Create custom table views

A view is a mirror of a table that you can visualize however you want. Learn how to create and customize your views.

Updated over a week ago

Views allow you to display data in various ways. With views, you can change the format of your data from a table into a different structure such as cards or a calendar. Views also allow you to filter your data, so you can focus on relevant pieces of the dataset without removing the rest. This article covers what a view is, how to create a view, and the different ways you can change your views.

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What is a view?

In Coda, tables help store and organize data. Tables resemble an embedded spreadsheet, act like a database, and come with superpowers. A view is a mirror of a table you can visualize however you want, any change in one view reflects everywhere else. Views allow you to display the data you’ve stored in your table in multiple ways with different formatting and/or filtering.

Views allow you and your teammate to view and interact with the same data, while using filters to focus on the data that is relevant to you, in the format you each prefer. Any updates you or your teammate make to the data will reflect in all views of the data, meaning your information is alway up to date in every place.

💡 Not sure whether you should create a new table or a new view? Check out this helpful resource for guidance.

Create a view

You are able to create a new view of any existing table. The new view will appear the same as the original table (also referred to as a parent table). Any changes made in the new view of the table (child table) will reflect in the parent table.

  1. Creating a new view begins the same way as creating a new table, which there are a few ways to do:

    • type “/table” onto your doc’s canvas

    • using the + button on the left hand side of the canvas, then select table

    • via the Insert panel (found in the upper right corner of your window)

  2. Next you will be prompted to choose whether you would like to create a blank table or connect to an existing table. For views, you’ll want to choose to connect to an existing table.

  3. Select which table you would like to create a new view of from the list of tables.

  4. Give your new view a title

Voila! You have created a new view of the data!

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Change a view type

Once a view has been created, you are able to change the way the data is displayed via view types. This changes the view type for everyone.

To change the view type, start by clicking Options in the right corner of the table you would like to change the view type of. Once in table options, you will see a variety of different view types such as table, cards, detail, calendar, and three dots indicating there are even more options! Select the view type you would like.

Please note, if you are creating a board there must be a column to group on, you can learn more about grouping here.

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View types

Some are pilers, some are filers, we know not everyone operates the same. Thankfully, Coda provides numerous view types, allowing you to display data in a way that works best for you, while your teammate may prefer another view type. We also notice that some view types work better for different types of data.

  • Table: The table is the foundational building block of Coda.

  • Cards: Cards view transforms rows into tiles. Cards are great for displaying images in your data.

  • Detail: The detail view is similar to how you would file papers in folders, tabs on the left for easy navigation, and a large display of content adjacent. Detail view is great for comprehending and reading data.

  • Calendar: Calendar views turn your data into a calendar which can be viewed by day, week, or month. Great for scheduling content, launches, and staying on top of those OKRs! Calendar views require at least one date column.

  • Timeline: A timeline view visualizes your table’s data in a time-oriented bar chart. Most popular amongst PMs and Gantt chart lovers. Timelines require a date column and a second column that is either a date or duration column type.

  • Chart: Chart view transforms your table into data visualizations, great for presenting high-level overviews of your data. Popular chart options include bar, pie, and bubble.

  • Form: Forms are a unique view type in that they allow you to collect data into your table in a seamless way. Forms can be published so people who do not have access to your doc can still add data to your table.

  • Word Cloud: Great for visualizing words in your data, in the word cloud view, the frequency of each word determines its size and prominence in the visualization.

  • Board: Boards are quite similar to cards, but leverage grouping to create columns or “bundles” of data. Also referred to as Kanban and popular for project management, tasks and to-dos!

Filtered views

Views also allow you to filter the information being displayed, enabling you to focus on small subsets of data. There are a couple of different ways to add filters to views. To learn more about filters, check out this article!

Filters can be personal or collaborative; personal filters will filter the data for only you, while collaborative filters will filter the data for everyone using the doc. Please note that changing the view type will always change the view type for other people in the doc.

The GIF below shows just one way to filter, the filter bar. The filter bar is personal, giving each individual who views the data the ability to filter the data how they would like, without impacting how others view the data.

filter bar.gif

See connected views

Visualizing the different views of a table in a doc is possible in two ways. Both allow you to see how your tables are connected and how many views exist in your doc.

  • To the right of the title of your table, you will see a link icon and a number, this represents how many views of the data exist in the doc, to see more, click the number. Table Options will open on the right, displaying data about the specific table selected. You will see the different views, layouts, and where the data is referenced throughout the doc (formulas, controls, buttons, etc.).

  • To see all of the tables and their views at a Doc level, use the Doc Map, which can be accessed by clicking the gear icon in the right corner of the doc, and selecting Doc Map. To see more information about a specific table and its views, click Details on the right. This panel will also show more detail about the doc, including the buttons, controls, formulas, and when it was last edited.

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FAQs

Can I copy and paste my data without creating connected views?

Yes. To do so, copy the table and paste into the canvas where you would like the new table. You will immediately be prompted with a Paste Options window, where you can select to Create connected views or Duplicate data. If you would like to paste without creating another view, choose to Duplicate data. The new table will not be connected to the original table.

Can I turn my base table into a different view type?

Yes! Data typically begins with a table, but the view of the base table could have a filter or turn into a new view type. Even if the base table is filtered, the data still exists!

What's the difference between a table and a view?

Tables are the underlying database of a view. Views allow you to display the database in various ways beyond just a table. While a table is considered a view type, there are many other types of views as well.

Not sure whether to create a new table or a new view? Check out this resource for guidance.

How do I filter a view?

You can learn more about filtering a view here!

Can I reference a view in my formula?

Yes, you can! Both views and parent tables will show up in the formula builder. If you refer to a view in your formula, any filters applied to that view will also be respected in the formula.


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