Join David Blatner for an in-depth discussion in this video Adjust rows and columns, part of InDesign CC 2018 Essential Training.
- [Instructor] I have version two of this table document open from the exercise files folder, and this is where we left off in the last movie. Now, I want to adjust these rows and columns, but if I choose the selection tool and then try and drag over one of these column dividers, I don't move the column divider, I move the whole frame. So, let's undo that. Command Z, or control Z on Windows. Remember that tables are always inside text frames, and therefore, you have to use the type tool to do almost anything to a table.
So, I'll grab the type tool from the tool panel, and then I'll click inside the table. Now that my cursor is inside a cell, I can drag the row and column lines. For example, I'll make this column a little bit narrower. Let's go ahead and make this one a little wider. You get the idea. You can just move these around. Now, notice that as I drag one of these column dividers, it changes all the columns in the table. Well, all the columns to the right of that line. They all move together. But if I want to move a column divider without moving the other dividers, I hold down the shift key.
Shift drag lets me move just one column, without affecting the other columns. Now, on the other hand, the shift key does something very different if you use it on the outside edge. If I come over here and drag the outside edge of my table without the shift key, I simply change that one divider line because there's nothing to the right of it, right? But if you hold down the shift key now, it does just the opposite. Shift drag on the outside line changes all the columns to the left of that line. Now, in this case, I want that table to fit inside the frame so I'm going to simply drag this over to the left with the shift key held down and then let go of the mouse button when it's at the frame edge.
I'd like these last three columns to be the same width, and that's very hard to do by eye, just by dragging over it. But fortunately, you don't have to do that. Instead, just select cells from all three columns. You don't have to select the whole columns, just those three cells will do. Then, go to the table menu and choose distribute columns evenly. That forces InDesign to make the widths exactly the same. By the way, notice that when I choose one or more cells from the table, the control panel changes to give me a bunch of table formatting features.
Over on the left, this controls the text formatting inside that cell. But here in the middle, you can adjust the number of rows and columns. For example, see how I can add rows just by clicking these arrows or changing these numbers? If I try and reduce that number, InDesign gives me this warning. So, I can click okay and it'll remove that last row. As I've mentioned before, the control panel gives you more features when your screen is wider, and in this case, I want to get access to some table features that I just can't see right now.
So, I'm going to open the table panel, which I can find by going to the window menu, coming down to type and tables, and then choosing table. Let's move this out of the way a little bit. The features I'm looking for are the ones right in the middle here. These let you change the width of the columns or the height of this row. For example, right now, the height is currently set to at least this amount. That means the row is going to be at least that height, but if I put more text in there, it could grow, but it won't get smaller.
If I want to specify an exact height for that row, I could change this from at least to exactly. And then, I'd come over here and specify the height. In this case, I'll choose .75 inches. We saw one way to change the number of rows and columns in your table up in the control panel. You can also change it here inside the table panel. But there are other ways too. For example, if I know that I want a new row in a specific place, just click on one of the cells, like this one down here. Then, head up to the table menu and choose insert, and now choose row.
Let's go ahead and insert a row. Of course, you can insert more than one if you want, and you can choose to insert it above or below the currently selected cell. I'll just go ahead and do one. There you go, it inserted a row. Of course, where you can add, you can delete too. Just place your cursor inside of a cell or select the row, then go back to the table menu, and this time, I'll choose delete and then choose row. Okay, there are a couple more table tricks that you need to know. First, I'm going to put my cursor inside this cell over here where I have a little subhead, and I'm going to zoom in to 200% by pressing command two or control two or Windows.
Why don't I scroll over a little bit so I can see the entire row? I can see that this heading is followed by a bunch of empty cells, so why not take advantage of that space? I'm going to select all of those cells, simply by dragging over them. Then, I'll go up to the table menu and I'll choose merge cells. Now this acts like a single cell in the table. I'll click off here so you can see it better. You can also split individual cells into two cells. For example, I'll split this cell into two by going to the table menu and then choosing split cell horizontally.
In other words, put a line inside the cell so that I get two cells, one on top of the other. Okay, what if I want to move a whole row to a different place in the table? No problem. First, I need to select the whole row, and I can do that by moving my cursor over here to the left of the row so that it turns into this dark, black arrow. Now, I can click if I just want that one, or click and drag to get more than one row. In this case, I just want that one. Then, once the row is selected, you can move it by placing your cursor inside one of the cells.
The cursor changes just a little bit, so it looks kind of like two bricks stacked on top of each other, and when you see that, you can simply drag up or down, and it moves the rows. Wherever I see that dark blue line, it's going to place the row there. I'll move it down to the bottom after number 13. Of course, you could do the same thing to columns. I'll just scroll up here until I see the top of the table. Now, I'll select one of these columns, but now you'll see I cannot drag it. I never get that little icon in the cursor.
The reason is, unfortunately, if you've merged cells in your selection, InDesign will no longer let you move the rows or columns around. So here, the selection included this merged cell down here, that subheading, so it's a no-go. That's just a limitation you need to know about. Okay, once you have your basic table structure down, it's time to start paying attention to formatting it and making it more attractive. At least, I hope you want to make it more attractive than this. That's what I'm going to cover in the next movie.
- Creating a new layout
- Inserting pages
- Adding text
- Inserting graphics
- Applying color and transparency
- Drawing and editing frames and paths
- Formatting objects
- Formatting text
- Creating styles for uniform formatting
- Building tables
- Adding links and interactivity
- Printing and exporting InDesign documents