😬 What was hard for you to discover in Coda?

As you use Coda have you found things that were hard to find but easy to use once you knew it existed and figured out how to use it?

Would love you hear of these in reply below.

I have a few of my favorites below - I’ll keep adding to this list from the replies :slight_smile:


I’m pretty new to all this and I’m still really struggling with a lot of the coding and relationships between different tables and views but here are some of the things I’ve struggled with recently.

Calculating total days spent by someone, when they have multiple different tasks which may fall on the same day.
Using the Filter Function in different scenarios.

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Discovering that I could reference individual rows with @display column value in formulas and not have to do Table.Filter(...).First()

UPD: just saw it was already on the list


Good initiative :+1:

  1. Reverse lookup :left_right_arrow:
  2. Search a table :mag:
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Could you expand on these concepts for those that don’t know how to do it and stumble on this thread? I.e.: How do you reverse lookup / search a table?


It would be nice to add a field for voting on your table. This way we could vote the items that were hard to figure out for us


Using a formula to generate the visual row numbers (not RowID). There is a Find() variant that works for many of my cases, but it was not easy to locate. It was extra confusing (and still can be) since the numbers appear left of the rows (i.e. it seems like something that there is a formula for).

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Thanks for the suggestions so far - I have added them to the doc.\

@GJ_Roelofs - Once I have the list I will pass it onto our product team to make in product improvements and we can also work on expanding these concepts and providing link and help for them.

@Juan_Luis_Chulilla - good suggestion. For now can you just mention them in the thread please - would also love to know why you found something hard or how you learnt about it.

Ah, also that special care needs to be paid to whether it’s a value, or a list with a single value.

  • in formulas (using .First() where appropriate)
  • in formula columns with Lookup table type (properly switching the “Allow multiple values” on or off)

More on that: Here’s a riddle for the community


That is a tricky one. We need a whole section dedicated to debugging and helping with this!

For me it’s understanding how to use formulas for something I can describe in words but am unsure how to actualize in the Formula logic. For instance, if there’s a value in a cell, then do X. I found the documentation on the Formulas a little dense (I’m not an engineer) so turning to Community and Help chat was integral to my success.

Hope that helps!


“Named Parameters”. See this thread.

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Added @Ian_Nicholson - even I forget about that one now and then!

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Hi @mallika,

Instead of getting a copy from another users doc,

That you can copy content from a “view only” doc and place it in a doc you are the owner of.
Automatically you will be able to see all formulas used!

Important: if the content you copy has “related tables”, “controls” and "formulas"over more pages, it’s important to take them with you. (see doc map)


That you can see the changelog / history of a row, courtesy of Al_Chen_Coda:


Oh! Not hard to find, but very counterintuitive.

Say, I want to get a cell value from the first row of a table.

Following the top-down logic, I’d first select the table, then the row, then the cell, i.e. write the formula like this:
[Table name].First().[Column name]

But this won’t work! The correct order of selection is: table -> column -> row:
[Table name].[Column name].First()

This feels wrong, because it feels like I’m making Coda first pull all the values for the column for possibly hundreds of rows, to discard everything but the first one. I assume Coda devs were smart enough and optimized this so that Coda wouldn’t actually pull the whole column, but still it feels counterintuitive.

Interesting that if you separately calculate a row (e.g. in a named formula or a single value lookup cell), then you can select a cell from that row just fine:


P.S. The counterintuitiveness shines when the cell is actually a list of values, and you need to only select the first value from that list.

[Users].First().[Tasks].First() — invalid
[Users].[Tasks].First().First() — way to go :man_shrugging:


I had a hard time discovering that when I want to use a drop-down type select control’s value I need to use .value



This also gets me every time. Both should be valid IMO.

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Just stumbled on this shared doc. Love it!

A simple calculation that took way too much time and work (Calculating a dynamic age based on a birthday/date field):

If(thisRow.Birthday.IsNotBlank(),Today().Year()-thisRow.Birthday.Year() - If(Date(Today().Year(),thisRow.Birthday.Month(),thisRow.Birthday.Day())>Today(),1,0) ,"")

I feel like this could be in the “hard to discover” category and may be worthy of it’s own formula? I’m surprised more users don’t need an age calculation!


One more thing that was hard for me to discover:

The fact that I could use any type of display (i.e. charts, cards, nested Detail views) within a Detail view, not just a table:

Props to @Francesco_Pistillo for the trick:

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