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This course explores the powerful but occasionally mysterious table features in InDesign, illustrating how they can be used efficiently and to their best advantage. Author Diane Burns demonstrates how to set up a table, format it using Table commands, and capture that formatting in table styles as well as how to work with images and update the information in tables without losing formatting. The course also shows how to use tables that don’t look like tables to offer solutions to layout problems, like setting up images and captions or simplifying complex text frames.
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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