Columns types changing on their own

A few times I’ve noticed that I might enter or copy data into a cell and something about that data causes the field type to automatically change.

An example: I have a text column. I type a date in that column. It changes to a date column. (I can kind of see why this might happen, but I definitely don’t want it to happen and can see no way of stopping it.)

Another example: I pasted some zip codes into a number column. That field converted to a single-select dropdown. Same thing has happened with text. (No clue why this would happen, and doesn’t happen consistently.)

The first couple of times this happened, I thought it was a fluke, but now it’s happened enough times, I think it’s a bug…

1 Like

Dear @Kelly_Claus,

Based on the content put in a column, Coda creates automatically a column type, without asking for your consent.
It’s not a bug, but I agree that you will not always benefit from it.

To my opinion, this should be set optional or at least the “Maker” :building_construction: to confirm.

Hi @Kelly_Claus ,
as a matter of fact it’s a feature rather than a bug.

It’s called (data) type inference and it’s a way to simplify the life for most of the times.
Excel and Google Sheet - as well as other data related tools - do the same.

I understand that from time to time it can be annoying, but let’s say it usually happens quite rarely compared to the benefits.

In case this is something really affecting your work, then maybe it worth understanding better what kind of operations you usually do and how to overcome with that.

@Federico_Stefanato and @Jean_Pierre_Traets thanks for responding.

I assumed this was the case when it happened with dates, but it doesn’t make sense why a column would ever change to a single-select dropdown, does it?

Hi @Kelly_Claus,
I don’t know exactly the threshold adopted to consider a set of values as coming form a select list.

Let’s say that post codes are good candidates: always 5 digits and perhaps some repeated values it would guess that these are - well - codes :slight_smile:

I’ve been facing this issue multiple times, and my workaround is to create a “hidden row” (create one checkbox column named “_hidden” then filter all data by this column value, and put a data on the column you want to keep). I hope example explains:

But yes, my suggestion to Coda is not to change column type if it has been chosen explicitly by user.