Join David Blatner for an in-depth discussion in this video Format a table, part of InDesign CC 2018 Essential Training.
- [Narrator] Let's make this table look a tad bit better. The basic tool for formatting a table, is a table options dialogue box. And you can get there, by placing your text cursor anywhere inside the table, then going to the table menu, choosing table options, and then choosing table setup. Now this table options dialogue box gives you a lot of control over your tables. But we're just going to take a look at the most important features here. Like table border, here in the middle. That is, what does the border look like around the outside edges of my table.
Right now, I have a one point black stroke around the outside edges, and I'd rather it have no stroke. So to do that, I'll change the color to none. The next item down is table spacing. This lets me control the spacing before or after the table. Because, remember tables are always anchored in a text flow in a story. So space before and space after, it's just like space before and after in a paragraph. Now in this case I don't have any text before or after the table.
The table takes up the whole story, so I'll just leave those alone. Now let's look at some of these other tabs along the top of the dialogue box. I'll choose fills, that's the most fun one. And I'm going to change the alternating pattern pop-up menu from none to every other row. Now because I have the preview checkbox turned on, you can immediately see that every other row inside my table is now colored. It has a 20% black tint in it. That's controlled over here on the left side of the dialogue box. Let's change the color.
Instead of black, I'll choose this dark peach color. So now it's alternating between that color and paper. Instead of paper, I'm going to choose a different color over here on the right side. I'll choose the same swatch, but this time I'll change it to a slightly darker percentage, let's say 40% tint. Okay, now let's tackle the strokes, the lines that go in between every row and column. But the problem is, when I look at this table right now, all I see is these blue lines. Now the blue lines are not the strokes, those are the frame edges that show where the rows and columns are.
I can't see the actual strokes themselves. So I'm going to click ok here, and then let's go ahead and zoom in to 200% by pressing command 2 on the Mac or control 2 on Windows. Here you can kind of see both the blue line, which are the frame edges, and the strokes But I'm going to turn off those frame edges by going to the view menu, coming down to extras, and then choosing hide frame edges. Okay, now I can't see those blue lines anymore. I just see the strokes themselves.
By the way, those frame edges were blue, because this frame is on a layer, and the layer is set to a blue color. That's just a fast way to identify what layer an object is on. Okay, now let's head back up to the table menu, choose table options, and then table setup again. I'll click on row strokes first. This lets me control what do I want to have between every row in my table. So right now, I just have a thick 1 point, black line. But in fact, in this case, I don't want to have any stroke at all.
And you'd think that InDesign would make it really easy for me just to turn those off, but actually, you have to be a little sneaky. To do it, I'm going to change my alternating pattern to every other row. Then, I'm going to set both colors of my alternating pattern to none. First one, and then the other one. Now they all go away. Okay, let's do the columns. In this case, I do want to have a stroke between each of them, but I want to make it white instead of black. Once again, I'll choose every other column, and set the colors both to paper.
Let's go ahead and make these a little thicker too, like 1 1/2 points, and then I'll change this one. That looks good. I'll click okay, and now I'm going to zoom out to fit the spread in the window by pressing command option 0 or control alt 0 on Windows. This is looking pretty good, except for one thing that I notice. Over on the left, I see we have a header. This first row in the table. But it only shows up on the left page. I'd also like to see it up here on the second page, right there at the top.
So, to get a header over there, I need to turn my first row into a header row. To make it a header row, I simply place my cursor in that row, then go to the table menu, choose convert rows, and then choose to header. That converts that row into a header, and now you can see we have the same header at the top of the first page, and the page over here. This could be a 50 page long table, and I would still have that same header on every single page. Okay, this table is looking a lot better already, but there's more work to be done.
The next step is to format the data in the cells, and also to apply custom formatting to individual cells.
- 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