Need Simple Cell Reference Formula (Excel: "=A1")

I understand Coda is different from Excel and I need to learn the lingo, but I don’t need to summarize, lookup, or filter (I don’t think). I’m trying to use the Schedule Tasks with Dependencies template for our content creation.

All I want to do is have a cell equal/reference a different cell. The ‘Row ID’ column value is displayed in the ‘Parent Path’ column which…is…dependent…on…the…‘Dependent on’ column. Each ‘Milestones’ row can’t happen until the task/milestone before it is accomplished.

In Excel, I would just put “=[Cell reference]” and the cell would reflect the data in the cell I referenced. I could then just drag/copy that formula down a column and it would autofill the cells. Well, “=” doesn’t seem to accomplish this in Coda. The formulas I’ve found online seem too complicated to do what I’m trying to do and maybe I’m overcomplicating this action.

[Apologies for screenshots as my organization won’t allow me to embed Coda docs in my posts.]

Again, this was taken from the Schedule Tasks with Dependencies template linked above. I think I can figure out how to update the other formulas in the ‘Parent Path’ column. However, if I can’t do a simple cell reference formula in Coda, this whole endeavor will fail.

Surely, this cannot be what I need to do just to reference a single cell one row above and one column to the left (i.e., Excel "=[Cell reference]):

Please let me know if you need any more data. Thanks for any help you can provide.

Is the end result you want to have the Dependent On column be equal to the row directly above it?

Hi Lakin

Welcome to the community!

Absolutely - people underestimate how different the mental models are for the two pieces of software. It took me about 1 year to unlearn Excel patterns and learn the Coda patterns. But I have never made a more worthwhile investment of my time. (People like to say that Coda is/ has a relational database, that is also not exactly true.)

Some differences
Formulas in tables are very definitely column based, and applies to every row in the column. No exceptions.
The idea of “previous row” in Coda is undefined. Tables are sorted (in many different ways), filtered and represented in many different views. Which is extremely powerful compared to spreadsheets. But it is this exact power that makes it necessary to define very explicitly which row in a table you are referring to.

it’s just a ramble,
Rambling Pete.

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If it is, can you try this formula and let me know if it works: thisTable.Nth(Find(thisRow , thisTable)-1)

Thanks for the reply. I want the Dependent on column to be equal to the Milestones column, one row above it. Here is a snip of what I’m wanting to do in Excel:

So, by using the formula “=D2”, it will display the text “Create a publication folder […]”. Then follow suit all the way down the column. This will trigger the Parent Path column to accurately calculate the Days to complete column which feeds the Start Date and End Date columns. I shouldn’t have to select or type which milestone feeds to the next. It will be the same order each time and one milestone can’t complete until the one before it is done.

Thanks again.

Hi Lakin,

This is what I’m getting:

Using this formula

@Samuel_Langford — This is fantastic! I’ve gotten the formula to work with one hiccup. Is there a way to have the first row in the subgroup to always be blank? In your screenshot, it would be row 1 (i.e., ‘Stone 1’) in the ‘Dependent on’ column. This is currently blank in your table.

However, when I plugged the formula into my Coda doc, everything looks great from the “Outline and LOE” row down. But the “Create a publication folder in the SharePoint […]” row pulled in some data that says “Publish to YouTube and share”. My only guess is that this text is from the template I downloaded because we don’t publish any of our content to YouTube:

Thanks so much for your help!

Use an if to check for the first occurrence, and then put “” in the cell.


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@Piet_Strydom is right. Something like:
If(thisTable.Nth(Find(thisRow , thisTable)-1)=1, “” , thisTable.Nth(Find(thisRow , thisTable)-1))

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This worked! Thank you both very much!

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