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Positioning text in a cell

From: InDesign Tables In Depth

Video: Positioning text in a cell

One way to think of table cells is to think of them as a series of little text frames that sit side by side and on top of each other, and just like text frames, table cells have the ability to let us control the positioning of text within each frame. In fact, the controls for this are very similar to a regular text frame. Let's take a look at that. Here we have a table where I've set the Row Height to be fairly large so that we can see the positioning of the text within each cell. Just like with regular text in a text frame, if I want to position this text horizontally, I use paragraph formatting commands.

Positioning text in a cell

One way to think of table cells is to think of them as a series of little text frames that sit side by side and on top of each other, and just like text frames, table cells have the ability to let us control the positioning of text within each frame. In fact, the controls for this are very similar to a regular text frame. Let's take a look at that. Here we have a table where I've set the Row Height to be fairly large so that we can see the positioning of the text within each cell. Just like with regular text in a text frame, if I want to position this text horizontally, I use paragraph formatting commands.

I'm going to switch to the Type tool and select these three columns and center them. To do that, I'll click on the Align Center formats and the text is centered, same as we would do with a regular text frame. But what about the vertical positioning and controlling more precisely, exactly, where the text appears in each cell vertically? I am going to select the entire table and now we'll take a look at Cell Options for Text.

Notice the keyboard shortcut is Option+ Command+B or Alt+Ctrl+B, very similar just one key different from Text Frame Options, which is Command+B or Ctrl+B.In the Text panel of the Cell Options dialog, we can control Cell Insets, Vertical Justification as well as the location of the First Baseline. The default setting for Cell Insets is 4 points, and if you think about it, that's really a good thing because you rarely want text to bud up right to the very edge of a table cell.

Vertical Justification works just the way it does in a regular text frame. I'm going to center all of the text in this table, vertically center it that is, and so I'm going to choose Align Center. And we can adjust the First Baseline position with similar controls to the Text Frame Options dialog, but this is something that we rarely have to change. Once in awhile I use the Fixed First Baseline, but only when working with images and that's something we'll look at in a later video. When I click OK, you can see that all the text is centered vertically.

But now that I am looking at this table, I think I'd like the row headers to be aligned to the bottom. So I'm going to click on this row and again, I'm going to go back to my Text Options and I am going to use the shortcut Option+Command+B or Alt+Ctrl+B and for these cells, I want the text to Align to the Bottom. When I click OK, that's looking pretty good. But one last thing, I think the text in this left column is a little bit close to the left edge.

So let's take a look at changing the Insets. I am going to select this first column and go back to my Text Options and first of all you will notice that the Vertical Justification is blank. That's because I have two different Vertical Justifications selected, bottom for the header row and centered for the other rows in this column. But what we want to really pay attention to here are the Cell Insets and when you first open the Cell Insets dialog box, a little Lock icon here is set, which means that if you change one, they all change and that's not really what I want.

I am going to set this back. What I really want to do is change just the Left Inset, so I'm going to click on the little link icon and now I can change just the Left Inset and you'll see that the text is moving over very nicely. Controlling the position of text in table cells is easy and it's just like controlling the position of text in regular old text frames.

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This video is part of

Image for InDesign Tables In Depth
InDesign Tables In Depth

38 video lessons · 12540 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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