Learn how to make and edit tables in InDesign.
- [Instructor] Let's have a look at creating some tables inside of InDesign. If I create a quick text frame, I'm just going to drag one arbitrarily on this layout like so, I can go to the Table menu and choose Insert Table. All I then need to do is complete this dialog, the number of rows that I want, the number of columns, header rows if any and footer rows if any and then hit OK and there you are, I've got a table. If I just come out of that and I'll pick up the selection tool here and delete that, you can also put one in without having a text box present.
If you go to the Table menu and choose Create Table, you get exactly the same dialog, you get a table as a result which you can click and drag into place like so and you get a text frame around it that's really snug to the edges. More commonly though you're much more likely to bring it in as part of a Word document perhaps because if you remember the import options, one of those was to preserve the formatting of tables and then you could refine them inside of InDesign or as we're going to do now bring in some tab delimiter text and turn that into a table.
So, if I use the place command and pick up tableText from the exercise files, I'll just bring that in and I'll drag a text frame across this part of the layout to the middle of this column here like so. Then I can double click to access it with the type tool, select all of it, go to the Table menu and this time choose Convert Text to Table. It will ask me what my column separator is.
You can have tabs or commas or even paragraphs. I've chosen tab here because that is how that information is separated and how the rows are separated by paragraphs as is normally the case and here you are. There's my table drawn like so. Now, I can start to actually refine this directly here. You'll notice that if I move any of the dividing lines here that I can drag like so and if I just drag, then I'm going to change the width of the table as well.
If my intention is to widen the cell or change the cell in any way, I need to hold down the shift key, so I can pull this one back to this first column for example just here and this one can come back to the last column just there. Perfect. Now that I've got that, I'm just going to hold down my command key, that'll be control on the PC for a second, that gives me temporary access to the selection tool and just make the text frame larger because I knew there was another row just in there and that's not bad as an idea to be honest if you're just checking to see if you've got all of the information.
So, now I can begin to style parts of this. What I'm going to do here is click above this column just as you would in a spreadsheet program and I'm going to align these to the center horizontally and also vertically. I'm going to select this range here and I'm going to align all of those vertically to the center and this final column I'm also going to align horizontally also. I'm then going to select all of the text there and change its size.
I'm going to bring this down to nine points just here and put it on an 11-point leading like so. And all of this at the moment is local formatting. I'm not using any styles here. If I wanted to add paragraph styles that I had already, then I'd need to go to the Window menu, come down to Styles and choose Paragraph Styles and apply them from there, although you can actually build into table styles as well which is something again for another day.
I think that this row here or this column here rather I'm just going to increase that, I'm going to take that back up to 11 just there. It doesn't really need that much in terms of interlinear space so I could actually leave it at type which is what you call it when it's 11 on 11 or when the two values are the same. Doesn't work very well if you've got descenders in there but I think that's pretty solid. I might just drop it up one more point like so. Okay, now I'm going to remove the second instances of all of these categories just here, just remove those like so and then I'm going to work my way up the column here selecting pairs of cells and merging them together because each one of these is two different topics associated with a particular subject if you like or category.
There we go, that's all done and now I'm going to change the height of these cells. So, I've selected that range and I'm going to come up to this area here and set it to exactly and I think I can get away with five picas here, so I'll put five picas in, actually I could go a bit further, so I'm just going to click in there and use my arrow keys to see how far I can get. In fact, five pica seven, nice, neat fit, there we go, perfect.
Now I'm going to put some color into these cells. I'm going to use the colors from the Creative Cloud libraries. So, what I need to do here is to select these colors, I've clicked on one and shift click the last one and then right click and choose Add To Swatches. So, now they're added to the document swatches. I'm just going to drag across the first cell there and what I need to look out for is this little bit at the top. In fact, this whole area.
First of all, I need to make sure I'm affecting the fill, not the stroke. Then I'm affecting the container, not the type just there. So, I click here, that will fill with lilac and if I fill this one with the salmon color there or pale salmon and then this one with slightly darker of those yellows, the green rather, not that is desperately matters as it goes, just bring this down, it's treating it like a real document, hilarious.
There you go and I've done those, I'm going to select the entire range because these would need light strokes on here, not great, big heavy ones, so I'll drop these down to .25 of a point and from the color for the stroke I'm going to stick with black but I'm going to tint it down to about 75%, somewhere in that sort of ballpark. Excellent. I'll switch to my selection tool and what I'm going to do is tap W and now you get more of a view of how this is looking and you've probably spotted there's something not right with those strokes which I'm going to rectify now.
I'll double click first of all to access the table and then select the whole thing. What I neglected to do here was to change the in between lines of the cells just there and you'll see that some things now have dimmed out because they don't know what to show me, so I'll change that to .25 points and I'll change this to black at 75% like so. Now if I come away from that, you'll see that is all nicely resolved.
Save for a little bit of local formatting which of course we could all do at our leisure, that's it, that's your 101 on tables complete, so if you need to use them inside of your document, you at least know how to get started.
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