Launched: Advanced Locking [TEAM]

Together with Coda 2.0, we launched Locking - a new way for makers to stay in control of their docs, and offer a cleaner, focused experience for your contributors.

Today, we’re extending this feature with new ways to further restrict what changes editors can make in a doc, available in the Team and Enterprise plans.

With Locking, you can lock a section or a whole doc, so that teammates can only make certain types of changes. This helps prevent accidental changes, but by default, all editors can still choose to unlock a section for temporary full control.

You can now specify that only specific users are able to unlock. Additionally, these users are the only ones who can add sections or make other configuration changes in a doc.

This helps you stay in control in docs where many editors only have very specific needs, and never need to change the structure or config of a doc.

How it works

To use the feature, open the Locking panel by clicking the Settings icon in the toolbar or right-clicking on a section. Within the Locking panel, open the Settings tab, where you can specify a set of Doc Admins.

Once you specify Doc Admins, other users will not be able to

  • Unlock locked sections
  • Add, move or delete sections
  • Configure Packs and automation
  • Change the doc title or icon
  • Change the doc time zone

A note on security

Locking is not a security feature. While this feature removes the most direct way to make changes in a doc, anyone with Edit access to a doc can still make changes through other mechanisms, like our API.

For those who want to understand more, Locking is currently a usability improvement enforced by the Coda client, and is not enforced on Coda servers. This approach helps keep Coda a flexible surface for a wide range of scenarios. We see many docs where customers want to enable changes through one part of a doc, while restricting the same or similar changes elsewhere in the doc. For example: allow people to change values only in one filtered view, but not in other views of the same table. Or, allow people to press a button in one section that adds a row, but prevent them from directly adding rows in other views of the same table.

Let us know if you have any questions in the comments below!

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Good call making it clear that this is not a security feature. And replacing the wording “permissions” — as I understand, this here is what was previously known as permissions.

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I personally am interested to have the option to “Play” with a document without anyone being able to unlock it. Is this possible?

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@Paul_Danyliuk, Yes, this was previously discussed as being permissions. Thank you for the previous discussions and interest here!

@Stefan_Stoyanov, We changed the “Play Mode” feature a little bit. There is still a URL parameter that makes this possible. Before any hashtag in the URL, you can add ?viewMode=embedplay and the doc will allow you use it in play mode like we had it before. Any changes in “Play Mode” will not be saved to the original and will still be possible for the doc to be copied.

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The problem is that in play mode one can still unlock sections, although there might be a combination of restrictions + play that would do the trick.

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This is great. Locking is what made me finally move from Airtable to Coda, because without it it’s way too easy for others to accidentally mess something up. Before locking was introduced, I had checked out Coda, but didn’t consider moving to it because it felt less user-friendly to non-doc makers than Airtable did.

But after locking, it’s a no-brainer. I immediately started moving everything to Coda, and this last bit is going to let me distribute the coda doc to my teammates without worrying about if someone is going to unlock a doc and mess it up.

Love the work you guys are doing! Like others have said here, coda updates are the only ones I check regularly!

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I’m still seeing this section:

How do I change my doc over to the functional system?

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A refresh should do it. Also a note that this is a TEAM level feature, so you’ll need to have a TEAM account to see it.

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Hi @BenLee (and everybody),
I just started to play with the new Locking features, but I don’t know why I can’t see the Locking item in the Doc Settings menu in one of my docs.

Context/actions before posting:

  • I have a Team Level subscription
  • All the other docs are ok (same or different folders)
  • I have refreshed pages/relaunched Chrome
  • I have tried with another browser (Safari)

Am I missing something?
Many thanks!

Hi @Federico_Stefanato,

That sounds weird for it to be an issue with only one doc. Would you mind writing into support so we can check it out there. Just use the “?” at the bottom right of the doc.

Hi @BenLee, thanks.

I actually started a post in the bug section ([Locking] features not available (for a single doc))
I asked for online help and I also had received a private message on this from @nathan.

Keep you posted.
Cheers

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Hi @Stefan_Stoyanov, thanks for the feedback! Just wanted to let you know that we made a small change so that the lock icon is now hidden in play mode.

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Thank you, Nathan! This really is a great option and covers a lot of use-cases for me. Appreciate it! :slight_smile: