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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.
We have seen in a previous video that we can insert images directly into table cells by using the File Place command and making a few positioning adjustments. But we can also place empty graphics frames into table cells along with all kinds of preset specifications. And especially useful one being, setting frame fitting options. By assigning attributes to a graphics frame and then inserting that frame into a table cell first, we can speed up the process of importing graphics quite a bit. Let's take a look at that.
I'm going to switch from Preview to Normal mode, and the first thing I want to do is create a graphics frame that'll fit inside these table cells in the first column. I want to make that frame an exact measurement. These sales are 8 picas by 8 picas. So I want to make a graphics frame that's just about one point smaller. And the quickest way to make a graphics frame of a particular size is to simply click and then input the measurements in the rectangle dialog here.
So I'm going to type in 7p11 by 7p11, and click OK. Now I have a graphics frame that is exactly the size that I want. The next thing I am going to do is apply some fitting options to this frame before I start pasting it into the column of the table. So from the Object menu we go to Fitting and Frame Fitting options. I want to use in this case the option to Fit Content Proportionally, I want the entire image to fit inside this frame.
So I will choose that and I always like to align my images from the center when I'm putting them into graphics frames. Now I can copy this into the Clipboard, Command or Ctrl+C and then click and paste, and I could go down and do it for all of the cells in this column, but I want to show you this kind of crazy grep routine that does it for you automatically, in case you have a large table and you might not want to click in each cell.
I have this frame in the Clipboard, right? So I'm going to select this column and we will go to our Find/Change dialog. And there's nothing in this cell but there is this little Pound sign that's the end of story marker, the little hatch mark right here, you see it in each cell. And I'm going to look for what's called the end of story character. Now it's not on this convenient little special character menu here, but it happens to be \Z, and I want to find that end of story character which is essentially a location and change it to the contents of the Clipboard.
So once I've done that now let's do our first Find and Change, Find Next > Change, Find Next and Change. One thing I found about this routine is that you can't just do Change All and to be honest with you I'm not sure why, but it might be faster for you to just use Find Next and Change. Because I selected this column first even though the search is restricted to the story, which is the entire file I could have restricted it to the selection, but because I selected the column the Find Next went down the column.
Okay, so there is a little grep exercise and there are some great videos on using grep in InDesign in the lynda.com Library. I will close that dialog and then let's scroll back up and take a look at our graphics frames. Now before I start placing images I want to point out one thing about the cells in this column that before we started this exercise I set some things in this column that are really important for the positioning of these frames.
I'm going to go into this first frame and as we talked about in the previous video when you have a frame that's being taken up by an image you can't just click in there to get into it or to select it. So we use instead of the Tab key to move to the right we use Shift+Tab to move to the left. So now I'm in that cell and we are going to take a look at the positioning settings for that cell, I've opened the Cell Options dialog using the keyboard shortcuts Option+Command or Alt+ Controlled+B. And we have set up a few things here that are important to set up with images.
The Cell Insets are all set to 0. It's a good idea anytime you're working with images. But the thing that's really important is that this First Baseline be changed from the default of ascend to a fixed height. And that the Vertical Justification is set to the Bottom. What these settings are doing is, of course removing any inset from this cell, but this first baseline is bringing the baseline or the bottom of this frame down to the bottom of the cell, and Vertical Justification brings that baseline down, if the vertical justification was at the top the frame goes in alliance to the top of the cell.
So these settings were already put in place and that's what made these frames tuck into position so nicely. Now that we have these frames in position and they have the Fitting options set, we can select all of our images, I am going to hold down the Shift key and select these five images from the Assets folder. And click Open and now one, two, three, four, five, done. Let's change to High Quality Display and go into Preview mode so that we can see the formatting of the table a little more clearly, and there you have it.
I might want to go in and adjust the Scaling of some of these images, I will just click on them and use the keyboard shortcut for scaling graphics, Option+Command or Alt+Ctrl and then the Comma key reduces the scaling or the Period key increases it so I can just adjust some of these if they're tucked a little bit too close to the edge of the cell. One thing I would like to point out is that we've put these images in what is obviously a table, but you can use a table structure and not have any row strokes or fills and still position images next to text.
I will show you what I mean just to give you a rough idea of what I'm talking about I am going to select this entire table and from the Swatches panel I am going to make sure that the Fill is active and I'm going to make it filled with paper. And when I do that it gets rid of all of what made this look like a table structure. Let's turn on our Table Controls here, I can come in and say, well, I don't really need the text up here anymore and I can ingest the Insets here and move that text over a little bit.
But I can do it all without it being obviously a table. It still makes it really easy to adjust the text, the width of the columns in the relationship of everything here, I can come over to the right here and maybe pull this out and change the spacing here really more easily than I would if I had the set up with tabs. So tables don't have to have strokes turned on or fills and when you use that or think about it that way there's all kinds of setup that you can do with text and images next to it with that actually uses a table, but it's not so obvious.
And if you are going to put images into your table cells think about inserting empty graphics frames first, this will allow you to set all kinds of things first especially fitting options that will size your images for you automatically as you place the images inside each cell. And I hope this gives you a good idea and some ideas about how to use these features for yourself.
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