Manage new Doc Makers

Settings for adding new Doc Makers + best practices for removing inactive Doc Makers.

Updated over a week ago

In Coda, you only pay for Doc Makers. Period.

That’s why it’s so important to understand how to manage Doc Makers in a workspace. This article covers how to become a Doc Maker, admin settings for Doc Maker approval, and best practices to consider when removing Doc Makers from a workspace.

Do you need a refresher on the different roles in Coda? This article breaks it down for you.

Within this article you’ll find...

Become a Doc Maker

Unless added to a workspace as a Doc Maker (more on adding members in this article), new members will automatically join a Coda workspace as an Editor. Editors can edit existing docs and pages, but they do not have the ability to create new ones.

By default, if an Editor does try to take a Doc Maker action (including creating a new doc, creating a new page, or using Coda AI beyond the free trial), they will automatically become a Doc Maker. They will therefore count as a paid member of the workspace. Workspace admins hold the power to change this default, and in fact there are a few options for approval that we will cover in the next section.

If you are an Editor who is looking to upgrade to Doc Maker status, try creating a new doc or a new page, and Coda will lead you through whichever process your workspace admin has set up.

For more on the different roles in Coda besides Doc Makers, check out this article.

Doc Maker upgrade settings

Please note that this section only applies to workspaces with paid subscriptions.

Unless your workspace admin has changed the default setting, when an Editor takes a doc maker action (such as creating a new doc, creating a new page, or using Coda AI), they'll immediately get promoted to a billable Doc Maker.

Workspace admins have a few options for how this approval works, which is managed by clicking Workspace Settings on the left panel of your workspace home. Within these settings, click Access and the following options will appear:


Instant approval

Instant approval means that an Editor who takes a Doc Maker action (creates a new doc, adds a page to an existing doc, or uses Coda AI) will automatically become a billable Doc Maker.

Choose this option if you would approve anyone who wanted to create a doc anyway, and want to skip the administrative burden of an approval process.

7-day grace period (recommended)

This is the default option for any Coda workspace, no matter the paid plan.

With the 7-day grace period option, an Editor who takes a Doc Maker action will go into a 7-day Doc Maker trial, during which they can do anything a Doc Maker does without any charges to the workspace. The admins will be notified when users enter this grace period and will have 7 days to officially approve or decline the role change request to become a Doc Maker. If the admin does nothing, the member will automatically become a billable Doc Maker after the 7-day grace period.

This option is good if you want to keep a close eye on who gets to be a Doc Maker without becoming a bottleneck for your team to try out Coda.

Note: If a member’s Doc Maker request is declined by an admin, the member will lose any access to Doc Maker abilities, including creating docs, creating pages, and using Coda AI (aside from the AI free trial). Additionally, any docs they created will become read-only. They will have to request Doc Maker access for their docs to become editable again - or transfer ownership of their docs to another Doc Maker in the workspace.


With the manual approval option, an Editor who attempts to take a Doc Maker action will be prompted to either request Doc Maker access or start a 14-day Doc Maker trial, during which they can do anything a Doc Maker does without any charges to the workspace.

If the member chooses the 14-day trial, the workspace admin(s) will be notified and prompted to approve or deny the role change request when that trial period concludes. If the member chooses to request Doc Maker access up-front, the workspace admin(s) will also be notified and prompted to do the same.

Unless an admin explicitly approves the role change request and grants an Editor the Doc Maker access, Coda will automatically downgrade any member in-trial to Editor again at the end of their 14-day trial.

This option is good if you would like to ensure that any new Doc Maker goes through an explicit approval process.

Note: Each member is eligible only once for a Doc Maker trial. Once their trial ends, any docs they created and shared will be become read-only, and the next time they want to create a doc, they will be blocked until an admin approves them.

