15 Replies Latest reply: Dec 30, 2011 2:02 PM by Peter Spier RSS

    Setting a tab/hanging indent in a table column

    Brenda VT Labor

      How do I do this??? When I try to tab things it moves to the next column. I want to line up things like this within the rows and columsn of a table:

       

      a)       dlgdsflgldfgoidsfugoiusdofigu               b) dlgdsflgldfgoidsfugoiusdofigu               c)     dlgdsflgldfgoidsfugoiusdofigu

                dlgdsflgldfgoidsfugoiusdofigu                    dlgdsflgldfgoidsfugoiusdofigu                       dlgdsflgldfgoidsfugoiusdofigu

                dlgdsflgldfgoidsfugoiusdofigu                    dlgdsflgldfgoidsfugoiusdofigu                       dlgdsflgldfgoidsfugoiusdofigu

       

       

      I know using the space bar is a "no no" (and why!) but I may have to resort to this if I can't figure this on out fast. I am sure it is simple. I just haven't worked with tables a whole lot.

       

      Thank you.

        • 1. Re: Setting a tab/hanging indent in a table column
          Daniel Flavin Community Member

          Not the best way, but my fastest reponse -

          Type ? before the text

          Open find change

          Find = ?

          Change = ^t

           

          Find/Change may ignore tables, if so, select the text and limit the find to "Selected"

           

          Edit - Type > Insert Special Character > Other > Tab

          http://indesignsecrets.com/typing-tab-in-a-table-cell.php

           

          Message was edited by: Daniel Flavin

          • 2. Re: Setting a tab/hanging indent in a table column
            Peter Spier ACP/MVPs

            Tab stops are "implied" in the table cells, so you can set them in the paragraph style and they should be active as soon as you enter the cell, or you can use the insert special character menu, or add a new keyboard shortcut to insert a tab in the table context (as you know, in table context hitting the tab key moves to the next cell, but you can use some other key combination).

            • 3. Re: Setting a tab/hanging indent in a table column
              Mary Posner Community Member

              Option-tab inserts a tab into a table without moving to the next cell. (My bad on the original post. It's option-tab, not shift-tab.)

              • 4. Re: Setting a tab/hanging indent in a table column
                Peter Spier ACP/MVPs

                Thanks, Mary, but I don't actually see that in the default set. Either I'm not looking in the correct place, or you've been using a custom set of shortcuts. It wouldn't surprise me to find out it's a default, though -- I hate working in tables and avoid them whenever I can.

                • 5. Re: Setting a tab/hanging indent in a table column
                  Mary Posner Community Member

                  I can guarantee that it isn't a custom shortcut; it just seems to be undocumented in the default set. If you go to Keyboard Shortcuts, pick any command and type option-tab in the New Shortcut field, it'll tell you that that combination is unassigned.

                   

                  But it does work to insert a tab into a cell without moving your cursor to the next cell. It's worked for as many versions back as I can remember, and I think I started with InDesign back before the first CS release.

                   

                  I wonder why it isn't documented, though, when it does work. One could stop it from working by assigning that key combination to another command. I just tried it, and it looks like the New Shortcut does override the default behavior.

                  • 6. Re: Setting a tab/hanging indent in a table column
                    Peter Spier ACP/MVPs

                    OK, that's pretty interesting, but not a lot of help for Windows users. By default Alt (our equivalent to Mac Opt) + Tab is a reserved by the OS to switch between applications, and seems to do that even in a table and in the edit keyboard shortcuts dialog (at least on Windows 7 -- can't check earlier versions at the moment), so it can't be assigned. I seem to rememer the same difficulty with Ctrl + Tab a few versions back and settled on Ctrl + Alt + Tab as a workable option.

                    • 7. Re: Setting a tab/hanging indent in a table column
                      Mary Posner Community Member

                      Maybe that's why it's undocumented, that it isn't the same or doesn't work on both platforms. Switching between apps is command-tab for us Mac users. Hey, try command-tab in a cell on the Windows side and see if it does anything.... If that doesn't work, I'd test some other modifiers with a tab and see if anything else works.

                      • 8. Re: Setting a tab/hanging indent in a table column
                        Peter Spier ACP/MVPs

                        For us, Ctrl + Tab switches between windows and Shift + Tab moves to the lower right cell. Unless you create new shorcuts for two-modifiers and the Tab key, those also do one or another of those functions.

                        • 9. Re: Setting a tab/hanging indent in a table column
                          Frans van der Geest ACP

                          Alt(option)-tab has always worked and still works in tables. Standard short-cut.

