12 min read

Navigating a Coda doc

Get comfortable in Coda and find what you need quickly.

So, someone shared a Coda doc with you?

You’re likely here because a friend, family member, or colleague just shared a Coda doc with you. Exciting! If you’re new to Coda (or worried you might break things), let this guide set you at ease. Think of this guide as a map that helps you navigate any Coda doc you come across.

What’s in here

What you’ll get in this guide:
  • Navigate any Coda doc that’s shared with you.
  • Identify the key differences and benefits of a Coda doc.
  • Identify where to go when you’re ready to get started building your own Coda doc.
Features you’ll use:
  • Pages
  • Tables
  • Comments
  • Buttons and reactions

1. Explore the pages.

Unlike traditional documents, Coda docs have pages and subpages to help you stay focused and organize information. You’ll see all the pages along the left side of the page. Click the > icon next to any page to expand it.
If you want to find something in particular, use the search bar along the top of the page list. This searches the entire doc including pages, text, and tables.
If a page has subpages, you may see them along the top of the parent page. Click any of these buttons to jump to the subpage. You may not see these buttons for the subpages at the top of the parent page if the setting to show them is turned off. In this case you can still find them in the doc nav on the left of the screen.

2. Explore the tables.

Pages can contain text, but they might also contain tables. This allows you to have both structured and unstructured data in one place rather than having to merge cells to make room for instructions or multiple documents spread across software. Here’s a glimpse of what table can look like within Coda:
With Coda, you’re not stuck with one type of column. There are a ton of different column formats to accurately reflect and visualize your data. You’ll know the type of column it is by looking at the icon when you hover over it. Some of our favorites are progress bars, icons, reactions, buttons, and canvas columns. If you want to see a row up close, hover over it and click the arrow icon that appears. Click the X to close it again.
You might see some columns where the data has a little colored chip around it. This tells you it is a relation column, which is a fancy way of saying it’s a dropdown menu populated by information in another table. Hover over the outlined chip to see all of the information about the data you are seeing. In the gif below you can see how hovering over “Team 3” will show you all of the information connected to the Team 3 chip.

3. Get involved in conversations.

Coda docs are better when they’re shared, and when we work together inevitably there are discussions that need to take place. You and your team can have conversations about text, tables, and rows. When you see text highlighted in yellow, you’ll know that there is a comment thread that has been started about that text.
To see all of the comments in a doc, click the chat bubble icon in the upper right of the doc. You can add a response or a reaction in the comment. And, if you like, you can also attach relevant files.
See a typo? Have a suggestion about how to improve some text? You can suggest changes to by highlighting text and clicking the pencil icon on the right.
Everyone has a different level of involvement they want to have in a doc, so the last step is managing your notifications so you’re only notified about what matters most to you. Click the comment bubble icon in the upper right, choose Manage notifications. You can set your default under the This doc tab, and then refine your choices on a page-by-page basis under This page.

4. Play with the types of interactions.

Coda docs are alive! Unlike a traditional document, you’re not stuck merely consuming information, you can get involved. This enables you and your team to have more meaningful collaboration in your docs. There are a few different building blocks you might find that allow you to interact with the doc. Buttons help you take action. They can do all sorts of things, but the most common actions are: Add rows, Modify rows, Duplicating pages, Copying doc, and Pushing other buttons
You might also see what looks like a smaller button with an icon. These are called reactions. They help the doc maker get a pulse from people in the doc. Think of it like a vote or signal. Click them to cast your vote.
Scales, progress bars, and sliders are also opportunities to interact and represent number values in unique ways. Why have a number when you could have stars or progress bars instead?
Another helpful interaction opportunity is using the filter bar on a table. This allows you to find what you’re looking for without changing the views of the information for other people in the doc.

Now what?

Coda docs are all about collaboration, so start exploring, and don’t hesitate to chat with the other people in the doc. Have an idea for a doc you want to build? Just click + Blank Doc on your workspace. Or, type "coda.new" in your browser to start a new doc!