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Creating pull quotes and design objects using tables

From: InDesign Tables In Depth

Video: Creating pull quotes and design objects using tables

One thing I hope you'll be able to take away from this course besides of course a real comfort level with using tables, is that you'll be able to step back and think about using InDesign's table features for things that don't look like tables. One of the most interesting features I think is that you can set row height in a way that it will grow or shrink depending on how much text is in the cell. I mean that's incredible. No other frame does that. That means you can use it for things like we see on this page where we have these blocks of text with a tint behind them. Each one has a different amount of text.

Creating pull quotes and design objects using tables

One thing I hope you'll be able to take away from this course besides of course a real comfort level with using tables, is that you'll be able to step back and think about using InDesign's table features for things that don't look like tables. One of the most interesting features I think is that you can set row height in a way that it will grow or shrink depending on how much text is in the cell. I mean that's incredible. No other frame does that. That means you can use it for things like we see on this page where we have these blocks of text with a tint behind them. Each one has a different amount of text.

Now, there are any number of ways you could do this. But, one of them is to use a table. I'm going to zoom in a little bit, and switch to the Type tool, and then I'll go out of Preview Mode so you can see a little bit more what's happening. Each of these what looks like a text frame is actually a one cell table. I mean who said cell tables have to be two cells? So we have a one cell table where the row height is set to Grow or Shrink according to the amount of text that's within it, and there's a gray tint in the background.

Because there's only one column in this table, the column and the cell width are the same. If we add text to one of these frames, and I'm just going to copy a little bit of text here, and paste it in, the cell grows. If we delete text, it shrinks. Again, there's no other frame in InDesign that will do that. The formatting for the cell is part of a cell style. We'll take a look at that. So here we have a style called info_ box and if we take a look at that, we can see that our Cell Insets are set, and that's the amount that the text is pushing away from the edge of the cell and we have a tint in it. Beautiful! Now, one other thing to note is that these one cell tables are actually sitting on a paragraph of their own and that paragraph is set to Auto Leading.

That's important because Auto Leading is kind of flexible, and will lead by the amount of whatever the largest character is in any given line, and in this case, the object, the table is the largest character. So that's why the leading is increasing and decreasing as we change the size of the frame; in this case, the cell. We also have space before and after applied to this paragraph return and so we made it into a paragraph style. So because of this unique characteristic that table cells have, that they can grow and shrink, we have a really great solution to this particular layout.

I'm going to close the Cell Styles panel, and let's look at another example. I'm going to turn to the next page, Shift+Page Down and zoom back a little bit. Let's go back into Preview Mode, so you can get a better look at what this page looks like, and let's take a closer look at this pull quote. This is a table. I'm going to switch back to Normal View. So this is a pull quote type object that appears in every issue of this magazine, in this particular section of the magazine, and it always has these parentheses at the top and bottom, and it always has these titles Pros and Cons.

But, under Pros and Cons, the number of items that are pros or cons may change from issue to issue. Instead of three pros, there might be four. How about good food? Now, you'll notice that when I added that line of type, I didn't have to adjust anything else in this pull quote, or in this little sidebar if you will, and that's because this also is a table. Let's take a closer look. I've made a copy of the table on the next page in this file, and we can sort of take it apart.

So this is a table, if we look at the Table Setup, that is six rows by one column, and again, who said a table has to be more than one column? The first row contains this graphic which is an outlined parentheses, this row is on a fixed height. But, this row and this row are where the magic happens. These rows are set to Grow, and that means that if you add or subtract a line, the entire layout module if you will is going to move with it.

I mean, this is really a case if you think about what the alternatives are, they're not pretty. If these were separate items in separate frames, every time you had an edit here or here, you'd have to move this item up, or pull it down. Here, everything stays in place. The distance from the baseline of this line to the baseline here is really controlled not only by the height of this row, but by the insets. So everything is positioned perfectly. Nothing else can do this sort of thing like a table can, and if you sit back and think about what tables can do, well, you can start to understand why I'm so crazy about the table features in InDesign.

Try going a little nuts yourself!

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This video is part of

Image for InDesign Tables In Depth
InDesign Tables In Depth

38 video lessons · 12460 viewers

Diane Burns
Author

 
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  1. 1m 21s
    1. Introduction
      49s
    2. Using the exercise files
      32s
  2. 11m 20s
    1. The three "Golden Rules"
      2m 45s
    2. Accessing table commands
      2m 20s
    3. Navigating and selecting tables
      3m 14s
    4. Where do tables come from?
      3m 1s
  3. 1h 2m
    1. Positioning tables in a text frame
      5m 38s
    2. Setting table borders
      6m 3s
    3. Inserting and deleting rows and columns
      5m 22s
    4. Setting header and footer rows
      3m 20s
    5. Working with alternating strokes and fills
      7m 35s
    6. Setting row height and column width
      7m 13s
    7. Formatting text in a cell
      4m 51s
    8. Positioning text in a cell
      3m 50s
    9. Mastering row and column strokes
      11m 31s
    10. Working with cell fills
      4m 28s
    11. Setting diagonal lines in tables
      2m 57s
  4. 22m 55s
    1. Merging and splitting cells
      4m 16s
    2. Creating tables with rounded-corner borders
      5m 33s
    3. Rotating text in a cell
      6m 13s
    4. Using gradients in tables
      4m 28s
    5. Dealing with overset text
      2m 25s
  5. 25m 55s
    1. Understanding the limitations of table and cell styles
      4m 28s
    2. Setting up and applying cell styles
      8m 21s
    3. Setting up and applying table styles
      7m 15s
    4. Using cell styles to "clean up" table styles
      5m 51s
  6. 18m 13s
    1. Working with linked files
      11m 55s
    2. Using Cut and Paste to update table data
      6m 18s
  7. 16m 41s
    1. Placing images in tables
      8m 33s
    2. Using graphics frames in tables
      8m 8s
  8. 16m 54s
    1. Using shapes to change cell corners
      8m 2s
    2. Creating infographics with tables
      8m 52s
  9. 17m 36s
    1. Simplifying complex text frames with tables
      5m 59s
    2. Setting up images and captions with tables
      6m 33s
    3. Creating pull quotes and design objects using tables
      5m 4s
  10. 12m 2s
    1. Comparing table styling for best export results
      6m 58s
    2. Converting tables to graphics for export
      5m 4s
  11. 50s
    1. Next steps
      50s

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