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Working with tables

From: Up and Running with InCopy CS5

Video: Working with tables

Tables can be an excellent way to display information on a page. InCopy has the ability to create Tables and format Tables using a variety of powerful tools. I'm beginning this video with InCopy already open on my computer, and I'm simply going to create a new Basic Document. Nothing fancy here. So I'll click on the New Document button in my Command Bar and then I'm going to switch to Layout view. And I'm just going to zoom in a little bit here using Command+ on Mac or Ctrl+ on Windows, so that I can see the top of my page.

Working with tables

Tables can be an excellent way to display information on a page. InCopy has the ability to create Tables and format Tables using a variety of powerful tools. I'm beginning this video with InCopy already open on my computer, and I'm simply going to create a new Basic Document. Nothing fancy here. So I'll click on the New Document button in my Command Bar and then I'm going to switch to Layout view. And I'm just going to zoom in a little bit here using Command+ on Mac or Ctrl+ on Windows, so that I can see the top of my page.

Now, to insert a table, it's actually quite easy. But there's one main requirement that you have to keep in mind. The only tool in this tool panel that will do any good when working with a Table, whether it's creating or modifying, is the Type tool. A lot of people look for a unique tool that allows them to create a table, but it's really the Type tool, it's the only thing you need to use. So to insert a table on the top of my page here, I'm going to come up to the Table menu and choose Insert Table. And this dialog allows me to specify how many rows, how many columns, and if I want a header or footer row.

And I keep and apply a style if I choose. Now, I'm going to leave this set to the defaults, or if yours is different you can set it to 4 and 4, and I'll click OK. And as you can see, a table has been inserted. Now essentially, each one of these cells is its own text frame, if you will. Although, it's not really a frame, but it's at least its own text container. So what I'm going to do, I'm just going to type in here. I'm going to type Spring, then I'll hit the Tab key, Summer, Tab, Fall, and let's go ahead and do Winter for this example. And you see, as you hit the Tab key, again, that it will go to the next row, and so on and so forth.

Now, a little bit about highlighting these cells. If I hover my cursor on the top edge of the table, you can see I get a down-facing arrow. If I click, that'll highlight the column. And if I hover my cursor along the left edge, that'll highlight the row. And if you click and drag, you can highlight any range of these rows or columns as well. And finally, if you hover in the upper left corner and click, that'll highlight the entire table. Now, in addition, an easy way to select a single cell is to put your cursor in one of these cells and then simply hit the Escape key.

That'll highlight a single cell very quickly and easily. What I'm going to do is I'm going to highlight this whole table. And let's go to our Table menu, and choose Delete Table. Easy enough. Because, what I'm going to do is I'm going to insert a table from another source. I have a Word Document in which somebody has typed tabbed text. Okay, so simply typed items, and then hit the Tab key, and typed another one. And that's what we're going to use as our text source for our table. Because oftentimes, you get the content from other users and then we need to repurpose that information, so that's what we're going to do here. So I'm going to click on my page to make sure my cursor is in there. And I'll go to the File menu and choose Place.

And if yo go to the Word Docs folder inside of the Getting to Know InCopy folder, you will find a file called Bloom.docx. And so, Word document, one of the new Word documents. And I'm just going to click the Open button, and as you can see, it simply imported the text and it simply tabbed text. Okay, so we have items separated with tabs. And one requirement is you have to have the same number of tabs in each item.

And don't worry about how it looks here. I don't have any tab stops set up, so everything is unformatted, if you will. And what I'm going to do, I'm just going to select everything, so I can do a Command+A on Mac or Ctrl+A on Windows, or you can click and drag to select all of your content. And I'm going to go to the Table menu, and I'm going to choose Convert Text to Table. And it asks me, okay, well, what is the column separator? Well, that's a tab character. Easy enough, and what is the row separator? Well, that's a paragraph return. So I'm going to click the OK button, and you'll see that immediately, all of that text is converted to a table.

So this is a really great way to repurpose content that's already created. Now, I should also point out that InCopy can also import an Excel Spreadsheet. So if you already have content in an Excel Spreadsheet, just do a File Place, and you'll get the same result as we have here. Now, once again, there are some things that we can do with the table. I am going to highlight this top row, maybe we will change that font. Let's go ahead and change that to may be Myridan pro Bold, you can see this is now formatted.

And in my paragraph formatting, I'm going to center that text within the column as well. Now, what I'll do, let's highlight, I'm going to click and drag to highlight all these rows. Let's do the same thing. Let's change this to Myriad Pro, maybe Regular. And then, I'm going to highlight, I'll just click inside of this cell, and then click and drag to highlight all of these cells. I'll change the alignment to Centered as well. So, you have a lot of power when working with these Tables and, and the formatting aspects are quite powerful. One more thing I want to show you if you switch over to Story view. Story view shows tables in a, a somewhat strange manner, but once you understand, it's not too bad.

What I'll do to simplify this is down here at the bottom of my screen, I'm going to hide these Paragraph Styles so I can really just kind of focus on, on what we have here. So what I'm going to do is this icon indicates a Table, and if you click that triangle to the left, it'll collapse the table, but I'll just expand that again. And so, if you understand, this is somewhat like a HTML table, if you will, because row 1 is represented from here down to here, and then, each one of these cells represents the column within that row.

So, you have to kind of think about it differently than you normally would, but you can also edit your Table content in this view as well. So, for example if I were to in, in row 1, let's just say I wanted to type Winter. You know, if I put it in that cell, if you go back to Layout view, you'll see that it added it in that first column. So I certainly don't really want that there. I'll just go ahead and Highlight that and delete it. But you can see how these tables are structured and how they can be adjusted.

In addition, if you hover your cursor between these cells, you can click and drag to change their size. However, I'm going to undo that, I am going to do a Command+Z on MAC or Control+0 on Windows. What you can also do is, if you hover your cursor along the bottom edge of this table, hold down your Shift key while you drag, you will stretch them all out proportionately. And even if you didn't do them proportional, let's say you were experimenting and you expanded this, and you're like oh, boy, I'd rather that they were all the same size. You can highlight all of these rows, and then we can come up to the Table menu, and I could choose Distribute Rows Evenly and that'll redistribute all of those rows.

One last thing, if we go to the Window menu, we do have a Type & Tables category. And I'm going to open up the Table panel, because this as well gives us a lot of control. Right here is our vertical alignment. We can click the second button, that'll align everything Centered in each of these rows. We have a lot of control over here such as how many rows and columns, what the height and width is of this cell, and we also have other text formatting including the Text Inset, which is how far away from the edge of the cell the text is going to appear. As you could see, once you get the basics down, you'll be formatting and editing tables with power and control just like a pro.

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Up and Running with InCopy CS5

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