We all have used forms - from collecting feedback on a new product launch, to gathering team preferences for office snacks, to building a list of emails for your next party invitation.

With Coda forms, responses are automatically documented and organized in a table in a Coda doc. Making it easy to access, analyze, and share whatever information you are collecting.

Coda’s forms can be shared with external links so that anyone, even someone who is not signed up for Coda, can receive a form and share their responses while you are still using Coda to keep their responses organized.

Within this article you’ll find...

Create a form

To create a new form and responses table, type /form into the canvas or search for Form in the Insert panel and drag the Forms table into the doc. You will be prompted to choose a Blank form or Connect to a pre-existing table - select a location based on where you would like for the responses to be stored.


Say you already have a table that you want to convert into a form. You can! Hover over an existing table to expose the Options menu, and then click More (next to the Calendar view option) and select Form.


Customize a form

Customizing a form is so important - it helps ensure you are collecting the right type of data for each question.

From the Form Options menu, select Layout to open the editing mode for your form to begin customizing. From the Layout menu, you can take several actions for various components of your form. You can also open this panel by clicking Edit Layout at the top of the form.

If you click in the left of the layout edit view, you can add a title, add a description, and add a cover photo to your form.

In the side panel, you can hide any columns you do not want to appear in the form itself. There is a lot more in this panel relating to publishing and sharing forms, which we will return to in the next section.

Click on any column block to edit that column name, add a question, or even add a description.
💡Tip: Use questions to add context to a column name for whoever you share your form with and keep your column name short for your table of responses. For example, a column is named “Discussion Topics” and the description is “What would you like to discuss?”.

Click on the dots to the left of a column to drag-and-drop columns and adjust the overall form layout.


Navigate to the column format icon in the top right of any column blocks and click to drop down the menu for more options:

  • Required: Click the toggle to turn it on and require an answer to a question before a form can be submitted.

  • Changing your column type: Coda forms can use any of the same column types as a Coda table. As an example, you can change a text column to a select list and display the input responses as radio buttons or a drop-down in the form to keep response data more clean.

    💡Tip: Options for specific column types vary, and these will appear in your form panel options as well if you would like to make any changes.

  • Validation: In this section, toggle on/off required responses and also add rules and parameters for any response (required or not) by providing a formula. The error message can help guide users who provide invalid answers. There is a video below that shows this in action!

  • Visual: Put questions and response fields areas side-by-side (instead of on question on top) and switch between left, center and right text alignment for each question in your form.

Publish and share a form

Have your form set up and ready in a doc and you just want to share the form itself without all the responses? Not a problem. At Coda, we use publishing to share docs with the world, and the same is true for forms.

To publish a form, open the Form Options menu, select Publish and click the Create link button. Copy the link that is provided and share with the world! You can also get here by clicking Publish at the top of the form.

To get a preview of what your form looks like and make sure any special customizations you set work as intended, click Preview form.


Open the Privacy section to:

  • Allow Submissions: This setting is automatically turned on when you publish your form. Stop collecting responses by toggling it off.

  • Require login: Toggle on if you would like to require users to be logged in to view and respond to the form.

    💡Tip: Are you just looking to automatically gather the names of whose response is whose? You can do this with a Created By column. Just add a new column to the responses table, and use the CreatedBy() formula. Hide this column in your form or turn on Include People (see below).

  • Include hidden columns for URL parameters: Toggle this on to be able to be able to encode your URLs with parameters that are collected in hidden columns that people filling out your form would not see (more on this here).

  • Include all lookup columns: Defaulted to off, however, if you use formulas in your lookup column or lookup table, you must toggle this feature On for those formulas to work in your form as well.

  • Include people: Toggling this feature On includes every doc user - including respondents and doc viewers - as a selectable option in any People column.

Lastly, when sharing your form’s link with others, Coda has two additional preferences you can toggle off:

  1. Submit again: Clicking the eye to hide this option will allow responders to only submit one response.

  2. Coda branding: Clicking the eye to hide this option will remove the Made with ❤️ using Coda at the bottom of the form.