Manage Doc Maker requests

If your workspace uses the Manual or 7-day grace period option for Doc Makers (see above), then you’ll need to know how to approve or reject Doc Maker requests. Workspace admins can follow these steps:

  1. From your workspace home, click on your workspace name in the left panel.

  2. Under the workspace name, click into Workspace settings.

  3. Enter the Members tab.

  4. Here you’ll see any members with pending Doc Maker requests at the top of the list, with Approve and Decline buttons to the right of their name. Use these buttons to either approve the Doc Maker request, or to decline and keep the user as an editor.

Approve doc maker request (New in demo ws).gif

Remove a Doc Maker license

Admins can manage whether a member is a Doc Maker, an Editor, or removed from a workspace in Workspace settings (click to learn more about removing members and adding new members).

Admins can click on the Members tab within the Workspace settings panel, or click on the Members tab directly in the workspace. Along the right side of the Members page the roles of each member are listed out and can be modified by clicking the drop down options.

downgrade a doc maker.gif

If you demote a Doc Maker to an Editor, they will no longer be able to make their own docs, add pages to existing docs, or use Coda AI. Any docs they created will become read-only, and they will have to request Doc Maker access for their docs to become editable again - or transfer ownership of their docs to another Doc Maker in the workspace.

Note: From a billing perspective, demoting a Doc Maker will reflect on your next bill. You will see a prorated credit that is equal to the amount of time the user was no longer a Doc Maker in your billing cycle.

Track role change activity

As an admin, you can track role changes for your workspace. All admins will also get an emailed report that summarizes activity for each day (if there is any). Each admin can manage whether they receive that email by clicking the bell icon on the right of the activity dashboard.

To see the activity in Coda, navigate to the Activity tab in Workspace settings.


I'm on a free workspace and I see a lot of Doc Makers (Admin). How is that happening?

There is a special rule for free workspaces that automatically makes users Admins when they create a doc. This enables anyone that is a Doc Maker (Admin) in the workspace to upgrade when the team is ready for the next level.

I'm an Enterprise org admin. How can I learn more about managing Doc Makers in my Enterprise org?

Check out this guide all about managing Doc Makers for org admins.

How can I control the number of doc makers in my workspace?

An admin can control if and how Doc Makers are added to their workspace via the workspace settings, under Access. They have three access options to choose from. If they want to prevent Doc Makers from being auto-added to their workspace, they should not choose Instant approval. Learn more about these three access options in the section above.

Is there a limit for how many Doc Makers or Admins I can have?

There is no limit! As a reminder, all Doc Makers are paid licenses, including Admins.

What happens if I downgrade a Doc Maker to an Editor or I remove them from the workspace?

When you downgrade or remove a Doc Maker from a workspace, all the docs where the user is the doc owner will become read-only. You can check who the doc owner is in the sharing dialog of the doc (Click Share in top right of the doc to open).

The doc owner who is now an Editor will need to transfer ownership to another member of the workspace that has the role of Doc Maker (learn how here).

Can a trial Doc Maker use Coda AI?

Yes - someone on a Doc Maker trial can use Coda AI. These trial Doc Makers will therefore pull from the workspace’s pooled AI credits, but they won’t contribute towards the total monthly credit allotment until they become an official billed Doc Maker. Read more about AI credits here.

What happens if I add a new Doc Maker in the middle of my billing period?

At the end of each billing cycle, you will be billed for the workspace based on how many Doc Makers there are. Any changes to the number of Doc Makers in the workspace mid-cycle are automatically prorated in the next month.

If you’re on the annual plan, you'll pay for the prorated remainder of the year sometime in the next month after adding a new Doc Maker.

How do I decide which members should be editors and which should be Doc Makers?

Doc Makers have the ability to create and manage docs and pages and use Coda AI, while editors can contribute to existing docs and pages. If you’re a workspace admin, you can use various columns in the Members tab of your workspace settings to understand your member activity, and then determine which current editors might be ready to move into a Doc Maker role. Check out this article on the Members tab to learn more.

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