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Creating a table

From: InDesign CS5 Essential Training

Video: Creating a table

Sooner or later you're going to have to make a table, and making tables isn't really fun. Well, InDesign offers a number of features that make table-making not fun, but at least pretty tolerable, and sometimes even interesting. The first thing you need to know about tables in InDesign is that they are always anchored inside of a text frame and they flow along with the text in the story. Let's make a table inside of this text frame. Because tables are always inside text frames, you have to use the Type tool to make them. I'll press T to jump to the Type tool and then click inside this frame.

Creating a table

Sooner or later you're going to have to make a table, and making tables isn't really fun. Well, InDesign offers a number of features that make table-making not fun, but at least pretty tolerable, and sometimes even interesting. The first thing you need to know about tables in InDesign is that they are always anchored inside of a text frame and they flow along with the text in the story. Let's make a table inside of this text frame. Because tables are always inside text frames, you have to use the Type tool to make them. I'll press T to jump to the Type tool and then click inside this frame.

Let's zoom in to 200% with Command+2 or Ctrl+2 on Windows, and we can see that text cursor flashing in here. To make a table, I go to the Table menu and choose Insert Table. InDesign asks me how many rows and how many columns do I want? In this case, I'm going to make a table with four rows and three columns. I'll cover header rows, footer rows, and table styles later in this chapter. When I click OK, you'll see that InDesign makes a table that stretches all the way from the left edge of the frame to the right edge.

The little blue number sign that you see inside each of those cells is an indicator of the end of story. It's just like the symbol you see at the end of a text frame. In fact, each table cell acts like a little text frame, sitting inside of a larger table. So you can type inside of any cell that has that flashing text cursor. I'll type a few things along the header here, like Item Number. Now to jump to the next cell, I could click in it, or I could just press Tab. Tab jumps from one cell to the next.

Now I'll Tab again and type a little bit more. If Tab moves to the next cell, you can guess what Shift+Tab does? That's right. It jumps to the previous cell and selects the text or the content of that cell. This table currently has one header and three rows. If I want to add more rows at the end, there are a couple of things I could do. First, I could click in the last cell and press Tab. When you press Tab at the end, it adds a new row at the bottom. Another option is to open the Table panel.

Let's go and take a look at that. I'll go to the Window menu, choose Type & Tables, and then Table. The Table panel is control central for all kinds of things that I want to do to tables. And the first item at the top lets me choose a number of rows and columns. Let's say I wanted to have 20 rows in here. I would simply replace that 5 with 20, press Enter, and it adds all those rows. Now I want to point out something else that's interesting about tables in InDesign. I'm going to zoom back to Fit in Window with a Command+0 or Ctrl+0, and I'm to go grab my Selection tool.

If I make this text frame less tall, I get an overset. That is to be expected I suppose, because there is more text than can fit into that frame. But what's interesting is that I can thread that table from one frame into another. I'll click on that overset mark with the Selection tool. Then I'll come down here and drag out a new text frame. When I let go, you'll see that the story threads from one frame into the other, and the table itself is threading. That means if I extend the top frame, some of the table from the second frame gets moved back up.

This turns out to be extremely useful when you have very long tables. However, I do want to point out one thing and that's that InDesign will only break a table at a row boundary. You cannot break halfway through a cell for example. I'm going to go ahead and delete this frame at the bottom, we don't need that right now, and I'll make this tall again. Now let's look at a second way to make tables in InDesign. I'm going to select this text frame on the left and zoom in to 200%, scroll down here, and I'll double click inside here to switch to the Type tool.

There are all kinds of ways to format address forms like this, but in this case, I'm going to turn the whole thing into a table. To do that, I'll select all the text in the story with a Command+A or Ctrl+A on Windows, I'll go to the Table menu, and I'll choose Convert Text to Table. InDesign asks me, what should indicate a new column and what should indicate a new row? In this case, I'm going to end up with a table that has just one column and many rows. So I don't really care about the Column Separator, but I do care about the Row Separator.

Right now it's set to Paragraph, which is exactly right. I want each new paragraph to be on its own row. When I click OK, InDesign makes my table for me. Once again it stretches the entire width of my text frame. Each one of these is now a different cell. If I'd click in one and drag down, you'll see that it's actually selecting a cell at a time. Not only can you convert text into tables, but you can also convert tables into text. I'm not going to do that right now, but I did want to point out that you can do it.

