Create Actual Spreadsheets Inside Coda Documents

Okay, please hear me out on this! I understand that many people will not like this or agree with me, but allow users to insert and/or create actual spreadsheets inside Coda documents.

Currently, users are only able to create or insert tables that are relational databases (relational tables) in Coda documents, copy/paste portions of a spreadsheet that become relational databases, or import CSV files that also become databases.

I understand the power of relational databases, but Coda has a schizophrenic feeling for me when I use it. On one hand, the Text & Layout (i.e., “word” part of it) functions feel simple to use. I put what I need where I need it to go, and it works. The tables aspect, however, feels like overkill for much of what I am trying to accomplish and if I do need the power of a relational database (which I usually don’t), I feel overwhelmed by what it requires of me. In many cases, I am told to rethink what data I actually need or how to restructure the data so that it will work better in Coda.

Essentially, I am preparing reports that use a variety of formats or I am aggregating information in such a way that long-term storage and retrieval is not needed. If I am preparing an annual budget for my organization to present to my board of trustees, for example, inserting or embedding a spreadsheet inside the document works great. Doing it in Coda makes sense because I can add all sorts of other goodies like PDFs, images, media files, maps, and so on together in one place. Coda actually handles these items quite well. Using relational tables for the financial part of things does not make sense though and that’s where using Coda falls apart for me.

I guess I’m just a caveman. As a caveman, is it possible to just give me a simple tool for simpler tasks? Having such a spreadsheet option is no threat to Coda. It’s just another way for people to get work done. Yes, documents evolve, but is it not true with evolution that the evolved form and original form can co-exist at the same time?

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Is embedding a spreadsheet not enough?

Rather than re-inventing the whole spreadsheet wheel again.

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Hello @Frank_Novak ,

Although I think I understand where you are coming from, I don’t agree, not even a little bit. A spreadsheet is a very powerful tool and certainly has its place in our toolbox, but from what you are saying, I am pretty much convinced you don’t need a spreadsheet. The way you can open up a new (or existing) table in your document gives you everything you need, with the only exception of cell references (and cell references are possible too, but in a Coda way of doing things).
Tables allow you to add rows, group rows, summarize withing groups, summarize the full table, get (sub)totals anywhere you want in your doc.
For basic tasks the learning curve is extremely short and even though the documentation of Coda leaves a lot to be desired, there is enough to get you started.
I used to be a spreadsheet junky, but these days the only time I use a spreadsheet is when I need to work with some old stuff (or, when my spreadsheet has a couple 100K rows). And yes, spreadsheets have some nice pre-baked functions, in particular financial, but if you really need those, you use a spreadsheet.
I realize this is not the answer you were looking for, but make a shared dummy doc, share in your doc what you want to accomplish (even if it is just a couple of screenprints) and you will almost guaranteed get working samples from members of this community delivered in your doc probably quicker than you could design your spreadsheets.
I get a feeling that you think using a table is more complicated than using a spreadsheet and that tables are relational databases (and complicated). But a table by itself is nothing more then a collection of rows holding data and they don’t need to be related to anything.
Many of us will be happy to show you once we know what you are looking for.
Greetings, Joost