Create Tables in an InDesign CS5 Publication - dummies

By Jennifer Smith, Christopher Smith, Fred Gerantabee

Add tables to InDesign Creative Suite 5 publications to list products, employees, or events. A table is made of columns and rows, which divides a table into cells.

  • Rows: Extend horizontally across a table. You can modify the height of a row.

  • Columns: Are vertical in a table. You can modify the width of a column.

  • Cells: A text frame. You can enter information into this frame and format it like any other text frame in InDesign.

Create a table from existing data

The easiest way to create a table is to have data ready to go. (Mind you, this isn’t the only way.) But flowing in existing data is the most dynamic way of seeing what InDesign can do with tables.

  1. Create a text area and insert tabbed copy into it.

    For example, you might type dates for an event:

    Summer Events




    Notice that the text was simply keyed in by pressing the Tab key between every new entry. The text doesn’t even need to be lined up.

  2. Select the text and choose Table→Convert Text to Table.

    The Convert Text to Table Options dialog box appears. You can select columns there or let the tabs in your text determine columns.

    You can assign a table style at the same time you convert text to a table.

  3. Click OK to accept the default settings.

  4. Hold down the Shift key and use your mouse to click and grab the outside right border to stretch the table in or out.

    The cells proportionally accommodate the new table size.

  5. Click and drag across the cells and then choose Table→Merge Cells to merge the top three cells.

    This merges the cells into a single title cell for the table. You can now center the text in this cell if you want to center the title over the table.

Create a table without data

You can create a new table without existing text if you like:

  1. Create a new text frame with the Type tool.

    The insertion point should be blinking in the new text frame you create. If it isn’t blinking, or if you created a new frame another way, double-click the text frame so that the insertion point (I-bar) is active. You can’t create a table unless the insertion point is active in the text frame.

  2. Choose Table→Insert Table.

  3. In the Insert Table dialog box that opens, enter the number of rows and columns you want to add to the table in the Rows and Columns text fields and then click OK.

    For example, you might create a table with six rows and three columns.