Complete Overhaul of Filters/Formulas

I’m loving Coda but holy freaking chia seeds the filters are making me want to throw my computer across the room! This just should not be so hard. No new basic user should be required to learn the whole other language of formulas just to do a simple filter. My email program and Airtable handle this WAY better! I’ve looked at all the tutorials I can find and I’m still not getting it, nor do I want to keep trying.

Basically I want to see filters work the way the drop down column options do. There should be self-similarity between the way I format a column and the way I set a filter that references the column. As it is now the column options are pretty clear with a cute visual icon and simple description, but as soon as I go to filter it all goes to poop and it’s like I’m expected to know code.

I want to see a filter/formula broken down into sections (maybe with each section having its own drop down with relevant options that dynamically update as you select options). I want the filter to basically read like a sentence I would speak that communicates what I want the filter to do, not this oddly arranged filter-speak code stuff. I also want better tooltip-like descriptions for each of these sections so I can quickly understand what’s happening.

Such an overhaul would also change the way conditional formatting works (for the better).

Another frustration I just encountered as an extension of how things are currently set up is that while I finally figured out how to filter a calendar view of events to only show those that are labeled “day” or “week”, I cannot just toggle these on/off to switch between them. I shouldn’t need to create a whole other view either. But since the filter for this is a string of “filter-code”… thisRow.[Event Type].Contains(“day”, “week”)… you have to edit this nonsense instead of just clicking a toggle button to say “hey, I now just want to just see the day long events or week long events”.


Hey Bunny, thanks for sharing such detailed feedback. Couldn’t agree more, this is definitely one of the more painful parts of the experience at the moment. There’s lots of things we can do here and as it happens we are actively working on improving this. It’s pretty similar to the path that you detailed above.

Would love to do a video call with you to share some of the things we’re working on and get your though. I’ll message you on Intercom about that. Glad you’re loving Coda otherwise!

Anyone else who’s watching this thread, if you’ve found filtering to be painful as well, we’d love to hear from you. Especially appreciate anyone who is open to getting on to a video call or testing a prototype. Thanks!


The responses to my feedback about filters/formulas is some of the quickest and best customer service I’ve ever experienced! It’s so wonderful to see that the creators behind Coda care and are actively listening, I hope that never changes.

I’m truly blown away and excited for our call tomorrow. Hopefully myself and others can help those with the backend coding skills to bring a version of filters to life that feels as smooth and enjoyable as other parts of Coda!

Thank you Angad!!


Thanks so much for the kind words @Bunny_White. Really appreciate you sharing your feedback and making time for a call!

In light of a conversation with @mallika in a private thread, I was asked to share some of my thoughts here. I hope they’re useful to some of you.

@Bunny_White You’re not alone. There are other mere mortals stretching themselves here. The trough of disillusionment is a real thing at this point in Coda’s learning curve. I think this can be improved.

Right now, Coda’s got a ton of “101” learning materials in and a lot of “301” materials here in the forums, which consists IMHO primarily of complex formulas written by advanced users or posts by Codans debugging them. I’d like to see more “201” content geared at new users half way up the learning curve. At users who’ve invested time, but have yet to experience that “oh shit it’s working” moment. I think that moment is key for Coda’s success.

One of the resources that has really helped me is the Examples for Community doc. Each example follows a step by step format. @shishir breaks it down to bite size pieces before putting it all together.

I think this is a super powerful way to learn. But it’s a bit limited in its current form (as a doc). Might be an opportunity to create a blog post series on Medium, or a video series on YouTube. Not just how to’s, but breaking down how to’s and then putting them all together. Answering: “What is the best way to do X?” Exploring alternatives and then choosing the best way. And a narrative aimed not at “disaffected excel jockeys,” but rather at (motivated) mere mortals who see the value but don’t yet know how to unlock it.

I love studying forum posts outlining docs I wouldn’t have thought of myself. And while it’s beginning to click for me, it’s hard to pinpoint why I’m having a hard time understanding long formulas posted by the community. Is it me not fully grasping each of the formulas used? Or maybe I have yet to fully grasp the syntax of the formula language? Or maybe these formulas are compensating for poor schema design, making them impenetrable by merely proficient onlookers? More likely some combination of all of the above. Building these dragon formulas (shout out to Daenerys) from the ground up is something I would love to see. Like a daily digest delivered to my email.




For those of you looking for good “201” content, @Al_Chen_Coda has made a series of courses on Skillshare called “Beyond Excel.” It’s quite good. Thanks and kudos Al!


Thanks a lot for your feedback Jack. You’re right there’s lots we can do in the way of helping users learn how to use all the power of Coda. We’re working on improvements to this across the team, including product features to help you build your doc more easily as well as help content. Really appreciate the ideas and will pass on the to the team too. Stay tuned!

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I agree that building simple filters could be a lot easier, but I would also hate to see Coda lose the power of being able to write more complex formula-based filter conditions. Hopefully both can be accommodated, e.g. through a “formula mode” option for the filter editor. A graphical formula builder as the only option would make 80% of use cases much easier, but the other 20% much more clunky or even impossible.

For me the amazing thing about Coda is that it provides a sufficiently general toolset that even non-technical users can use it to create tools that the Coda team never anticipated. Serving up too much functionality “on a platter” risks favouring only the use cases the dev team can see. It’s a balance obviously, and the Coda team have done an incredible job of striking it so far - long may that continue!