Another thing I want to point out about tables is that they can extend past the edge of a text frame. Let me show you what I mean. I'm going to zoom back to 100% mode with a Command+1 or Ctrl+1 on Windows and I'll use my Selection tool to make my text frame smaller. You would think that would cause overset, but it doesn't. The table actually just sticks out the side of the frame. There is nothing wrong with doing it. It just works that way. Now as I said earlier, tables actually flow inside of a text frame, so I could use my Type tool to click inside this frame, then I'll press Return or Enter, and I can start typing some random text down there.

You see how the text follows the table? I'll press Command or Ctrl+Up Arrow a couple of times to jump to the beginning of this story. I'll press Return or Enter again, and then I'm going to start typing at the beginning of the story. Once again, the table follows along, because it's anchored into the text story. Now I know these two tables aren't exactly pretty, but at least we have tables to work with now. The next steps we need to take are to learn how to adjust the rows and column sizes, and then how to format the tables themselves.

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This video is part of

Image for InDesign CS5 Essential Training
InDesign CS5 Essential Training

135 video lessons · 89556 viewers

David Blatner
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 5m 50s
    1. Welcome
      1m 33s
    2. What is InDesign CS5?
      2m 26s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 51s
  2. 54m 49s
    1. Understanding the Application window
      6m 0s
    2. Navigating pages
      6m 39s
    3. Zooming and magnifying
      6m 57s
    4. Managing more than one document window
      3m 36s
    5. Setting rulers and measurements
      2m 9s
    6. Positioning panels correctly
      6m 28s
    7. Saving time by making workspaces
      3m 24s
    8. Setting the view quality of artwork
      4m 9s
    9. Adjusting View and Preview settings
      4m 56s
    10. Rotating pages and spreads
      3m 2s
    11. Displaying a new view with the New Window feature
      3m 29s
    12. Setting application and document preferences
      4m 0s
  3. 21m 31s
    1. Using the Tool panel
      8m 1s
    2. Learning and editing keyboard shortcuts
      6m 24s
    3. Working with spring-loaded tool shortcuts
      1m 17s
    4. Using contextual menus
      2m 51s
    5. Choosing menu items with Quick Apply
      2m 58s
  4. 45m 25s
    1. Creating new documents
      7m 28s
    2. Saving and reverting documents
      3m 41s
    3. Using multiple Undo and Revert
      4m 28s
    4. Setting margin and column guides
      5m 16s
    5. Using ruler guides
      8m 10s
    6. Bleeding colors or images off the side of the page
      4m 29s
    7. Saving objects in libraries
      4m 49s
    8. Exporting and importing page snippets
      4m 29s
    9. Saving for CS4 with IDML
      2m 35s
  5. 31m 18s
    1. Inserting, deleting, and moving pages
      7m 23s
    2. Changing page size
      6m 14s
    3. Adding page numbering
      3m 43s
    4. Changing page numbering with sections
      5m 58s
    5. Creating and applying master pages
      5m 20s
    6. Overriding master page items
      2m 40s
  6. 1h 21m
    1. Understanding text frames
      4m 6s
    2. Typing and editing text
      4m 36s
    3. Filling with placeholder text
      2m 38s
    4. Inserting special characters
      4m 43s
    5. Importing text
      7m 49s
    6. Threading text frames
      4m 1s
    7. Setting text frame columns and insets
      6m 32s
    8. Setting vertical justification and first baseline position
      6m 9s
    9. Putting text on a path
      6m 51s
    10. Using the Story Editor
      8m 43s
    11. Checking spelling
      7m 42s
    12. Using Find/Change
      9m 25s
    13. Tracking text changes
      8m 1s
  7. 49m 50s
    1. Importing graphics
      8m 11s
    2. Importing from Mini Bridge
      5m 27s
    3. Using the Links panel
      6m 34s
    4. Embedding links
      2m 37s
    5. Editing graphics in their original app
