to press buttons in both the canvas and tables, and to change control values on the canvas
  • Change table values - This includes changing the values of rows in tables, and views with other display types. It also includes the ability to re-order rows.
  • Add rows - People who can add rows will also be able to modify any rows they've added
  • Comment - These comments controls apply only to commenting from the toolbar.  Users can always comment on table rows from the row detail view, unless comments are set to hidden in the detail view layout.

No matter what settings you select in Interact only, users will not be able to add, delete or configure objects like tables, views, buttons and controls.  Those are only possible under Full Control.

This Section

But, you might have a section or two that needs special treatment. No problem, you'll also have access to a This Section menu where you can give any section different settings from your default.


Permissions are coming very soon - here's a preview of how it will work.

When you change settings in This Section or All Sections, those behaviors are restricted by default, but any user can still choose to temporarily unlock a section and make any change.

To change this, you can change Who can unlock from All Users to Individual users.  Then, only the users you specify have the ability to unlock. Other users will not be able to unlock and make restricted changes.

Unlock Button

By default, everyone can see the unlock button icon on the right of toolbar, and then can click it to temporarily get full control access.

The section will stay unlocked until you navigate to another section, or click again to re-lock.  It will remain locked for other users.

To restrict which users can unlock, use the Permission menu.

Doc Locking Examples

Example 1 - Separating Data and Interactions

Many Coda docs have one table that powers all of the views inside it. In the past, we recommended that you keep those sections in a folder called DATA. But with doc locking, you can make your data sections read only. That way your collaborators will only make changes in the active sections of the doc.

Example 2 - Data Entry

Some Coda docs only require people to add new information like deals, bugs, or tasks. For these situations, you can change the default to limit interactions to using buttons and controls or adding rows. That way, nothing else will change.


Locking & Permissions are not meant to be security features as they are not enforced on Coda's servers; these are strictly usability improvements enforced by the Coda client.

These settings also do not affect what changes can be made through Coda's API.  Those are controlled separately (learn more).

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