Skip to content


NotebooksLearn about notebooks vs. projects

At Observable, we believe that collaboration is key to doing great work with data. That's why we support several ways to collaborate with others in notebooks, whether it's co-editing a visualization or adding comments to an analysis.

Multiplayer editing

When working in Observable, you can invite others to join and edit notebooks with you.

When another user from your workspace is in the same notebook you're working in, you'll see their avatar at the top of the screen. You can click on their avatar to automatically follow them around.

Whether working solo or with collaborators in a notebook, it is useful to have a record of changes made. The History pane (accessed by clicking the clock icon in the right margin) shows what changes were made to your notebook. You also have the option to revert back to an earlier version by choosing to "Restore" a version that you select.

Fork, suggest, merge

Another common way to collaborate within a workspace is to follow the "Fork, Suggest, Merge" workflow. This is typically used when larger edits are made to a notebook, and the editor wants to make and test those changes in private before merging updates into the main notebook.

To merge updates from a fork into the main notebook, you can send suggestions (by choosing "Suggest" from the three-dot menu) to the notebook author with a brief note about your proposed changes.

When a suggestion is made, a notification will be sent to the notebook creator via email and added to the suggestions inbox on their Observable profile page.

Getting input from viewers

Your collaborators don't require edit access in order to collaborate in Observable. People with view access ("viewers") can also interact with and give feedback on notebooks using inputs and comments.

To add someone as a viewer, we go through the same process as editors, but change their access level to "Can view."

When a viewer adjusts an input in a notebook, only they can see those changes, as they happen within the browser. That means viewers can adjust values, see the changes, and fork their own version or download images. That makes inputs a great way to self-service common requests from collaborators and stakeholders without giving them editing permission.

Viewers can also leave comments on cells, which will be sent directly to the notebook creator via email. If an editor wants to respond, they can reply to the comment, which will similarly send an email notification back to the viewer.