People column type "reference is broken" in my Form

Hi, I have a form that I use for my client to submit a request for work. In the table that is being referenced, I have a column called Assignees. This is a dropdown with options to select various people to assign to the request. I added the Assignee field to the Form by making it visible. I saved the form, but when I, or my client, opens the form to submit a new request, the Assignee dropdown doesn’t show anyone, and the hover popup says “reference is broken”.

Coda assignee

Does the form itself need to be shared with people? I’m not sure what I’m missing here. I am fairly new to editing Coda docs, but I think I understand the basics.


Hi @Lee_Legg,

I have managed to replicate this and found a working solution.

If you are applying a filter to your lookup you need to turn on this tickbox in the form’s privacy settings.

From how it reads, if it is disabled then only the Display Column, usually called Name, is used to display the list.

If you need to filter the drop down then it needs access to all columns from your referenced table. This will potentially expose those columns of data as it builds the list. E.g if you have an email address column those addresses could be exposed.

It would be best have your list on a separate secure and stripped down table to minimise exposure. Think of it as “if someone got this entire lookup table would it be an issue”.

Kind regards


Hi Dale, thanks for your response.

I created a separate table with only people who could be selected as Assignees. Then referenced that table in my Assignees column of the master table. The form references the new Assignees table as well. And I think that’s done the trick. I just need to work with the client any time they need to add a new person to the list of Assignees. Thanks for the help!


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