Join David Blatner for an in-depth discussion in this video Formatting cells, part of InDesign CC Essential Training (2013).
In the last movie we explored formatting a whole table. In this movie, we'll take it step farther and look at both formatting the data inside the cells and then the cells themselves. I'm going to select this text frame, in the lower left corner of this document. And zoom in to 200% by pressing Cmd+2 or Ctrl+2 on Windows. Now, I'd like to format the text inside this header, right at the top of the table. To do that, I need the Type Tool. And I could get that automatically by just double-clicking inside the header. Next, I'm going to select all of the cells in that row by clicking just to the left of the row where I get that black arrow.
By selecting all the cells, I can change the format in all the cells at the same time. First I'm going to change the font. Click up here, and take NYR, and then I'll choose Myriad pro bold. We should probably make this a little smaller. Let's go ahead and make this, maybe 10 points. That looks pretty good, and then let's go ahead and center it. I'll click the Center Align button there. So, I've applied formatting to the text inside those cells. Now, I want to change the formatting of the cells. Let's make the cells a different fill color.
Right now, if I click off here, you can see that the background of this is just white. They're all just white background cells. So, I'm going to go ahead and select them again, and change the background color to, say, orange. I'll do that in the Swatches panel. Now, it's kind of annoying because we can't see the cell color, we can't see that it's orange, until I click off of it, because those were selected. There we go. That looks pretty good. Oh, one more thing, lets change the color of that text to white. I'll select this row, one more time and then I want to change the color of the text, not the cells.
So, I need to click on this little t, the formatting effects text button. Now, I'll click paper. If I didn't click that t first it would have changed the background fill for the cells. Okay, I'll click out here and we can see that we have white text on an orange background Now I want to turn my attention to the strokes. I see these little white strikes in between each of these columns. I don't like those. And I don't like that big black line underneath it either. So how do we get rid of those? Once again I'm going to select this entire row, and now I'm going to pay attention to this weird looking icon up here in the control panel.
When it comes to formatting tables, it's really important that you understand what this icon represents. Each of these blue lines represents one the strokes inside the current selection. So, the bottom line and the top line represent the bottomost and topmost lines in the selection. Not that whole table, just the selection. Same thing with left and right, the left and right lines inside this icon represent the left most and the right most column strokes inside the selection. Now, this line in the middle of this icon represents the middle strokes. There's four of these, one, two, three, four.
So if I want to change the strokes of each of those columns, I need to turn off all of the blue lines except for that one in the middle. You can turn on and off a stroke simply by clicking on it in this icon. But there's a little shortcut that you should know about, and that's triple-click. Triple click selects or deselects all the strokes. In this case it just turns off all of them. Now, I can click just on the one in the middle to turn it on. And I can see that this stroke it set to white. A one point white stroke. So, I'm going to change it to none, here in the swatches panel, but clicking on the swatch icon, and then clicking none.
I could also have changed that in the control panel of course. So there, the column stroke went away. Now I'm going to turn that blue line off in this icon and turn on the one at the bottom of the icon. That represents the bottom stroke remember? The one that's black and we can see in fact that there is a one point black solid stroke here. I'll set that to none as well. Now I'm going to click out here and we can see that all of those strokes went away. They just disappeared. I like it. Now I want to format this cell down at the very bottom. This drawing and applied arts. This cell is merged.
It goes all the way across the whole table, so it acts like a single cell. I'd like to make it a little bit more attractive because this is a section opener, so I'm going to do the same things I did before. So I'll select it. Changes color. Let's fill it with, say, blue. I'll change the text inside of it to paper, so it reverses out. Then I'm going to change that font again to the same myriad pro bold. Let's make it bigger too, oh, say, 18 points. I'll click out here to deselect that cell.
And we can see, well, actually I didn't get quite the dark blue that I expected. So, what happened? Let's select it again, and I can see in the swatches panel that the tint was set to 15%. Not entirely sure why that happened, but that's okay. We can fix that. I'll click here to select that, and I'll change it to 100% and hit Return or Enter. And now deselect this. There we go, much nicer. Because this is a section start, I'd like it to be even bigger, kind of taller than it currently is. So, I'll place my cursor inside that cell, and I need to select the cell itself.
Here's a little shortcut that you should know. When you press the escape key on the keyboard, it toggles between selecting the text inside the cell and the cell itself. So, I hit escape and now the cell is selected. That's just a little faster than trying to select it from the side. So now I'm going to head up to the control panel and change this height to exactly 30 points. Hit Return, and you can see that it did make it taller, but the problem is that all that text is bunched up here at the top. I want it centered. Well, I can fix that in the Control Panel as well. I can come over here to the Align Center button, right there, and that centers it vertically inside the cell.
This Align Center button is just like the Align Center feature inside the text frame options dialog box, but in this case it applies only to that cell. There are a couple of things that you can do to cells that you cannot change in the control panel. So, I'm going to go up to the table menu, choose cell options and then choose text. That opens the cell options dialogue box and you have a lot more control here. For example, you could change your text insets. Text insets are just like the Text insets in the Text Frame Options dialogue box. It let's you control how far in from the edge the text should be.
I'm going to unlink this so I can change each one independently. And I'm going to change the left edge to something larger, say 15 points. When I turn on the Preview check box you'll see it take effect in the cell. That text moved so the left edge of the text is 15 points over from the left edge of the cell. Now, the big problem I'm seeing here, is that this is supposed to be a section start, but it's separated from the section that it's supposed to be with. That's on the next page. So I'm going to head over here to the Rosen columsn tab of this dialogue box, and I'm going to turn on the, Keep with next row box.
As soon as I do that, you'll see that it disappears. That's because that preview checkbox is turned on. Let's go see what happened to it. I'll click Okay. I'll close my Swatches panel. And then I'm going to jump out to fit the whole spread in the window with a Cmd+Option+0 or a Ctrl+Alt+0. There it is. It actually moved up to the top of the next page. Let's click off here so we can see it without being selected. This table is really coming together now. But if it took this long to format just one table, what are we going to do if we have a bunch of tables? Well that's where the Table Styles feature comes in.
- Getting started in just 20 minutes
- Becoming familiar with the user interface
- Setting up a new document
- Placing graphics such as QR codes and barcodes
- Formatting objects
- Creating color and gradient swatches
- Organizing projects with layers
- Transforming objects
- Incorporating drop caps, bullets, and numbering
- Applying character and object styles
- Building a multidocument book
- Creating an interactive PDF and exporting to EPUB
- Proofing a document with the Preflight panel
- Printing and exporting a document