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TABLES

Aug 27, 2010 9:20 AM

Although we have been using Aldus/Adobe since 1986, the one thing we would to see Adobe produce is a decent table.   I am only been playing around wirth CS5 since yesterday but it does appear that the table feature is no less cumbersome than its predecessors.   Our books and Magazines contain a great many tables therefore we have to have a system that is simple and quick to use.

 

For many years our method of tables has been:

1. Create the table in Excel

2. Autoformat (very useful function although not 100% reliable)

3. Convert the table to a pdf.

4. Place in Indesign.

 

I am not sure that the built-in Indesign table would be as effective to use.   To have to specify the number of  rows ad columns in advance, the lack of an auto-format and the loss of some of the Excel facilities would be an encumbrance.

 

 

Unless, of course, someone can suggest otherwise!

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 27, 2010 9:25 AM   in reply to xpressbooks

    InDesign's table feature is pretty powerful but certainly not perfect. If all of the tables have the same look / feel then the use of cell and table styles would be good. But, you can place a fully formatted Excel table in ID which would allow you to update that table on the fly.

     

    Bob

     
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    Aug 27, 2010 10:29 AM   in reply to xpressbooks

    I strongly disagree with you about OLE. In theory it was great...in practice, it was a disaster waiting to happen with PM.

     

    Bob

     
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    Aug 27, 2010 11:52 AM   in reply to xpressbooks
     
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    Aug 28, 2010 3:54 AM   in reply to xpressbooks

    No, Bob said you could place (not paste) a fully formatted table from Excel. If you set your preferences to Link rather than embed Text and SpreadSheets on import BEFORE you place the table you'll get a linked file. You update this in Excel, just as you would update a linked image in Photoshop or Illustrator.

     

    The reason you want to fully format in Excel is that you will probably lose any formatting changes made in ID when the table updates. In theory, Table Styles are supposed to preserve formatting, even on linked tables, but I've not had a lot of personal success with table styles (and in case you don't already know, I hate working with tables and avoid them whenever I can).

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 28, 2010 5:09 AM   in reply to xpressbooks

    As Peter says (and I left out) you must change the default linking behavior and place the table. You then have to choose formatted table when placing. You'll also be able to choose any named ranges in your file.

     

    Table style choices will be grayed out with this choice since you'll be getting the formatting directly from Excel.

     

    Some caveats:

     

    1. InDesign will not honor zero space for cell insets so you may wind up with overset cells in some instances. Dave Saunders wrote a script that fixes this in one pass a while back. Not sure if it still works with CS5.

    2. You cannot do any formatting at all in InDesign which means you'll need to be careful about your color choices since they'll be coming in as RGB. Black will be honored.

    3. You'll need to experiment a bit with cell size since the measurements in Excel are not as precise as those in InDesign.

     

    Hope that helps,

     

    Bob

     
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    Aug 28, 2010 1:05 PM   in reply to xpressbooks

    The only tip is to make sure the Excel file is closed before trying to update it in InDesign.

     

    Bob

     
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    Aug 29, 2010 4:20 AM   in reply to xpressbooks

    ID keeps track of the status of all linked files. If they change you'll see a yellow warning triangle next to the link name. Select the link inthe Panel and click the update button. If the link cahnges while the file is closed, and you haven't turned off the warning in the prefs or by Don't show again, ID should warn you that there is a modified link and ask if you want to update the next time the file is opened.

     

    How does this get you away from a dependence on Excel?

     
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    Aug 29, 2010 4:50 AM   in reply to xpressbooks

    The problem you describe with too much text in a cell being overwritten by the text from the next cell to the right is normal Excel behavior. Excel shows extended text only if there is no data in the next cell. To see ALL the data in all cells you have to live with autofitting and having rows or columns change height or width (depending on if you've enbled wrap within a cell). I don't think placing the table in in ID is going to fix that.

     
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    Aug 29, 2010 5:03 AM   in reply to xpressbooks

    Based on that, I have to question your use of Excel at all. Just do it in InDesign.

     

    Bob

     
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    Aug 29, 2010 5:06 AM   in reply to xpressbooks

    Did you not read my earlier notes along with caveats on doing this?

     

    Bob

     
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    Aug 29, 2010 5:38 AM   in reply to xpressbooks

    Did you check out the link I posted earlier for DTP Tools?

     

    Bob

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 5, 2010 10:28 AM   in reply to xpressbooks

    Are you using the Table Styles panel?


     
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    Sep 8, 2010 6:11 PM   in reply to Bob Levine

    Hi Bob and Bill,

     

    Bob - I'd have to say the opposite - forget Indesign and carry on with Excel (although it make me shudder a little to say it).

     

    Bill - if you're doing all your table design in Excel anyway, what is the value in using Indesign to do the same job? It doesn't have cell sorting or other database features like Excel because it's not designed to do that job.

     

    If you have to use Indesign to present the tables within a larger document, then that's fine - just link them as stated elsewhere in this thread and they will update on the fly when you change them in Excel.

     

    Good luck!

     

    Mal

     
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    Feb 15, 2013 4:12 PM   in reply to xpressbooks

    I need to insert tables on the homepage of my website www.agenciawr.com.br could make anyone knows how to insert borderless? because every time I try it comes up with Edge = /

     
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    Feb 15, 2013 4:46 PM   in reply to ricardoffjr

    What application are you using to create the website?

     

    Bob

     
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    Feb 15, 2013 4:48 PM   in reply to ricardoffjr

    It's a WordPress site. Sorry but this has nothing to do with InDesign.

     

    Bob

     
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