Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Formatting a table

From: InDesign CS5 Essential Training

Video: Formatting a table

Let's make these two tables look a tad bit better. First I'm going to start with the table on the left. Now it's tempting to select that table with a Selection tool to try and format it, but it won't really work. Instead, you need the Type tool. So I'll double-click to switch the Type tool and click inside the table. Now I'm going to zoom in to 200% so we can see this little bit better and I'll go to the Table menu and I'm going to point out Table Options and Cell Options. These are the two main places that you're going to be paying attention to when formatting your tables. Let's start with Table Options.

Formatting a table

Let's make these two tables look a tad bit better. First I'm going to start with the table on the left. Now it's tempting to select that table with a Selection tool to try and format it, but it won't really work. Instead, you need the Type tool. So I'll double-click to switch the Type tool and click inside the table. Now I'm going to zoom in to 200% so we can see this little bit better and I'll go to the Table menu and I'm going to point out Table Options and Cell Options. These are the two main places that you're going to be paying attention to when formatting your tables. Let's start with Table Options.

There are five different features underneath the Table Options sub-menu, but actually they all go to the same place. They are just different tabs of the Table Options dialog box. Now the Table Options dialog box lets me control the table as a whole. Some of these features are redundant with the Table panel that we've seen earlier, such as the number of rows and columns. The main thing I'm going to pay attention to in this table is the Table Border. The Table Border controls a stroke around the outside of your table. Right now, it's set to 1 point.

I'm going to make it thinner. How about a half a point? Of course you can also change its type and its color, but we are going to leave it set to black for right now. When I click OK, it's hard to see that anything's changed and one of the reasons for that is I have my frame edges showing. Generally when you're trying to format tables, it's a good idea to be in Preview Mode or at least have your frame edges turned off. I am going to come up here to the View menu, choose Extras, and then choose Hide Frame Edges. That way I can still see my guides and so on but I'm not distracted by the frame edges, which sit on top of my actual rows and column dividers.

I can immediately spot a problem here. The outside edge is only half a point thick but the inside rules are a full 1-point thick still. So to fix that, I need to adjust the Cell Options. Cell Options only affect the cells that I have selected in the table. So I'm going to select all the cells in this table by going to the Table menu, choosing Select, and then choosing Column, or in this case Table. Now that they are selected I can go to the Table menu and choose Cell Options and then Text. Once again, there are three other options here but they all go to the same place.

Different tabs within the same dialog box. Let's take a moment to look at some of the options in this dialog box. The first thing I want to pay attention to is Cell Insets. These work just like the text insets in the Text Frame Options dialog box. You can control how far from the edge of the cell the text should sit. Right now it's set to 4 points on all sides. There's also a Vertical Justification setting, again just like the Text Frame Options dialog box. I'm going to set this to Align Bottom and you can see that all the text dropped to the bottom of the cell.

Now I'm going to come up here and adjust the bottom, because that's a little bit too close to the bottom. So I'm going to use my Up Arrow keys to bring that up, just a point to about 5 points. It looks much better there. There is a number of other options in this dialog box but I'm going to the Strokes and Fills tab to take a look at how I can control these dividers between each of the cells. This diagram with the blue lines is a very important diagram when it comes to formatting cells in a table. You're going to see this time-and-time again and it's important to know how to manage it.

The lines in this diagram represent each side of a cell that's selected. InDesign is showing me the top line of the top-most cell, the bottom line of the bottom-most cell, and all the dividers in between are represented by this line here. You can turn these on and off simply by clicking on them. Click once and it turns gray. That means it's no longer selected. If I click two times that whole segment becomes deselected. So in this case I want to select once in the middle because I want to change all the horizontal lines between the cells.

I'll change it from one point to a- half a point to match the outside frame. The Cell Options dialog box also lets me change the fill color of each of these cells, but in this case I'm going to just leave it set to None. So when I click OK and then deselect simply by clicking inside one of these cells, you can see that all of my lines are now of the same thickness. Let's scroll over here to the second table and do some formatting here. First I'll click inside one of these cells and go to the Table menu and choose Table Setup. For this table I'm not going to worry about the outside table border. I'm going to jump right to fills.

The Fills tab of the Table Options dialog box lets me set an alternating pattern for this table. For example, I could say every other row should be either black or let's pick a different color. How about blue? 20% of this blue color swatch. It starts with the first row and then skips every other one. If I wanted this to be two different colors I could choose my second color from this popup menu. But I'm going to leave it set to None. Now I'll click OK and take a look. I don't much like those black lines, so let's get rid of them.

I'm going to select the entire table by pressing Command+Option+A or Ctrl+Alt+A on Windows. Now I'm going to change the color of those lines. I can do that in a couple of places but the easiest is right up here in the Control panel. Look at that, a very similar icon shows up here. In this case I also have a vertical bar, which is currently deselected, because it's gray, and that represents all of the inside vertical lines in my table. If I want to turn off all the lines in my table, I'll select everything in that little icon, come over to the stroke control, and say None.

When I click off, it's hard to see this because it's all selected, but when I click inside one of the cells to deselect the whole table you'll see that all of those rows and column dividers are gone. Well, they are there. They are just invisible. They are stroked with none. Now I'm not sure I like this. I think I'd like to put in the vertical lines between the columns again. So I'm going to select the whole table again, Command+Option+A or Ctrl+Alt+A. I'm going to triple-click on the outside of this icon which turns off the outside and then I'll also turn off that one horizontal divider.

Because all I really want to control is the inside column lines, the one that are inside between these three columns. Now I'll set that to some color, perhaps this blue color and maybe a tint of that, about 50%. Click off and we can see it looks pretty good. I've got vertical lines running down the columns and I have alternating fills every other row. The last thing I want to do on this table is change the formatting of this header. Each one of these cells acts like its own little text frame, but the cool thing is I could select all of these cells at the same time by hovering my cursor over the left edge.

Just little left of that first row until I see that little black arrow. When I click, it selects the entire row. When you have more than one cell selected, you can change the formatting for all the text in all of those cells at the same time. In this case I'm going to apply a different paragraph style to all that text. So I'll go to the Paragraph Styles panel, scroll down here, and I see that I've got a paragraph style called table bold. There we go. Now it's hard to see that because this particular paragraph style makes the text white on a dark background and it's currently highlighted so you can't see it.

But that's okay, because the next thing I'm going to do is change the fill color of those cells. So I'll come to the Swatches panel, I'll make sure the fill icon is on top, and then I'm going to pick a dark color. Like perhaps this darker blue at 100%. Of course the other place I could change that is up here in the Control panel. Anyway now when I deselect that by clicking inside one of the cells you can see that I've changed the formatting of the text and I've changed the fill color of those three cells. If I go to the Type menu and turn off Hidden Characters, I can see that the table is really coming along well.

But there is one problem,. When this table is so long that it stretches across two or more pages you won't be able to see this header up here on the other pages. Well, InDesign does have a feature that fixes that and it's called header rows.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for InDesign CS5 Essential Training
InDesign CS5 Essential Training

135 video lessons · 89912 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

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed InDesign CS5 Essential Training.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.