Even faster column management

A little over a year ago, my team made a small change that we heard had a major, positive impact on how you unlocked the power of tables in Coda: we made it possible to change column types directly from the column itself. While working at Coda this summer as an engineering intern, we realized we could make this process even faster!

Starting today, you’ll be able to switch columns even more easily and quickly thanks to three changes:

  1. Now, when you click the column type in the column header, you’ll see “Column type” as the first option instead of the second; we saw that more people were changing their column types than using the “options” for different types, so we wanted to make it easier to get to the most used option
  2. We’ve also made the column type menu a “fly out,” which this means you can simply hover over “Column type” to see your options and make a selection instead of having to click to a new menu
  3. And a bonus third change: We’ve updated the text to “Column type” (instead of “Change column type”) to help the menu take up less real estate on the screen so that more of your content is visible when making selections

Column type switcher 2_sm

I hope this helps you set-up your amazingly powerful tables with even greater ease and speed!

35 Likes

This is great, thank you so much! I’ve noticed that sometimes new users get a little confused when they need to change a column type. They much more frequently click Options before they click Change column type.

I love the detail where you add the number symbol to the Column type button, and a settings symbol to Number options. Much more intuitive.

This is such a genius improvement. Well done!

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This is great! Another thing I see newbies mistake like this is that they click the f for function in the column header they expect that to open the formula editor, which would be nice.

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It’s the small things that make the difference… :wink:

High quality change right here

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Very good idea. Love it.

This looks very nice, but it does not work that way you show it in my docs (new or old docs). Is it not implemented for everyone just yet, or is there something I need to do first?
image

In my opinion, you codans spend way to much time on little cosmetic changes and small features that were already easy to build with existing ones. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

We need more functionality upgrades, when speaking of column types for example it would have been way more important to keep them consistent. After changing a type, the old one keeps showing up in formulas and causing type errors for a very long time.

Would really appreciate it if those important things would be taken care of first. :innocent:

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Hi,

in my doc this is still not available but seems like a very neat feature. Great!

Hi Patrick,

If you refresh the browser tab it should show up.

-Matthew

Not working for me neither, even going private navigation :stuck_out_tongue: But looks good

Hi,

it’s still not visible.

Sorry about that, it should show up now!

2 Likes

Yes, it works. Thank you!

Well, farewell my muscle memory :frowning: I stumbled on this so many times in the last few days I kinda wish this was reverted back.

I edit buttons a lot. Previously the first item on the list (and the button icon) was on the “Edit button properties” menu option. I stumble on this all the time now. Alternatively you could support the = hotkey on button columns to bring out the properties. Inconsistent with the rest of the columns, yes, but that’s what I want to do semantically with those buttons: edit their [action] formulas.

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Thanks everyone for the feedback, and embarking on some change with us. We recognize some of these changes can disrupt muscle memory and common workflow for our power users, but have found that they benefit newer and casual users rather significantly, which lets us bring more people along on the fuller Coda journey.

Plus, some of these cosmetic changes that we report on as they happen are often actually laying the groundwork for exciting bigger changes we have in the works. Stay tuned, and thanks for keeping us honest! :slight_smile:

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Fortunately, muscle memory has a gentle learning curve. :sunglasses:

The “fly-out” made it super easy to adapt.

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@Julia_Wang @Matthew_Tebbs I love your product and love learning about it on a daily basis, as I sharpen my personal Coda skills.

My apologies if the two problems I identify below have already been discussed elsewhere:

  1. Is there a way to have my column title/label wrap so that a longer, more meaningful title/label can be used. For example, instead of typing “Who” it may be more meaningful to label the column as “Who is Responsible?”. Yes, we can make the column wider to accommodate the longer label but that unnecessarily takes up screen real estate.

  2. Is there a way for the instruction text to appear in the cell until the user starts filling in that cell? Let’s say I would like to provide instructions to a user of my table (or to give that user a hint) I can do so by typing my instructions in (usually) the top row, in a cell for the relevant Column. But if that column is formatted as a drop down list or images there is no way to leave my text instructions in that cell.

I am sure you guys have a solution for these two problem, but I have examined every menu and can’t seem to find a solution. Please help :pray:

Thank you in advance for your responses to the above (how will I know you have answered? will you email the answers to be or will they be answered in the thread below?)

Joshua

Hi @joshua_gofman, great questions!

You can drag between the column headers and the first row to wrap the column header across two or three lines. We’ve heard similar feedback before that this could be more discoverable, and I’d love to hear where you looked for this.

If you set up a form for inputting data to a table, the layout editor for the form also provides space to write longer questions for each prompt than the column name, and to add a description or instructions.