Some notes around the privacy of the information in your form and the doc in which it lives:

  • For forms that you do not publish a unique link, sharing settings are controlled by and the same as the doc’s settings that the form is in. That is, people who have access to the doc will have access to the form and its results.

  • For forms that you publish with a unique link, you can choose to toggle off lookup columns or people options to prevent private data from being visible as options in your form. You can access the privacy settings for published forms in the same panel you will find the unique form link, as described below.


I have edit access to a doc, why can’t I generate a published link for a form?

Even if your’e a doc editor, you won’t be able to retrieve the published link to a form if the doc owner has disabled Allow anyone who can edit to change permissions and share — found in the Share menu’s advanced settings.

Can I send out a Coda form so people can enter data in a form (and it goes into the doc) without accessing the doc itself?

Yes! You can share the Publish Form link. And sharing this link is also necessary if you would like to send your form and get responses from users without Coda accounts.

Can I require a response to a question before a form can be submitted?

Yes. Click on the column type drop down and toggle on Required to require answers to certain questions before a form can be submitted.

Can I require people to login before completing my form?

Yes. From your form’s publish settings, you can toggle login requirement on or off underneath your form’s custom link. When toggled on, users will be required to login to complete your form.

Can I add validation to my form?

Yes. When editing a question’s column type, you will see a Validation option in the settings panel for supported columns. Provide your formula and error message to guide users who provide invalid answers.

Can you reference another table or other rows in your doc when setting up validation in forms?

No. In order to protect the privacy of your data, your validation formula cannot reference another table, another row, or basically anything outside the context of the form being filled out.

Can I use branching logic in Coda forms?

Not at this time.

Can I stop my form from collecting inputs/receiving answers?

Yes. From your form’s publish settings, in the privacy section you can toggle submissions on or off underneath your form’s publishing link with Allow submissions.

Can I use select lists and lookup columns in my form?

Yes, with some caveats for forms that you publish. When you publish a form to a unique link, only the information necessary to render the form is hosted at the new destination to prevent unwanted information disclosure. This means a table of items pulled into a select list or lookup column is not copied to a new form by default. You can adjust this in your form's privacy settings by toggling on Include all lookup columns.

Can I allow multiple selections from a list of options in a form?

You sure can! Use a lookup column and make sure that in the lookup options panel, you toggle on Allow Multiple Selections.

Why can’t I add a new item as a quick add to a select list column in a published form? It appears in the builder but not the published form.

This is only allowed in the builder. Allowing external users to change the form would violate the security principles of Coda's form feature. A workaround is to add an “other” column where people can enter free-form responses.

Why do I see an error in my published form’s select list column that says “no options available”. What does this mean?

This is likely a select-list masquerading as a lookup and should go away once this column is converted to a lookup column. Make sure Include all lookups is toggled on in the form settings.

Can I configure pre-filled fields in my forms?

Yes. Learn about this in this article.

Can I add a button to my form?

Not at this time. However you can put a button in your form responses table, if desired!

What privacy settings are available?

For forms that you do not publish a unique link, privacy is controlled along with your doc’s settings. That is, people who have access to the doc will have access to the form and its results.

For forms that you publish with a unique link, you can choose to toggle off lookup columns or people options to prevent private doc or teammate data from being visible as options in your form. You can access the privacy settings for published forms on the same panel where you generate your unique link.

Can I remove the Coda branding at the end of my form?

Yep! You can turn this off in the layout panel by clicking on the blue eye next to Coda branding in the form layout options. Branding is off if the eye is gray.

Is it possible to have two published forms feed into the same table, but have a different set of columns visible in each form?

For sure. If you click Edit layout, there should be a Create new layout option to create another version of the form. You can also use different views of the results table to show the respective columns that are relevant to each form.

Related resources

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