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Using gradients in tables

From: InDesign Tables In Depth

Video: Using gradients in tables

We know it's very easy to apply solid color fills to table cells using either the Swatches panel or the Strokes and Fills dialog. We can also apply gradients to table cells the same way, but gradients don't get applied exactly the way we might like. Let's take a look. I have a few gradients set up in this document and I'm going to open the Swatches panel, and pull it over here, so we can it a little bit more clearly, and I have three gradients. One goes from just one color to another, and then I have one that goes from one color to another, and then back again, our A-B-A_gradient, and then we have a radial gradient.

Using gradients in tables

We know it's very easy to apply solid color fills to table cells using either the Swatches panel or the Strokes and Fills dialog. We can also apply gradients to table cells the same way, but gradients don't get applied exactly the way we might like. Let's take a look. I have a few gradients set up in this document and I'm going to open the Swatches panel, and pull it over here, so we can it a little bit more clearly, and I have three gradients. One goes from just one color to another, and then I have one that goes from one color to another, and then back again, our A-B-A_gradient, and then we have a radial gradient.

I'm going to switch to the Type tool by pressing the letter T and we'll go into Normal Mode, so that we can see what this looks like. If I select an entire row of this table and apply a gradient, we'll choose the A-B_gradient, doesn't look so bad. It goes from one color to another. Let's try our A-B-A_gradient. That looks pretty good too. But, the problem comes in if we try to apply it to a single column. I'll select this first column, and then apply the same gradient.

That's not exactly what I expected, because this is my A-B-A_gradient, I wanted it to go from green to yellow and back to green. That's just not what I wanted. The reason this problem comes up is that gradients applied to tables are really seeing the entire text frame that the table is sitting in. I'll show you what I mean. I'm going to select this text frame and apply that same gradient. Here is where the gradient is actually being applied, and you can see that in fact, that's what I got in that first row and this is what I got in that column which is not exactly what I wanted.

I'm going to undo that. There are a couples of ways that we can fix this. One which I'll show you now is to use the Gradient Swatch tool. I'm going to select this first column and then I'll choose the Gradient Swatch tool, and redirect the gradient. Now, that's more what I intended to have when I applied this particular gradient. So I can use the Gradient Swatch tool and I can even redirect the gradient altogether. So I'm going to go from top to bottom.

That's pretty interesting! But it's a lot of work. The only other thing we can do is create a new gradient, and adjust the color stops to try to fit the column. Let's look at another example. I'm going to hold down the Shift key, and press Page Down, and here is a table with no fills in it, no gradients, and I'm going to make a copy of our A-B_gradient. So I'll right mouse-click on the A-B _gradient and Duplicate the Swatch. Here, I have a copy and I'll go to Swatch Options and we'll rename this.

We'll call it gradient column. Now, I can move over these stops. So I'm going to select the row to begin with, and we're going to apply the original gradient. That's okay. Now again, if we apply that same gradient to the first column, that's not what we want. But, if we apply our new gradient, it's a little bit better. It goes from one color to the other which is much closer to what we wanted.

But, the problem with building a new gradient is it'll really only work in this column. If I try to apply it to another column, that's not what I wanted at all. And again, that's because this gradient is being applied or the gradient is seeing the entire text frame, and so we do have our color shift here. But, by the time we get to this location in the text frame, we're into this other color. So gradients can be used in tables, but they really work best when they're applied to cells that either span the width of a text frame, or if they're applied to an entire table.

For example, we can select this table, and apply our radial gradient and well it's interesting. It's fun to play around with gradients, but just be aware of these limitations as you add them to your tables.

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This video is part of

Image for InDesign Tables In Depth
InDesign Tables In Depth

38 video lessons · 12912 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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