New characters appearing for displaying references

I’ve been caught off guard by a big UI change… not sure if its just being tested or if its permanent and I need to re-work a bunch of formulas.
So this is what it used to look like when I added a currency to a display of information :
Screen Shot 2020-06-02 at 11.37.53 am

And this morning, this is what I see… little @ symbols all over the place - which unfortunately are extremely distracting. I’m guessing I’ll be using a bunch of totext() formulas!!!

Am I missing something? Any other way of turning this off per document?

Dear @Brendan_Woithe,

To my opinion for such kind of questions its better to get in contact with support.

Success :four_leaf_clover:

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Yes - you’re right. I was following the advice in app which directs users here. :slight_smile:
For now, I’ve fixed my views using .totext()
(Is there any good reason not to use .totext() for this? I’ve seen paul and others comment about the misuse of this formula, but have never really got my head around it.
I tend to misuse EVERYTHING :wink:

Hi @Brendan_Woithe,
in the formula with the currency you used the whole row as a reference?

I can’t replicate your scenario, could you please show the formula content?

In this case it would be ok. Or - preferably - the explicit display column of that table. e.g. [Currencies].Filter(...).CCY

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Thanks for your input. I’ll follow this up tomorrow. Will definitely show some of my formulas.

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I think this is intended to clarify that some instances of hypertext distinctly reference row objects. Last week, instead of the “@” character, it was the horizontal bar row icon. Adding that extra horizontal width screwed up some precise presentation I had created, and it also introduces confusing visual clutter to deliverables that clients shouldn’t have to understand.

Upon reading your post, I thought that perhaps they added a second icon to differentiate between a row reference and an @ reference. If they’re going to stick with this scheme, it would actually be useful and educational to be able to visually discern that one hyperlink is a row ref while another one is an @ ref. But it looks like they just changed from the little row bar icon to the “@” character for all row references.

Also, should the visual marker exist in any character set? Because that prepends to a pre-existing text string a strange text character that doesn’t belong in the text string. Or should it be an actual ICON that is not part of any character set? Like the row icon from last week. If the @ concept is desired, it could be an @ icon, not an “@” character.

These techniques for visual clarification are fantastic for helping new users understand the world of Coda. But it would be nice if they could be toggled off by users once they no longer need the training wheels.

I could envision an admin panel with all options defaulted to “on” for new users, but which could be toggled “off” by more experienced users, either globally or on a line item basis. Or maybe some global settings like “Beginner”, “Intermediate”, “Advanced”.


This is a good idea, if at all this is their intention. But definitely now this is messing up a lot of documents and focumulas and designs.

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Correct — I meant you should explicitly reference the column whose value you want to display (e.g. Currency.Name) instead of just ToText()-ing the reference.

I haven’t yet seen this new @ thing, but I welcome it.


I am sorry… you welcome it?

Yes, I think it’s good that references are now visually distinguished from just links / blue colored text. It is now a visual affordance telling that this piece of text is special and has special meaning: it’s a reference that one can hover to get more details about an actual record.

Unless you were meticulously tweaking column widths to accommodate for references without @'s (and by doing that, disregarding people who use different machines than you — e.g. fonts in Windows and Mac, and Windows in China and Windows elsewhere have different sizes thus data would look differently anyway), I don’t see how that could “mess up” docs and designs. IMO it’s a good visual cue where it’s due.


I get your point about references, but wouldn’t different colour be simpler? Also, Ander’s suggestion for turning this off, is good.

Adding characters to already very big size fonts used in Coda and white spaces all over the canvas, even on the 34" I work on 80% zoom-out :slight_smile:

And below is an example of how this ruined my design for some lookups:

I know this by itself is workaround which is not very stable but worked OK.

Yeah I see what you were trying to do there. Fair enough.

But yeah, since you’ve already constructed a workaround (I believe you’re not using the info emoji as a display column of your actual table), I guess you could’ve replaced this info popup with a JSON tooltip instead?

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I’ve used that JSON tooltip (thank you, personally, for giving so much to no-coders like me! I can’t thank you enough!) and it works OK. Although I sometimes noted it slows things down. But, I also already used this scenario in many docs which I feel is more natural to Coda, isn’t it. I don’t want to update them all because of one added character which, honestly, I don’t care about. I know many do find this helpful, so it is good to have it, but also get rid of it if preferred.

I agree that the ideal way out would be to make this optional.

Like, you know, with any new feature that breaks someone’s workflow :slight_smile:

That’d be a lot of options though :slight_smile:


Hi all, I’m the designer working on this. Definitely appreciate any and all feedback you have here, feel free to private message me.

We want to make the difference clear between referring something else in the doc, vs a regular hyperlink. Hopefully, this is useful for new users and experienced users alike— it shows when clicking will keep you in the doc, vs opening a new tab. By choosing the @ symbol specifically, we want to make it clear to new users that they can type an @ to mention a row from a comment, text, or elsewhere.

@Brendan_Woithe, I am curious if you want that “AUD” reference to be clickable, ie because there’s more info on that row? If you don’t, I understand that the @ looks in the way. Ander and Federico’s suggestions are good workarounds— you can refer specifically to the the display column in a formula, or convert the whole formula to text.

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Ah - I think most of all I was just taken by surprise, since I didn’t see any announcement etc. I wasn’t sure if it was permanent or just something that was being tried on some accounts before being rolled out etc.
I totally get the idea behind it. And I think im all for it. :slight_smile:


Hey Brendan, yup the announcement is coming in a few days as part of few other related improvements that are about to be released :shushing_face: Thanks for the feedback though! :slight_smile:

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No - I did not want it clickable.
I have spent a long time understanding data-formats in coda, and it seems only just NOW got some of the important concepts behind lookups / rows and select lists and columns.
Indeed - I’ve just made another post about this - and have a question about how to go through and rebuild a bunch of tables.

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