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Considerations for table text

From: InDesign Typography

Video: Considerations for table text

Okay, it's time for everyone's favorite subject, Tables. There is a lot to working with tables in InDesign. In fact, there's so much that we could have a title all about tables and tables alone. And in fact, there is just such a title in the lynda.com online training library. And it's by Diane Burns, and it's called InDesign Tables In Depth. I highly recommend you check it out. So what I'm going to do with tables rather than repeat the stuff that Diane has said is first of all look at some aesthetic considerations of dealing with tables, and then just go on and give you some tips and tricks for working with tables.

Considerations for table text

Okay, it's time for everyone's favorite subject, Tables. There is a lot to working with tables in InDesign. In fact, there's so much that we could have a title all about tables and tables alone. And in fact, there is just such a title in the lynda.com online training library. And it's by Diane Burns, and it's called InDesign Tables In Depth. I highly recommend you check it out. So what I'm going to do with tables rather than repeat the stuff that Diane has said is first of all look at some aesthetic considerations of dealing with tables, and then just go on and give you some tips and tricks for working with tables.

I want to make three important and fairly obvious points. The first of those is that tables frequently are crammed with a lot of information often more information than comfortably fits. So for that reason, if there's ever a good time to use a condensed typeface where we can get more into a finite amount of space, this is it. You can see that here I have used Myriad Pro Condensed. So if you have a condensed typeface and indeed if you have InDesign, you do because you have Myriad Pro, now it might be the time to use that typeface.

The second consideration is your use of numbers, and the numbering style. In the chapter on Small--but important-- Details there was a movie on numerals, in which I outlined the four different numbering styles that are part of OpenType typefaces, or at least those that have an extended character set the Pro Fonts. I expressed a preference in body text for using Proportional Oldstyle, depending on the typeface, but more often than not I prefer to use Proportional Oldstyle.

Well, in tables that is not true, because in tables we want to use Tabular Lining or possibly Tabular Oldstyle. But we want the information presented as simply as possible. So I would favor Tabular Lining. Now the difference between these and these apart from their character shapes is how much space each numeral occupies, with Tabular Lining, it's an equal amount of space for each numeral, meaning that, they will align underneath each other.

If I were to select this area of the table, my Control panel changes so to get to the OpenType Options I am going to need to press Command, or Ctrl+T, to bring out my Character panel, and from its panel menu I can get to my OpenType Options there. If I change the numerals to Proportional Oldstyle, you can see down here that things are not aligning the way they used to. You see how the 6 is sticking out beyond the edge of the 7, and that is because Proportional Oldstyle figures use a varying amount of width depending on the numeral shape.

The third consideration when working with tables is that if you are using shaded cells, which is a very good way to differentiate the information. The shading should accentuate the reading direction. In a train timetable like this, the reading direction is from top to bottom. We want to see at what time the train starts and where, and at what time and where it finishes up. Whereas, if you are looking at a football league table, for example, you're more likely to want to read from side to side, from left-to-right and the cell shading should emphasize that.

So there we have three stylistic considerations when working with tables, condensed typefaces, tabular numbers, and cell shading to accentuate reading direction.

