Inside this article

How to use Column Formats
Watch a video about Column Formats
Why Column Formats matter
Types of Column Formats
The Power of the Lookup Column Format
Column Formats FAQs

  • How do I add an Image to a Table?
  • How do I add a calendar to a column?
  • How can I set the default value for a column?

How to use Column Formats

To set the column type, you can:

  1. Hover over the column name, and click on the column format icon that appears, OR
  2. Click on the drop down arrow to the right of the column name and then select Format Column from the list of options, OR
  3. When you create a new column, you'll be prompted to choose a its format:

Just a heads up, for some column formats, you may be prompted for additional parameters.

Watch a Video about Column Formats


Why Column Formats matter

Column formats in Coda help you customize how data is displayed and expressed in specific columns.  In Coda, columns usually represent attributes of things.  Column formats help you express the nature of these attributes (e.g. birthdays should be dates) and better display the data (e.g. the image column format will display image urls as actual images).

Column formats can be useful in many different ways.  Here's a few of our favorites:

  • Data Input:  Column formats can assist with data input by maintaining uniformity and giving you a shortcut. For example, you may want to restrict the options in a Status column in a project tracker to "Not Started", "In Progress" or "Completed".  The Select List column format allows you to restrict data inputs to that list of items AND provides a drop down for easy data entry
  • Present information in a useful way:  Column formats  also display the data (and input options) in more useful ways. For example, the date column format allows you to configure exactly how you want the date to look and how you want to interact with it.  Not to mention the ability to create quick checkboxes and sliders.

Types of Column Formats

  • Text:  Rich or plain text data
  • Number:  general numeric data
  • Percent:  numeric data expressed as a percent.
  • Currency:  currency; can be further customized as currency, accounting or financial.
  • Date:  dates; includes data input through a date picker
  • Date Time:  Data with both date and time.
  • Time:  Time data without a date portion
  • Duration:  Date-time durations (e.g. difference between two dates or times)
  • Select list:  A list of items that can be chosen from
  • Checkbox:  Data expressed as an unchecked or checkedbox
  • Slider:  Numeric value selectable with a slider; configurable with a min, max and increment values
  • Scale: Create an icon scale - you'll choose the icon (e.g. smiley face, thumbs up, etc.) and number of icons you'd like in your scale
  • People:  Used to reference people within your org within a column. This type of column allows you have a column picker that is automatically populated with the people in your document. In other words, you'll see all individuals who have access to, or have been invited to access, your doc as choices without any fancy programming.  You can refer to people in a Coda doc by @ mentioning.
  • Lookup from Table:  Used to reference values from another table within your Coda doc
  • Image:  Present an image url as an image

The Power of the Lookup Column Format

One of our most powerful column formats, Lookup from Table allows you to link information from another table to the current table.  This is a great way to ensure that information in your doc is consistent across tables and sections.  As a heads up to spreadsheet aficionados, our Lookup Column format works a little differently than vlookup.

How to use Lookup Columns

Lookup column formats allow you to reference an entire row from another table.  You can then project information from the newly-linked row to other columns in the current table.

  1. When you set up your column to Lookup from Table, you'll be asked to select a table within the current Coda doc.  You'll be importing row information from this table.
  2. To reference a specific row, you'll want to select the display column value of the row you are referencing.
  3. After you set up the lookup column, you can then reference data from the looked-up table.  
  4. To make changes to information in looked-up columns, head to the original table and update the source material.

Column Formats FAQs

How do I add an Image to a Table?

We use this nifty feature all the time for our bug bashes. Start by clicking the column menu and select the Image column format. 

Now, simply paste the links to the .jpg or .gif of the image, and you'll see them render in your Coda doc. 

How do I add a calendar to a column?

For any column where you want a calendar option, click the column header and choose Date Picker or Date Range Picker. You can also add dates using formulas in your canvas. 

How can I set the default value for a column?

If you know you'll consistently want the same starting place for your data, you can set the default value for a column from the column format box by clicking on any column and filling in the Default Value space.  When you create a new row, the column will automatically pre-populate with this value.  The default value can either be a specific value or a formula.

Did this answer your question?