Join Diane Burns for an in-depth discussion in this video Rotating text at 45-degree angles, part of InDesign Tables in Depth.
- InDesign makes it really easy to rotate text at 90 degree angles. As we've seen in another video all you need to do is select your table cell and then click on one of these icons in the Control Panel or in the Cell Options dialogue. And you can rotate your text in a 90 degree angle. But one thing that people really seem to want to do, perhaps even more often, is to rotate their text at 45 degree angles. Like this example here. There is no automatic command for that. But with a little trick of the trade we can actually create a table that looks like this.
Let me show you how to do it. I'm going to turn to the next page of this file where I have a Standard Table. I'll switch out of Preview Mode into Normal Mode by pressing the letter W. So here's how we get that effect of the 45 degree rotation on these table headings. First I'm going to split the text frame that this table is in. I'll roll up the bottom of the text frame, creates overset So I'll click in the overset symbol here. And then I'll just create another text frame that's threaded to this top frame.
I'm going to make this frame a little bit larger because I need my heading row to be taller to accommodate the rotated headings. I'm going to switch to the Type Tool by pressing the letter T. And I'm going to increase the height of that top row by just pulling it down a little bit. There we go. Now the next step is to take this top row of the table, it's not a header row, in fact, you can't do this with header rows but it is the top row in the table and it looks like a header row.
So what I'm going to do with this frame is I'm going to skew the entire frame. I'll come up to the Control Panel to Skewing and set it to a 45 degree angle. That's step one. The problem here of course is that my text is skewed and that's not really what I had in mind. So I'm going to switch back to the Type Tool and select the text in this row and just press the Delete key to get rid of the text. The cells stay there and they're still skewed. Now let's put our headings in.
Over on the Pasteboard I have separated each heading into its own text frame. I'll start with the first one and I'm going to cut it into the Clipboard. Command or Control X. Now I'll come over to the appropriate cell and double-click to switch to the Type Tool, you see I have a blinking cursor there. And then I'll paste the text in, Command or Control V. But it's still skewed, that's not what I want, I want it rotated. So I'm going to click into the text frame containing my header row and press the Escape key.
That just selects the frame that my header text is in and notice that it's now anchored in this text cell. So with this object selected I'm going to do two things. I'm going to turn off the skewing which straightens it up and then I'm going to rotate it to 45 degrees. I could actually rotate it to any angle but that's the angle I want. And it looks perfect. So what I'll do is cut and paste each of these headings.
Select them by pressing the Escape key. And then remove the skewing. And add the rotation. You could actually rotate this to any angle. So you could skew this containing text frame to whatever angle you need and then simply rotate these headings inside to whatever angle you want. Although I think, other than 90 degrees, 45 degrees is probably the most common thing that you'd want. It's not automatic and it takes a little bit of work but for some tables, if they're not too complicated, and if you don't need a header row it's a great solution because you get really perfect results.
The last heading that I want to put in is the heading for our first column here. So I'm going to cut that and paste it into this cell and click in it and press the Escape key to select it. And in this case all I want to do is turn the skewing off because I don't want it rotated I want it upright. Finally the last step is to simply bring our two text frames together. I'll go into Preview Mode by pressing W so that I can see it a little more clearly. And there we go.
Do a little bit more adjustment here. A table with headings at 45 degree angles. Sometimes it's good to know these little tricks of the trade, isn't it?
- Navigating and selecting tables
- Formatting text in tables
- Working with fills
- Inserting and deleting rows and columns
- Rotating text
- Dealing with overset text
- Applying cell and table styles
- Updating table data
- Working with graphic cells
- Creating infographics with tables
- Creating pull quotes and design objects using tables
- Exporting tables to EPUB