Launched: Calculate column

Hey Lynn, more videos and gifs to come, but in the meantime check out Column basics | Coda Help Center and Calculate column values | Coda Help Center.


I hate this change. please reconsider its implementation, ensuring it does not disrupt the workflow of users who prefer working with formulas directly in columns.

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I am sorry to say, but I dislike it. it is messy and confusing, even when you use the shortcut “=”

I agree with @Kuovonne on the terminology, when I template with format() I am not calculating.

I am sure it is not intentional, but it feels like writing your own formulas is discouraged.

Cheers, Christiaan


I’ve been thinking about it a little more, and there is a new column type, but it isn’t what is currently called a Calculate column type.

Here are the main column types from my point of view.

  • Formula (already existed)
  • Row property (already existed)
  • AI Assistant Generated (already existed)
  • Compose (already existed)
  • Column property (new)

Currently the Calculate column type means different things depending on whether you have already created the column or after it is created.

If you choose the Calculate column type in the process of creating the column, you could end up with any of the above column types. However, if that column ends up being a Compose or AI column, it looses the “Calculate” look/feel and you cannot change the settings to convert it to one of the other Calculate column types.

On the other hand, once a formula or row/column property column is created, it retains the label of a Calculate column. There is some ability to convert property columns into formula columns, but formula columns cannot be converted to property columns.

Overall, I think Coda does not support column type conversions as well as I would like. This design alsoadds to that mix of what exactly are the column types, and what are variations in column settings versus different types.

What I do like about the idea is that Coda provides several ways of computing column values. So it makes sense to provide a single starting point to the newish user who wants to create a computed value but isn’t sure where to start or doesn’t understand that what all these column types have in common is that the computer generated the value instead of the user.

I also like the idea of giving users a no-code way of generating property columns and then converting them to formula columns. It makes the transition from no-code to using formula columns easier.


Great news, it will certainly help my colleagues who aren’t power users. I think you should have both Calculate and Formula, separated to avoid confusion. I was very, very confused and glad I found this thread.

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Hi there! For power users who want to go straight to formulas, the fastest way is still to press = when selecting a column.

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I think this is great - always a big fan of making Coda less intimidating for new users.

I was also briefly confused, but that’s a short term issue as people go through the transition.

Long-term, I’m sympathetic to the suggestion to have “Formula” as a 4th option. Not a hill I’d die on, but I think it might be helpful - not just for experienced users, but also for new people coming in from Excel/Sheets looking for that option (ok, they may stumble across it by typing “=” in the cell, but it doesn’t feel right to rely on that).

But yeah, nice work on this feature, I think you’re on the right track with this, Compose, etc.


I’m not sure how I feel about this change :slight_smile:

On one hand, I don’t like the name change, and also I don’t like how it clutters my UI even when I press =. It’s too many layered windows there now. I’m also confident that I’ll never use it — I already use exclusively formulas for everything, even the simplest aggregations and filters.

On another hand, I don’t hate it either. It didn’t break my workflow personally, and if it helps newcomers then sweet. Sure, it converted my simpler formulas to those selectable calculations where it could, but as long as it doesn’t keep converting my custom formulas to those options going further, I’ll be fine.


ooh 2-way sync. Even for Cross-doc?

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Should typing “=“ work to start typing a formula for checkbox columns? Doesn’t for me (other column types are ok)

Hi Nick! It should if the column is fully selected (clicking on the header).

Unlike some other column types, it doesn’t work if only a cell is selected - I will find out if there is a reason for that limitation or if that can be fixed, but in the meantime does pressing equals after selecting the checkbox column header work, or is that still not working?

Hey folks, wanted to update you on a few iterations and improvements to this feature that we have launched:

  • Entrypoints for both Formula and Calculate to make it easier to discover those options.
  • You can now Add a formula directly through one menu click and Formula is listed as an option in the new column flow beside the calculation builder
  • Streamlined formula editor that has a consistent experience with editing Canvas formulas
  • The columns in the calculation builder are now searchable
  • Show a preview of the results for the calculation for each row like we do in the formula editor

We have some more improvements coming in the next few weeks as well.