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It's a wonderful world of color out there and InDesign tables are part of this world, because it's very easy to fill table cells with any color that's in your Swatches panel or Gradient for that matter. Applying fill colors to table cells is pretty straightforward and we are going to take a look at that along with some little things you need to keep in mind. Using gradients in table cells is a bit less straightforward. So we'll cover that in another video. I can apply a fill to table cells in a couple of different ways. I am going to first switch to the Type tool by pressing the letter T and I'm going to select this cell by clicking in it and pressing the Escape key.
The easiest way to apply color is to just use the Swatches panel. Let's open the Swatches panel and I'll bring it over here, so we can see it a little better and first I want to check that my Fill icon is forward, and then I can just pick a color. So let's try sea_blue. The color is applied to the fill of the cell and that's pretty straightforward. I can also use the Strokes and Fills dialog. I am going to reselect this cell and right mouse click to bring up the Strokes and Fills dialog.
At the bottom here you see that we have an area to apply Cell Fill and the color I just applied is shown there or I can choose any other color that's in my Swatches panel. Let's try tree-green. Now notice there is no button here to preserve overrides and so this color is going to replace the other color that was there. So now we have tree-green. One thing about applying colors to cells is that with the table cell selected, it's really hard to see the color that you've chosen and if you need to apply a color to just one cell, here's a little trick, you can simply click in the cell and then use the keyboard shortcut to bring up the Cell Styles dialog.
That's Option+Command+B or Alt+Ctrl+B. Then you can hold down the Command or Ctrl key and press the Down Arrow and that takes you right to the Fills dialog. Now, we can change the color and because that cell isn't selected, we can see the color more clearly. So that might come in handy for you and of course we can apply colors to a range of cells by simply selecting the range of cells. I'll click on this row and apply a color and then we'll select this column and I can apply another color.
I can apply a Tint. This would be a little bit dark if we leave it at 100%. So I'll change this to 50% and then we can select these cells and apply yet another color. Cell Fill colors can also be part of a cell style. So it can make it really easy and quick to apply color throughout your table. Let's take a look at the default fills for tables again and so here's that same table, but it's set to the default fill and I want to point out to you that the default fill for tables is None, and that means if you have a background image, it's going to show through.
I happen to have one here. I am going to turn it on and because the fill is None, you would see the image through the table. If that's not what you want, you will need to select the table and then give it another fill, maybe Paper or some other color. This is also true with Alternating Fills by the way that is the default, if we take a look at that, the default for Alternating Fills is that the first row is 20% black, but the Alternating Row is 100% of None. So those cells would be see-through as well or you will be able to see the background image behind those as well.
So that's just something to be aware of. Speaking of Alternating Fills, we don't need the Layers panel anymore. Let's take a look at a table with Alternating Fills. As I mentioned when you apply color to a cell, it overrides whatever color is there and the same is true with Alternating Fills. If I select this column, even though it has Alternating Fills in it, and apply another color on top of that, the color changes. What didn't change here is just the Tint.
So this cell is still Tinted at 100% because it was 100% of None and this cell still has a 20% Tint and so this may or may not be an effect you are going for, but it's colorful. All in all, you can see that applying color fills to table cells is pretty easy. So perk up your tables with the wonderful world of color.
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