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Adobe InDesign CC - Essential Training

How can I create a table inside Adobe InDesign?

Daniel Walter Scott

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Hi there, in this video we're going to look at Tables in InDesign. Now we're going to make this table here with little lines, and style it a little bit. We're also going to add ugly alternating rows, just to prove we can. Maybe make it a little easier to understand for large tables. All right, let's get going.

First of all, we're going to put in our table. Mine's on page 12, we're looking for profitability. I don't really mind where it goes. So we're going to put our cursor in here, put a 'return' in. And it's going to go right here. Next step, go up to 'Table', 'Insert Table'. In this case we're going to have '5' and '2'. It's kind of remembered that from the last time I did this when I was preparing for this example. Yours probably is going to say '3' and '3' by default. But '5' and '2' is going to work for us in this case.

We're not going to use 'Header Rows' and 'Footer Rows'. Though that would look complicated and really good when you're doing tables that may be crossing over lots of pages. So pages and pages of a big table. We'll look at that in our advanced InDesign course, but for the moment, 99 times out of a 100, you're just going to use 'Body Rows' and 'Columns'. We're going to fake it in, don't get me wrong, but we don't want to use these specialized Header and Rows. Let's click 'OK'. And nicely it kind of fits in where we need it to be.

If you're creating one that's not part of the Text Box, I'm going to go down to the blank box, blank page, down the end here somewhere. And just go, but nothing selected, go to 'Table', 'Create Table'. And again I can just click 'OK' and then I can drag it out to any size I need. It's up to you how you get it created, but I'm going to jump up to page 12. That little shortcut there was 'Command J', or 'Control J' on a PC. And I typed in '12', and hit 'return'. I call myself doing shortcuts. So what we're going to do is just some basic stuff. This first column here, I want to join, so I'm going to select these two. And along the top here, we get some basic table options. Now what I want to do is, this one little icon here, it's got a little cross between, that's called "Merge Cells'. I'm going to select both of these two. I'm going to just drag across them, and click 'Merge Cells'. And this is going to be our '2019 Turnover'. I'll put in US$.

Let's go and add some details here. So that might have been painfully slow when you're watching it on fast mode. Took me ages to type that in, not sure why. But what we want to do, a couple of things. I want to align this, because it doesn't have to be as long a column all these quarters. But I want this to be a bit bigger. So you can click, hold, and drag it. I have to be using my Type Tool to do these amends. So I'm going to drag this across. And then what I'm going to do is drag this side across, so it kind of aligns up to the column again.

Now to do the styling, I'm going to quickly select it all and pick my paragraph styles. So I'm going to 'Styles', 'Paragraph Styles', and I'll pick 'Body Copy' to get started. I'll highlight this one here, and I'm just going to go through and pick 'Roboto Bold', and I'll go to 'Color'. Next thing I want to do is play around with these lines. I just want the horizontal lines. One’s going left to right. And I want to get rid of these tall ones and the ones at the top and the bottom. I just want to kind of align through the middle, to help read it, to make it look a little nicer.

So now we're going to work with the borders around the tables and guess what, it's not that easy, it's a little bit fiddly, these border bits. So I'm going to select all of these, you can use your Type Tool and just click and drag across all of these, or you can click anywhere. See this little arrow just appears, you just click that. What we need to do now is either save this version, or-- that's quite small, and hard to use, this one is big, and hard to use. I'm going to use the 'Stroke Panel' one. You can use this tiny one up the top here. What I need to do is, I need to first of all activate all the lines by making them all go blue. Because by default, it's just at the tops, bottoms, lefts, and rights. I want these ones in the middle as well. I got them all. It's leaning in, really close to the screen to see. I figure I've got them all, and I'm going to say I like them all—You've done nothing now, you've just highlighted them to say-- The next thing I'm going to do is, going to apply it to all the blue bits that I've got selected. I'm going to say I'd like them all to be '0 points'. Now if I click in here, they all have no lines around their outside. They're a little bit weird, because we're in working mode so it gives this kind of blue hint. That's not actually there when it prints. If I go to the 'Black Selection Tool', hit 'W', you'll see they're not actually there. They're just there as a visual guide.

Next thing I'd like to do - Select them all again. - is I'm going to say I want just to add a fakeness to the lines going through left and right. So it's just these middle ones here. So I'm going to have to try and lean, then close again. Turn all the blue lines off, just. Oh, so close, not clicking. Just this one here. So just this one going through the middle, not the outside one. Just the middle one, I'd like to give it a 'Stroke' of say half a point. And I'd like that 'Stroke', over here, to be a color of, I'll use the green. Dark green? Mid green. Now let's look at it. Click off, hit 'W'. You've got lines through the middle only.

Now if you need to work on just one cell, let's say you need to like This is like the total for one. You need to do a select all, 'Command A', no you don't. You just kind of drag across it all until eventually you get the whole cell. So with the whole thing, just keep dragging, go down a little bit, and you grab the whole cell. And now I can say things like-- can you see, I've just got the one side selected. So now I could say, actually I want to give it a weight of '2 pt'. I want to make it all red, because this is the total. It's looking a little horrible, but you get the idea, right? So you can select the whole thing, do the whole thing. Do little bits, I'm going to click 'undo', get rid of that.

One thing you might do in tables is play around with one of the styles. So let's select it all again. The little arrow in the corner, it's a bit harder to see. I'll turn 'W' back on so we can see the edges. Grab it all, go up to 'Table'. Let's go to 'Table Options', and we're going to do this 'Alternating Fills'. This can be kind of handy. Our table's pretty easy to understand, but you might do this, where you go to 'Alternating fills'. 'Alternating Pattern' is going to be 'Every Other Row'. Turn preview on, you can kind of see in the background what it's doing. It's going to say the first row is 'Black', and the second row is 'None'. I'm going to click 'OK', and it just means that's going to happen.

So every alternating row is going to be this dark. It's going to be black, but it's set to a tint. Let's have a look again. Let's go to 'Table', 'Table Options', 'Alternating Fills'. Preview is on, you see it's set to 'Black' and '20%'. What I might do actually is just set it to 'Yellow'. And turn it to '100%', so it's not so wishy washy. And you can also say I'd like to 'Skip First Row' because I like that white. Let's click 'OK', where we've got our table. Think I liked it before, just the lines, but I would like Alternating Fills as well.

That's how to create and style our own table. Let's look in the next video how to bring in something from Word or Excel.