Editing a published doc

I am aware of the different options when publishing a doc - view, play or edit mode.
When publishing in edit mode, you have to log in (with whatever credentials, but you have to log in) in order to edit, for example, a table, and have the new records saved.
Supposedly you can edit the doc, I assume this is supposed to apply to canvas text.

  1. when I publish a doc in edit mode, I can’t edit the canvas (sheet is not locked), but I can save new table columns
  2. I was kind of surprised one has to log in - in play mode it works different (when logged in the behavior of some buttons with conditions is different from when you are not logged in)

Not being able to edit the canvas in published-edit mode is not a bad thing, but it is not what I expect from the explanation in the share box.
And having to log in is also not a bad thing.

It is a bit confusing that the published docs act different when you are - or are not - logged in. I am not sure how our users of a published doc would deal with this if they are not very much IT minded persons.

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I have been playing around with the published options for quite a few hours - testing with existing accounts that are already on the shared list, new accounts that are not on the share list and without accounts.

I have a couple of findings that were not that obvious - at least not to me that is. I also have a couple of usability tips for Coda, therefore @BenLee and the other Codans, I hope you are reading along.

  1. I think most sharing and publishing options are pretty straight forward and server there purpose. The sharing box has three tabs, the fist tab concerns sharing with specific people or in general, the options are clear.
  2. the 2nd tab sheet is for embedding - I am skipping that for now.
  3. the 3rd tab deals with publishing.

On the first tab sheet I am missing one sharing option when you invite named users: the level between view and edit - like a user. The mission can be accomplished with page locking, but a sharing option with the locking options would fill the gap.

With the 3rd tab sheet and some of its workings I have a real problem. There is an option to share in edit mode (see my posting above this one). It works to a certain extend, but what I didn’t realize (but I noticed some odd behavior with other sharing situations) is that when you select the edit mode, the sharing setting on the first tab sheet changes from no-access or can view to edit. This sets your entire doc wide open to anyone who has a link to your table. And when you login, whoever you are, you can go ahead and change anything and everything as much as you like. You could argue that these data were being shared anyway, but that is not completely true: in published edit mode, filters are not accessible and hidden pages are out of sight, so it is not the same thing. Let alone if people are going to mess with your formulas.

Published docs in edit mode work best when someone logs in. To prevent confusion, it would be better if that content of that page would be hidden (pref. by a page we can design or choose ourselves) and a login window would be available right away (rather than first having to push a login button).

About the login screen: it seems that coda almost expects the viewer to not have an account yet. I would prefer a login window with a left and a right section (new users and users with an account) and within each section a top and bottom half for respectively users using their google account or using a non-google account. Looking at myself not using a google account for many coda logins: I have to click 4 times before I can enter my non-google email address (anonymus browser session) and before I get there I have to really look carefully to not end up on a don’t have account yet page. I think this could use some improvement.

Of course we still need to get rid of the copy doc option that is available in the foldout menu next to the document name! Please, please get rid of this sharing options so we can share a lot more and still sleep at night.


Thank you for the detailed feedback!

I wanted to reply to let you know that the team has seen this and has it in their notes.


I noticed Coda solved one major issue by removing the three dots top left when doc is not put on sharing. This makes it easier to share a doc since the risk that somebody easily duplicates it, seems gone.

@joost_mineur , did you notice this? I guess it is a step in the right direction

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Hello @BenLee,

I am very happy and excited about this, this is a major step towards using Coda with a bigger audience. Without trying to be ungrateful, may I ask for some more?

We really need, under advanced settings in the first sharing pane, a couple more settings (other than the current: Allow people who can edit to change access and add new people). I can think of a few items, but most important is: Allow People who can edit to copy this doc (and turn off doc copying for all the other people at the same time). Actually, the whole problem would be solved if there would be an option to show (or not show) the copy button and eliminate the copy options completely from the … menus. From the main coda doc menu (where you can see all the docs you made or copied or that are shared with you), the copy option should only be availbe for docs that you own or that you were allowed to copy to your own account.

The ‘why’ might not be so obvious in the first place, since a person with whom the copy is shared has rightful access to the data and information in the doc. But once you grant no longer acces to a doc (when someone quits the job or otherwise leaves your community of trusted group of people) you don’t want them to have access to a copy. But most important: when you regulate with filters who gets to see what, the people without access can undo any filter in their copied doc.

A 2nd request, but less critical than the request above, is the option to allow/not allow people with whom you share the doc to not undo page hides. This option should be in the same section as the copy limitation. Ideally there would be (can be added later) the same option as we have for locking, that you grant certain people access to the hidden docs - actually docs (or whole containers) should not be hidden for people that are granted specific access.
This would allow you to share your complete doc (or doc container) with certain departments or employees, while other departments (or a group of clients) only see the more general pages (with filtered tables based on their login name (user()).

These 2 requests make Coda ready for … almost everything! Please feel free to send me a PM if I need to clarify this in more detail.

Anyway, thank you for what we have gotten so far.
Greetings, Joost