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InDesign is an essential tool for design firms, ad agencies, magazines, newspapers, book publishers, and freelance designers around the world. This course presents the core features and techniques that make this powerful page layout application fun and easy to use. Author David Blatner shows how to navigate and customize the workspace, manage documents and pages, work with text frames and graphics, export and print finished documents, explore creating interactive documents, and much more. He also covers popular topics such as EPUBs and long documents and includes advice on working with overset text, unnamed colors, and other troublesome issues that may arise for first-time designers.
Tables don't just spring to life by themselves; you need to feed them, care for them, adjust their rows, and columns, but how do you adjust the rows and columns in a table? If I choose the Selection tool, and then try and drag one of these column dividers, I don't move the column divider; I move the whole text frame. Let's undo that, and see how you're really supposed to do it. Remember that tables are inside text frames, and therefore, you have to use the Type tool. I'll press the T on my keyboard to jump to the Type tool quickly, and then I can actually click inside here, and drag.
I'll make this column a little wider, this column a little narrower; you get the idea. You can just move these around. Notice that as I drag one of these column dividers, it changes all of the columns in the table. If I want to move a column divider without moving the other dividers, I hold down the Shift key. Shift+drag will only change that one column divider, and it won't change the width of the table. Now, the Shift key does something different if you use it on the outside edge.
The outside edge of the table by itself will only move that one cell, but if you hold down the Shift key, it does just the opposite. Shift+drag moves all of them proportionally. So if you want to make the whole table wider or narrower proportionally, make sure you Shift+drag on the outside edge of the table. In this case, I want the table to fit inside the text frame. So I'm simply going to drag, without the Shift key, all the way back until I go inside that frame. Now in this case, I want the table to fit inside my text frame, so I'm simply going to drag it without the Shift key until it snaps inside the frame edge.
I'm going to make a few more changes here with the Shift key held down, just to fit these in a little bit better, and now I'm having trouble, because I want these three columns to all be the same width. It's hard to do that by eye, but it's easy to do it if I use to distribute columns evenly feature. I can find that by dragging over all three columns -- I don't have to select the entire columns; just any cells within those columns -- and I'll go back to the Table menu, and choose Distribute Columns Evenly. That forces InDesign to make the widths exactly the same.
Notice that when I choose one or more cells, the control panel changes to indicate what's going on inside that cell, and let me format it. I'll be talking about some of these features later, but the one I want to point out right now is way over here on the right side, where it actually shows the width of those columns. Right now it is 72.667 points, but I can select that, and change it to an exact amount, perhaps 70 points, and now it changes all three of those columns to exactly 70 points wide. So you have a lot of control over the widths of your columns.
And what about rows? Same thing; I can use my Type tool to click and drag on a row to make it larger or smaller, or I can do it in the control panel. I'll select this row, and I'll go up to the control panel, and I'll see that the height of this row is currently 48.452 points. And notice that there's a pop-up menu to the left of that, and it says At Least. It's going to be at least 48 points. That means that it could be larger than 48 points, but not smaller. If I want to specify an exact height for that row, I would change this from At Least to Exactly, and now I can type in anything I want.
Let's go ahead and make it 60 points. As you can see, managing these rows and columns is easy; sometimes managing the data inside the rows and columns is harder, but there is a cool trick there that I want to point out before we move on. That is, I can go to the Edit menu, and choose Edit in Story Editor, and in the Story Editor window, I can see all the data from my table, all laid out in rows, and columns. It's a little bit hard to see. Let me make this wider, and I'll scroll up a bit to the top of my table, and you can see that this table is anchored in my story, and it starts with Row 1, and here's each of the columns in Row 1.
Then it goes to Row 2, and those are the columns, and then Row 3, and those are the columns, and so on. If you'd rather see this arranged by columns instead of rows, you can right-click on this little icon up here, or Control+click with one-button mouse, and then scroll all the way to the bottom of the context menu, and down here, you can see that we can arrange it by columns. Now it's the same data, but arranged in a different way. It all depends on how you want to edit it. Obviously, managing all these rows and columns isn't all that difficult, but you do have to pay attention if you want a high quality result.
Now, in the next movie, we'll look at how to add or remove rows and columns, or even merge some of these cells together.
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