Launched: Bring the flexibility of the canvas inside a table with canvas column type

For decades, you were asked to choose between creating a doc or a spreadsheet. In Coda, we brought tables and text together. But we didn’t crack it entirely. There were still things you could do in a canvas but not in a table, like adding a Dory.

Our newly-launched canvas column type changes all of that. Now you can truly connect structured and unstructured information together—along with Coda’s building blocks. Canvas columns are collaborative, so multiple people can make edits at the same time. And they give you the ability to comment within a table cell.

:bulb: Here are some tips to help you get started:

  1. Click on the canvas icon in your canvas column.

Once you’re there, add any Coda building block, including text, tables, and views. Embed images. Collapse text. Create bulleted lists. Or add a Dory to capture your team’s feedback.

  1. A canvas column works like any other column!

Hide it, rename it , re-order it, and formulaically reference values in the canvas cells. Try adding a canvas column to a card view to create a more user-friendly product roadmap, while still referencing the information you want to see in your page.

It took a large portion of our team and the last two years to rebuild our editor to give you the flexibility of the canvas inside of a table. And now we’re ready for you to try it. Looking for inspiration? Here are a few docs from the Gallery that might help:

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This is why I love Coda … a constant flow of new features that never fail to surprise and delight :smiley:

Thank you!

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Awesome!!!

This was exactly what I needed!

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Yeaaaah! In the Beta phase wasn’t possible to reference “thisrow” on canvas formulas, now it is possible and it will create a huuuuge amount of possibilities. Coda team, I f#cking love you!

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This is a great and needed addition esp when compared against Notion.

Now, if only we could have the content of layouts that aren’t a small fraction of the width of the window (while even in full screen) and the preview of a canvas column able to be limited to multiples of the row height (eg. 3x the row height).

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#FAN! :star_struck:
Great Coda!
A great help for those of us who need a little more flexibility in the interface.
Congratulations!

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Amazing work, thanks!

BUT (there has to be one) it doesn’t seem to work with Cross-Doc? When I synch a table through Cross-doc it’s not showing me the tables within my canvas column (just the table name)

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Excellent update! We can say by the overall reaction that this is really a very good update.

Can you maybe give a bit of best-practice when to use canvas colum vs layouts?

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@Stefan_Stoyanov that’s great to hear!! We are so excited for you all to try it out. That is a very good question, we don’t have any assets that say when to use either/or, but I can give you some tips. Canvas columns actually make layouts even more powerful. > Before you start building your table, you can consider whether you prefer a templated layout with set data fields, or a free form canvas which can be totally different row to row. Canvas columns work like other columns, so you can combine them with item layouts to further customize how you view information for a single row in a table, such as creating set data fields per row with the benefit of a customizable canvas!

Canvas column has almost infinite potential since you’re bringing all the power of a page canvas inside a table. Internally, we have used canvas column to run better meetings, create more dynamic project trackers, collaborate on content for launches (such as this one!), building a lesson plan for onboarding new employees, or simply run different formulas in the same column. I recommend taking a look at our hero docs or this tutorial video with Shishir for some inspiration.

Hero docs:

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This is great!
So, a few months ago a brought this up to support. That the editor on a Doc had far more editing tools than a column text. Does this mean that the text editor in the Canvas column type is as detailed or useful as the text editor in a Doc?

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@Ivan_French yes that’s exactly right! We’ve worked hard to try to bring as much parity as possible between the core editor and the experience in canvas columns. Would love to know what you think!

@Surf_Office_Support you don’t miss much! Completely agree, the experience with canvas columns and cross doc is definitely a bit lacking today. It’s something we want to improve but there are some tricky technical problems we still need to sort out. Just wanted to let you know it’s on our minds and hopefully we can ship a higher fidelity experience when we revisit Cross-doc holistically.

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Amazing update! Been waiting for this, so excited! Is it possible to share one row with a client?

@Steven_Cornelis thanks!

Is it possible to share one row with a client?

Are you asking about whether you can share a row without giving the client access to any other part of the doc?

Whoa this is cool. I’ll try it out tomorrow! I’m hoping this can lead to some better options vs a preset layout ? I’d love some flexibility to create fully custom layouts for products.

Yes, so we could share a progress report that is good looking :blush:. Or how could we do this?

This is amazing and what we all have been waiting for :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

The samples and the video are great, but I am afraid that for the less experienced users, the techniques behind the scenes are not that obvious.

Screenshot from the video of Shishir

That you need the “StartsWith()” formula to extract from the canvas certain areas, like in this case the “Summary:”.

I know the :baby:“baby has just been born” :baby:, but it would be great for many Makers :building_construction: to be guided how to get out the most of the Canvas Column features and forget about :stop_sign: No**on :stop_sign:

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The meeting agenda template is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you for this new feature!
I have a question: Let’s say I write notes for each Agenda point in a Canvas column. How can I then generate a page where all notes are listed on one page, possibly export PDF.

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Definitely a great update!

However, there are a few small shortcomings that still exist since beta stage. One of them is:

If there are canvas columns on the very top of the canvas, no object can be placed above them.
Tedious workaround: Create a new empty line (paragraph) below the canvas columns, select the whole content of the columns with the cursor, drag the selection to that line at the bottom. Now it is finally possible to insert elements above the columns.

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Sweet!

Not only thisRow now works in formulas on those nested pages
— but we also got parentRow to use in filters where we still need thisRow to reference the view, not the outer row!

or

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