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QuarkXPress has always been the perfect tool for creating and publishing documents. In QuarkXPress 8 Essential Training, Jay Nelson—the publisher of Design Tools Monthly and a QuarkXPress expert—covers all the tools and features in this updated version of the program, from basic page layout to Flash integration and web page creation. Throughout this comprehensive training, Jay shows what's needed to produce professional-quality projects that integrate text, pictures, graphics, and tables. He also offers real-world page layout techniques that designers can apply to their own projects. Exercise files accompany the course.
Most of the time when you bring data into a QuarkXPress table, it's not going to fit exactly right. So, mastering the tools for resizing the table and changing the width of the columns and the rows, and adding new columns and rows is essential. In addition, Quark offers the ability to combine cells, so that you're not stuck with a solid grid like this. Let's first look at how you resize the entire table at one time. Notice the handles around the edges of this table. If you grab a corner handle and drag it, you'll be resizing the entire table but not the text or pictures that are in it. I'll undo that.
If you want to resize the table with everything in it, just hold down the Command key or the Ctrl key in Windows, click on a corner handle and drag it again. There, I resized it along with the text that's in it. I'll undo that. If you want to keep the proportions of the table, just hold down the Command key or the Ctrl key on Windows, and the Shift key, and then either drag it smaller or larger. You may have noticed also that as I dragged outside of the corner handle, I got a little rotate icon and that does what you'd expect.
You can rotate the table to any angle you'd like. If you look down in the Measurements palette, you'll see what angle it was rotated at. Of course, you can also just type a number in there to get it to the degree that you like. But let's bring it back to zero. So, we can look at how to resize rows and columns. I'm going to zoom in, so that we can see this more closely, and we'll look at the several ways that you can resize those rows and columns. First, get the Content tool, and that's going to let you change the width of columns, and the height of rows.
All you do is wait until your icon looks like this little arrow with the line between it, and drag. If you prefer to change the width and height numerically, just make sure your Content tool is in the cell you're interested in, and go to, Item > Modify and then in the Cell area of the Modify dialog, you can give it a Width. You can also give the row a different Height, you can tell it to Auto Fit the text that's in it, give it a Maximum and if you've selected more than one cell, you can click this Distribute Evenly button and it'll do the math for you to divide those cells equally among their combined width.
But I'll Cancel out of this and look at how we can quickly select an entire row or a column. With the Content tool outside of the table itself, you'll see that when you get near either a row or a column, it turns to a solid arrow. By clicking, you select the whole column or row. You can click-and-drag to select more than one, or hold down the Shift key to select columns or rows that aren't contiguous. This comes in handy when you want to format the text. Now, let's say you need to add a row or a column, perhaps at the bottom.
What you do is select the row or the column, and then either go to the Table menu and choose Insert Row or Column or simply Ctrl-click or right-click on the table and go to Table > Insert Row/Column. So we want to insert a row, so it'll pop-up a little dialog, saying how many rows you do you want to insert? And I just want one. And do you want it above or below the currently selected row? I'd like it below. Do you want it to like the one you've got? Yeah, sure. Okay. Now we've got another row looking just like that one. Now to delete a row or a column, you do the same thing.
You select it by putting your cursor outside the table, and clicking when it's the black arrow. And then either Ctrl-click or right- click on the table, choose Table > Delete > Row or go up to the Table menu and choose Delete > Row, which I find a lot easier myself. Now it's gone. The final thing you might want to do to the geometry of a table is either combine or split cells that are next to each other. So, for example, I'll just get rid this funny text character there. Down here, I'd like to see this text spread all the way across the bottom instead of being trapped in this cell on the left.
Well, that's easy enough to do. Simply click-and-drag with the Content tool to select all the cells, go to the Table menu and choose Combine Cells. It'll turn them all into one and fill it whatever was in the leftmost or topmost cell in the cells you selected. And take that as a warning, it's going to delete all the content in all the other cells that you selected. So you may want to copy and paste it somewhere first, if you're going to want to use it later. So if you have a cell that's been combined like the one we just did, you can also split it back into what it was before, by again, going to the Table menu and choosing Split Cell.
It looks likes it did before. Now, the one thing you may run into that can get in the way is for example on this table, if I'd like to increase the width of the last column, if I click-and-drag, it works just fine. But if it doesn't, that may be because Maintain Geometry is turned on in the Item > Modify dialog. Here under Table > Maintain Geometry. If that's turned on, we click OK. And we yet again, try to resize that final column, it won't let us, and that's because it's trying to maintain that height to width ratio, and it doesn't want you make it wider in relation to the height.
And the same is true with height in relation to the width, if you're trying to make the bottom row taller, for example. Resizing the table and changing the widths of the columns and the rows, and combining cells, will save you work in the long run when you are going to format it to look like the page that you are working on.
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