How to Edit Table Settings in Adobe InDesign CS6 - dummies

By Jennifer Smith, Christopher Smith, Fred Gerantabee

You can control many settings for tables. Adobe InDesign Creative Suite 6 lets you change the text, fill, and stroke properties for each cell or for the table itself. Because of this flexibility, you can create fully customized tables to display information in an intuitive and creative way.

To start editing table settings, follow these steps:

  1. Select the table you want to make changes to by clicking in a cell.

  2. Choose Table→Table Options→Table Setup.

    The Table Options dialog box opens with the Table Setup tab selected. The dialog box contains several tabs that contain settings you can change for different parts of the table.

    From the Table Setup tab, you edit the columns and rows, border, and spacing and specify how column or row strokes are rendered in relation to each other. For example, you could change the number of rows and columns and changed the table border weight to a 3-point stroke.

  3. Select the Preview check box at the bottom of the dialog box.

    The Preview opens so that you can view the changes you make on the page while you’re using the dialog box.

  4. Click the Row Strokes tab and change the options.

    For example, you could select Every Second Row from the Alternating Pattern drop-down list, changed the Table Border Weight option to 2, and changed the Color property for the first row to C=15, M=100, Y=100, K=0 (the CMYK equivalent of red).

    This step causes every second row to have a red, 2-point stroke. You can also click the Column Strokes tab to change the properties for column strokes. The two tabs work the same way.

  5. Click the Fills tab and change the options.

    For this example, you could select Every Other Row from the Alternating Pattern drop-down list, changed the Color property to the same CMYK equivalent of red, and left the Tint at the default of 20 percent. This step changes the first row and every other row to a red tint.

  6. Click OK.

    The changes you made in the Table Options dialog box are applied to the table.

  7. Click a table cell so that the insertion point is blinking.

    The table cell is selected.

  8. Find an image you can copy to the Clipboard and then press Ctrl+C (Windows) or Command+C (Mac) to copy the image.

  9. Return to InDesign and paste the image into the table cell by pressing Ctrl+V (Windows) or Command+V (Mac).

    The image appears in the table cell, and the height or width (or both) of the cell changes based on the dimensions of the image. Make sure that the insertion point is active in the cell if you have problems pasting the image.

You can not only change the table itself but also customize the cells within it. Choose Table→Cell Options→Text to open the Cell Options dialog box. You can also make changes to each cell by using the Paragraph panel. Similarly, you can change the number of rows and columns and their widths and heights from the Tables panel. Open the Tables panel by choosing Window→Type & Tables→Table.

InDesign lets you import tables from other programs, such as Excel. If you want to import a spreadsheet, choose File→Place. The spreadsheet is imported into InDesign as a table that you can further edit as necessary.