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This video is part of

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InDesign Typography

107 video lessons · 19789 viewers

Nigel French
Author

 
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  1. 4m 4s
    1. Welcome
      55s
    2. Using the exercise files
      51s
    3. Customizing the workspace for type
      2m 18s
  2. 55m 41s
    1. Working with text frames
      8m 26s
    2. Using a primary text frame (CS6 only)
      3m 59s
    3. Understanding text flow methods
      6m 25s
    4. Understanding text threads
      3m 40s
    5. Understanding Smart Text Reflow
      2m 27s
    6. Mocking up pages with placeholder text
      5m 47s
    7. Placing multiple text files
      3m 50s
    8. Using Auto-Size text frames (CS6 only)
      4m 1s
    9. Copying and pasting vs. placing
      2m 25s
    10. Cleaning up text with Find/Change
      5m 46s
    11. Using the Story Editor
      3m 41s
    12. Spanning columns
      5m 14s
  3. 45m 50s
    1. Choosing your type
      6m 46s
    2. Understanding text essentials
      6m 37s
    3. Scaling type
      2m 27s
    4. Using italic and oblique type
      4m 33s
    5. Working with condensed and extended type
      4m 26s
    6. Setting type in all caps
      3m 46s
    7. Setting type in small caps
      4m 21s
    8. Underlining type
      4m 11s
    9. Using superscript and subscript
      4m 35s
    10. Applying baseline shift
      4m 8s
  4. 16m 6s
    1. Understanding type anatomy
      3m 25s
    2. Exploring serif and sans serif
      2m 48s
    3. Comparing points, picas, and ems
      8m 34s
    4. What's in a name?
      1m 19s
  5. 16m 27s
    1. Setting leading
      4m 56s
    2. Avoiding auto-leading
      4m 12s
    3. Leading shortcuts and preferences
      4m 7s
    4. Using autoleading with inline graphics
      3m 12s
  6. 21m 25s
    1. Defining kerning and tracking
      2m 5s
    2. Understanding kerning methods
      5m 10s
    3. When and how to kern
      5m 53s
    4. When and how to track
      8m 17s
  7. 45m 48s
    1. Working with quotes, primes, and apostrophes
      8m 16s
    2. Using dashes
      5m 24s
    3. Using ellipses
      2m 56s
    4. Working with accents and special characters
      4m 1s
    5. Using space characters
      4m 15s
    6. Working with ligatures
      4m 29s
    7. Setting fractions
      3m 56s
    8. Using lining and proportional numerals
      2m 49s
    9. Using alternates, swashes, and ornaments
      5m 2s
    10. Working with optical sizes
      4m 40s
  8. 57m 20s
    1. Understanding alignment
      3m 47s
    2. Working with left-aligned type
      3m 24s
    3. Working with justified type
      7m 5s
    4. Using Optical Margin Alignment
      3m 39s
    5. Determining column width
      4m 53s
    6. Working with center alignment
      5m 36s
    7. Working with right alignment
      1m 22s
    8. Aligning to or away from the spine
      1m 50s
    9. Understanding the Paragraph Composer and Single-line Composer
      3m 44s
    10. Combining alignments
      9m 20s
    11. Using hanging punctuation
      2m 13s
    12. Working with vertical alignment
      10m 27s
  9. 14m 9s
    1. Using first-line indents
      2m 26s
    2. Using indent alternatives
      2m 3s
    3. Working with left and right indents
      4m 0s
    4. Using last-line indents and outdents
      1m 26s
    5. Using paragraph spacing
      4m 14s
  10. 23m 19s
    1. Setting hyphenation
      6m 14s
    2. Working with line breaks and discretionary hyphens
      4m 48s
    3. Balancing ragged lines
      1m 36s
    4. Using the No Break feature and non-breaking characters
      2m 52s
    5. Using frame, column, and page breaks
      3m 42s
    6. Defining Keep Options
      4m 7s
  11. 37m 53s
    1. Understanding tabs
      8m 58s
    2. Considerations for table text
      3m 55s
    3. Table tips and tricks
      11m 55s
    4. Creating a bulleted list
      6m 50s
    5. Creating a numbered list
      3m 46s
    6. Creating a multi-level numbered list
      2m 29s
  12. 23m 12s
    1. Understanding drop caps
      11m 3s
    2. Navigating tricky drop caps
      5m 14s
    3. Using a nested character style with a drop cap
      3m 59s
    4. Other uses of drop caps
      2m 56s
  13. 1h 11m
    1. Understanding paragraph and character styles
      7m 13s
    2. Creating, applying, and editing styles
      7m 3s
    3. Removing overrides
      4m 58s
    4. Creating and applying character styles
      5m 4s
    5. Creating and applying nested styles
      12m 30s
    6. Using GREP styles (regular expressions)
      4m 8s
    7. Creating and applying sequential styles
      6m 19s
    8. Using paragraph rules creatively
      11m 48s
    9. Mapping Word styles
      6m 12s
    10. Working with anchored objects and object styles
      6m 24s
  14. 25m 30s
    1. Applying a text wrap
      6m 7s
    2. Making items ignore a text wrap
      1m 46s
    3. Using text wraps for flexible layouts
      3m 2s
    4. Working with difficult text wraps
      8m 39s
    5. Inverting text wraps
      2m 7s
    6. Setting text wrap preferences
      3m 49s
  15. 29m 33s
    1. Choosing a page size and setting margins
      6m 33s
    2. Setting up columns
      2m 53s
    3. Dividing a page into rows
      3m 27s
    4. Setting up a baseline grid
      5m 40s
    5. Handling baseline grid problems
      3m 37s
    6. Baseline grid tricks
      7m 23s
  16. 12m 19s
    1. Looking at screen documents
      4m 2s
    2. Setting size, leading, and line length onscreen
      3m 13s
    3. Exploring typefaces designed for the screen
      3m 36s
    4. Accessibility: Contrast and color
      1m 28s
  17. 28s
    1. Goodbye
      28s

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