                          • 10. Re: Setting a tab/hanging indent in a table column
                            Peter Spier ACP/MVPs

                            Franz,

                             

                            I'm not sure what you mean by "works." On my system, Alt + Tab switches applications in all contexts.

                            • 11. Re: Setting a tab/hanging indent in a table column
                              Joel Cherney MVP

                              Yeesh, listening to y'all single-platform folks is excruciating. Macs basically have a whole extra modifier key, so there is no one-to-one mapping of modifier keys from platform to platform. Saying "option on Mac is alt on Windows" is inaccurate. Maybe in Parallels this is true, I can't recall off the top of my head and I only have archaic Macs here at work.  But, in general, you need to actually compute regularly on both platforms in order to actually know what is going on here.

                               

                              Macs have command (ye olde open-apple), option, and control. Option usually has "alt" printed on it on keyboards manufactured by Apple but it does not mean that all cross-platform apps will remap option-key combos to alt-key combos. Windows PCs have control and alt. The Windows/start key is another modifier key but only does OS-related stuff, I've never seen any application use it to do anything. (On top of that, I think that some non-English localizations of Windows actually still use the functionality of the AltGr key. Other operating systems have - of course! - other sets of conventions for modifier keys.)

                               

                              Lastly: I looked at the keyboard shortcut on Windows default installation of CS5, and in the "Tables" context the Type menu -> Insert Special Character: Other: was blank.

                               

                              Untitled.png

                               

                              There is no default "insert tab in context of tables" shortcut. Scarily, Windows Indy CS5 will let you define control + tab here, and claim it's "unassigned" (because ID doesn't inform you "this is reserved by your OS to switch between active windows/tabs in apps that respect the OS conventions for subwindows/tabs/etc"). But you lose active-subwindow-switching functionality if you assign it to insert Special Character: Other: Tab.

                              • 12. Re: Setting a tab/hanging indent in a table column
                                Peter Spier ACP/MVPs

                                Sorry Joel, perhaps I wasn't clear. I understand all too well that Macs have one more modifier, and that there is not 100% mapping between Alt and Opt, or Ctrl  and Cmd, but those mappings seem to be pretty ubiquitous inside Adobe apps, and the problems only start to appears, as they do in this case, when you start messing with shortcuts used by the OS. That was more or less what I was trying to say all along (and I also mentioned the lack of a documented shortcut for inserting a Tab in tables).

                                 

                                I suspect that the functionality of Opt + Tab in tables on the Mac side has more to do with it being a universal Mac OS shortcut that works in many applications rather than that it is an undocumented Adobe shortcut on that platform, but of course I currently have no way to check that.

                                 

                                None of this, of course, is necessarily relevant. We have no idea what OS the Brenda is using unless someone remembers from one of her other posts. If she's on Mac, she gets lucky. If on Windows she gets to define a new shortcut set, use the insert context menu, or Daniel's little trick.

                                • 13. Re: Setting a tab/hanging indent in a table column
                                  Joel Cherney MVP

                                  No apologies necessary, Peter - I neglected to add the obvious picture that would indicate that my use of "excruciating" was supposed to be tongue-in-cheek. Besides, it wasn't you that wasn't getting the absence of one-to-one mapping.

                                   

                                  That being said, I'm aware of more than a few applications (mostly games, honestly) that run into cross-platform-unification-of-key-combo problems because one platform allows freedom to developers to make choices, while the other platform(s) restrict developers to greater or lesser degrees with their UI guidelines & APIs and suchlike. And, honestly, this happens to me all the time:

                                   

                                  Use Windows app a lot

                                  Get used to key combos (hooray muscle memory)

                                  Install Mac version

                                  Get confused when key combo doesn't match Windows perfectly

                                  Randomly try similar combos + Option

                                  Find one that works

                                  Get confused every single time I switch back to Windows, where that dang Windows key is in the same physical location as the Option key on my Mac. No, I didn't want the Start key to pop up.

                                   

                                  Fortunately, InDesign's keyboard prefs are so robust that I never run into problems unless I'm trying to use someone else's install.

                                  • 14. Re: Setting a tab/hanging indent in a table column
                                    Frans van der Geest ACP

                                    My Mac-centric bad Peter, I was 100% sure it worked as well in Windows. Well it does but that is, I remember now, because I remapped some keys under Windows. Sorry.

                                    • 15. Re: Setting a tab/hanging indent in a table column
                                      Peter Spier ACP/MVPs

                                      Go sit in the corner for five minutes.