Ability to transfer doc ownership to an Admin/Maker

Our team recently upgraded to paid Coda. We’re mostly happy with it (some of the new functionality like cross-doc and section locking is amazing), but we’re stumbling across some workflow killers. Here’s one:

We have multiple team docs that were originally created by users who are now classified as editors. When opening those docs, even our makers are greeted with the dreaded “view only” message. At first thought, we figured “no problem, we’ll just move the doc to our new paid team workspace”. No dice. Turns out, moving a doc owned by an editor to a Team workspace doesn’t grant makers edit access. I can see why — if edit access was granted immediately, Coda would be opening the door for “hostile doc takeovers” by admin and makers.

My next thought was “okay, I just need to transfer ownership of this doc from an editor to a maker/admin”. Therein lies the rub. There is no option to do that, or at least not one that I have found. I want a button somewhere in doc configuration settings that lets a user request ownership of a doc. I think an ideal place in the UI would be the upper-left doc title dropdown menu — same place that “move doc” and “copy doc” options live. The original owner would have to approve the request (just like a doc access request works), then the requestor would become the new doc owner.

And to be clear, this isn’t an attempt to work around Coda’s new Maker pricing. There are many instances where an editor might want to handoff a doc they started to a maker who can take the doc even further. I wouldn’t expect the editor to retain full control of the doc — they would just become a normal editor after the transfer.

Hope I’m not the only one who would like to see this.

Hi Tyler,

You have two options here:

  1. Make the owner of the doc a Doc Maker in your workspace. That’s what we envisioned most users would do in this case.
  2. Change the owner of the doc. For security, the current owner of the doc is the only user capable of doing this. The current instructions for this are available in our help center here: https://help.coda.io/en/articles/1222674-how-do-i-change-ownership-of-a-document


Number 2 should work for us, although it would be much nicer to have the ownership change happen within the Coda UI rather than having to open the GDrive interface, locate the file, and dig through Google’s UI to make the change.

As for Number 1, we really don’t need the original doc creator to have Maker privileges, they just happen to have been the person who started the original doc. They aren’t doing any Maker-type activities in the doc.

Thanks for the help.

Also, I really wish that I could request to become the owner, rather than having to message the current owner in some other app in order to request that they make these changes on their end. Would be much more convenient for the user to receive a Coda in-app notification or an email from Coda with an “approve ownership transfer” button.

@chris Does the ownership change in GDrive take a while to propagate in Coda? I had the user in question transfer ownership to me, I received notification via Google Drive, but I’m still getting the same view-only message when I open the doc in Coda. I’ve confirmed the doc is stored in our Team workspace.

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No, it should be instantaneous. If you contact me via support, I can look at your particular case and help debug what’s going on.

@chris For the 2 hrs following the ownership change, nothing changed in the Coda UI — it still showed view-only. I checked again this morning and now I have full access to the doc in question. Guess it just took a minute to propagate. Cheers!

Hi, I couldn’t find a more recent relevant thread. We have a similar need as the original poster. However it seems the Google Drive integration has been obsoleted, and so the second approach is not valid. An admin should be able to transfer ownership of a doc if the original owner is not a DM any more.

There is obviously a balance to this on Coda’s side. The situation we’re in is we are considering moving from a free to a paid plan. While we’re free, basically everyone active on our domain is a Doc Maker because why not. But moving to Free we want to be smart about having only those who need to be DM’s be so. But then folks who have made one-off docs will be locked out when we would want to transfer it for example to their team’s Doc Maker. Obviously Coda would like to have all the users be paying, but for a team on a budget they want to enable teams to choose a smaller group of doc makers.

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And this is particularly egregious when a doc maker leaves the company. If their Google account (used for SSO) is deleted, the documents become read only, can’t be transferred, and can’t be deleted.

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