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In Collaborative Workflows with InDesign and InCopy Anne-Marie Concepción shows how Adobe InCopy and InDesign work together, helping editors and designers collaborate on publications, and save time and money, with no additional hardware, software, or expensive publication management systems. This course shows how to set up for the workflow, how to address cross-platform Mac and Windows issues when working in a mixed environment, how to work with remote writers and designers, and how to integrate with Microsoft Word. Exercise files are included with the course.
Working with tables in InCopy is very similar to working with tables in Microsoft Word, except that InCopy also offers things like table styles and cell styles to help keep your format consistent. Just as with paragraph and character styles, the designer is the one who creates the table styles and all you can do is apply them. But I would say that probably 80% of the time you're not working with table or cell styles at all; you're just creating tables on the fly. The rules of working with tables are first of all, tables are inserted in text frames, which means that you need to be able to checkout the text frame, which I have done here on the last page of this hansel&petal catalog.
We actually have two tables here. Let's zoom in a little bit more with Command+Plus or Ctrl+Plus and now Option+drag or Alt+drag this over, pan the view. We have two tables one right next to the other and in this text frame, we have a table that's currently two rows by two columns, and then this though it doesn't look right off the bat like it's a table. It is a table, it's only one column table, and the way that I know is that when my cursor hovers between the dividing lines, it gets this up and down arrow, which means that I can actually adjust the depth of the row that it's in.
I'm going to undo that because I really don't want to adjust the depth. When you work with tables of course you can only use the Type tool, but the Type tool is not just for editing text; it's also for editing the geometry of the table itself. So as you saw though I have the Type tool, when I hover over a horizontal divider, it turns into a double-headed arrow. When I hover over the left edge of a row, it turns into a right pointing arrow meaning that I can select the entire row, not that obvious with this one column table, but let's say in this one, if I hover it, it selects both cells in this row or all cells if there are more.
If you hover over the top of a table, you'll get a downward pointing arrow that lets you select all of the rows in that column, like I'll do so over this one as well. To move from cell to cell in a table, just as in Word, you use the Tab key. So, I've clicked right to the right of the Name and I press Tab, and it selects all of the contents in that cell because there already is content, but if there is no content, then of course it just jumps your cursor over there. Now, if you continue pressing the Tab key when you're in the last row or last column, it creates another new row, just as it does in Microsoft Word.
All the Table commands are here under the Table menu, and it's quite robust. I'm not going to go through every single formatting command you can use. I definitely recommend that you check out the Table videos in the InDesign videos here on lynda.com, where we go into much more depth with them. I just want to call your attention to the fact that you can insert tables and you can format tables as you like. So, like say, for example, with this table here, if I want to add a third column, I can just right-click here and choose the Insert commands and say add another column, or I could go to the Table panel, which is part of the Advanced workspace, and I can easily set the number of rows and columns that I want along with a whole bunch of other settings such as row heights and how do I want the text to be aligned in the row and do I want the text rotated and how much of an indent I want inside the cell itself.
There is also a menu that has even more commands like splitting cells or merging cells. But right now I just want to add a column, so I'm going to click here and say I want a third column. Now I'll close this and then here I'll say, okay, actually this should be Amount, and then I'll press the Tab key and say this should be Price. Now, if I want this to be centered in the cell then I would just use my normal paragraph or character styles or paragraph or character formatting to go ahead and format this text.
So the contents of each individual cell is like an individual text frame. The difference is that the cells aren't threaded together. So, if you have some text in one cell that needs to continue into other cell, you actually have to do that manually. Anyway, so in this cell I want it to be center aligned, so I'll just click the center align in paragraph and so on. I can continue adding more rows as necessary or if I want to fill up this entire frame, I can actually just select the entire table. If you hover over the upper left- hand corner of the table, then you have selected the entire table, and you could delete it if you want, but I'm going to leave it in there, and this time I'm going to go to Table > Table Options > Alternating Fills.
You can set InCopy to fill Every Other Row or Every Other Second Row and so on with different colors. This makes it easier in complex tables for your readers to understand what's going on. So, I'm just going to click OK and now you can see as I add rows, I'm just pressing the Tab key. It alternates through fill. Again, this might be something that your designers are setting up and this can certainly be saved as a table style that you would apply by clicking on that name of that style in the Table Styles panel, but I find that a lot of times it's the editors who are dealing with tabular data, and they're trying to format it correctly, and all that work that you used to do in Microsoft Word obviously have to get thrown out the window when the designers would flow it into InDesign because they are applying InDesign formatting, but now you can do it yourself from scratch in InCopy if you'd like.
If you bring in tabular data, you can convert it to text, Convert Text to Table, and if you need to for some reason convert a table to text, you can convert that as well. The only thing that we're really missing here that I would love to see are any kind of formulas. So, you might start to feel like oh, I'm in Excel, and I need to add up the Amounts in this Price column to get a total at the bottom, and you can't really do that. I know there are some commands in Word that will let you sum that up, but there are none in InCopy. However the good news is that there are scripts that can help you do those things with tables in InCopy and so check out my video on scripts to learn more about adding scripts to the program.
So, when you're working with InCopy, if you ever checkout a story and discover that it's not behaving like a regular stream of text, it's probably a table, and now you know exactly how to access the text in tables and how to format it as you like.
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