      3m 14s
    6. Fitting graphics to a frame
      6m 12s
    7. Taking advantage of image transparency and clipping paths
      4m 53s
    8. Adding live captions
      5m 56s
    9. Colorizing images
      2m 1s
    10. Turning image layers on and off
      4m 45s
  8. 46m 15s
    1. Selecting objects
      5m 32s
    2. Applying basic strokes and fills
      8m 18s
    3. Using advanced strokes
      3m 28s
    4. Adjusting transparency
      4m 38s
    5. Adding drop shadows
      6m 41s
    6. Applying feathering
      4m 25s
    7. Copying formatting with the Eyedropper tool
      4m 35s
    8. Finding and changing object formatting
      4m 50s
    9. Making polygons and starbursts
      3m 48s
  9. 22m 56s
    1. Making interactive documents
      2m 6s
    2. Adding hyperlinks
      5m 52s
    3. Building bookmarks
      3m 38s
    4. Creating buttons
      8m 57s
    5. Animating an object
      2m 23s
  10. 23m 29s
    1. Creating color swatches
      5m 52s
    2. The danger and power of unnamed colors
      4m 47s
    3. Building tint swatches
      2m 18s
    4. Creating gradient swatches
      3m 56s
    5. Applying gradients
      6m 36s
  11. 50m 0s
    1. Positioning objects with the Page Gap tool
      2m 53s
    2. Stacking objects
      2m 13s
    3. Creating and controlling layers
      3m 53s
    4. Managing objects in the Layers panel
      3m 37s
    5. Nesting objects
      2m 46s
    6. Editing frame and path shapes
      4m 6s
    7. Adding rounded corners and other corner options
      3m 57s
    8. Grouping objects
      3m 14s
    9. Locking objects
      2m 39s
    10. Aligning and distributing
      5m 43s
    11. Understanding text wrap
      8m 13s
    12. Using anchored objects
      6m 46s
  12. 18m 49s
    1. Duplicating objects
      5m 39s
    2. Rotating objects
      3m 3s
    3. Scaling objects
      3m 57s
    4. Mirroring objects
      3m 46s
    5. Using the Transform Again feature
      2m 24s
  13. 25m 52s
    1. Applying basic character styling
      7m 8s
    2. Applying advanced character formatting
      4m 54s
    3. Changing case
      2m 51s
    4. Understanding OpenType features
      3m 19s
    5. Using Find/Change for text formatting
      3m 18s
    6. Using Find Font
      4m 22s
  14. 45m 27s
    1. Applying formatting to a paragraph
      4m 14s
    2. Spanning a paragraph across multiple columns
      3m 5s
    3. Splitting a paragraph into multiple columns
      2m 1s
    4. Using drop caps
      3m 16s
    5. Adjusting text hyphenation
      3m 21s
    6. Fine-tuning justified text
      4m 19s
    7. Setting tabs
      5m 54s
    8. Aligning to a baseline grid
      4m 24s
    9. Controlling orphans and widows with Keep Options
      2m 39s
    10. Adding rules (lines) above or below a paragraph
      3m 14s
    11. Adding automatic bullets
      4m 39s
    12. Working with numbered lists
      4m 21s
  15. 31m 3s
    1. Creating and applying paragraph styles
      6m 34s
    2. Using character styles
      5m 43s
    3. Applying styles automatically with Nested Styles
      7m 19s
    4. Using object styles
      3m 27s
    5. Using Quick Apply with styles
      2m 49s
    6. Cleaning up a local formatting mess
      5m 11s
  16. 37m 0s
    1. Creating a table
      5m 54s
    2. Adjusting rows and columns
      6m 35s
    3. Formatting a table
      8m 5s
    4. Adding headers and footers
      1m 58s
    5. Applying table styles
      5m 32s
    6. Adding Microsoft Word and Excel tables
      8m 56s
  17. 10m 26s
    1. Checking your document with the Preflight panel
      2m 54s
    2. Creating a custom preflight profile
      4m 45s
    3. Checking color with the Separations Preview
      2m 47s
  18. 31m 7s
    1. Packaging for output
      4m 13s
    2. Using the Print dialog box
      10m 22s
    3. Exporting a PDF
      8m 47s
    4. Exporting an interactive PDF
      3m 59s
    5. Exporting text
      1m 36s
    6. Exporting SWF files
      2m 10s
  19. 1m 32s
    1. Finding more information and help
      1m 12s
    2. Goodbye
      20s

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