2 Replies Latest reply on Aug 23, 2013 12:00 AM by Florian Pennetzdorfer

    Place Excel file and keep accurate formatting

    Florian Pennetzdorfer

      In my organization, InDesign is used for creating several rather comprehensive price lists (500 pages and more ...).


      Needless to say, each price list contains a lot of tables. Currently we

      1. create tables in Excel,
      2. save it as pdf file and
      3. place the pdf in InDesign


      Of course, that's cumbersome (no Edit Original command --> each modification in the original table restarts the above mentioned process) - that gives us a hard time dealing with hundreds of tables... 


      It would be ideal to place Excel files directly - but after hours of trial & error I'm still not able to insert a table AND keep the accurate Excel-formatting. There are always some smaller or bigger deviations (unexpected line breaks, overset content, wrong line-styles, colors etc.)


      What I did:

      1. Enabled "Create Links When Placing Text and Spreadsheet Files" in the File Handling Preferences
      2. Enabled "Import Options" when placing the Excel file
      3. Choosed "Formatted Table"

      It seems that some older xls files are more likely to raise problems. Newly-created xlsx files are fine most of the time (saving xls to xlsx doesn't make a difference though).


      What are your experiences on importing excel files? Thanks for any hint!




        • 1. Re: Place Excel file and keep accurate formatting
          Willi Adelberger Most Valuable Participant

          You have to set up the correct table with cell styles in InDesign. Then you can apply the table style upon import. I would recommend never to use Office imported styles in InDesign, always set up styles properly in InDesign.

          • 2. Re: Place Excel file and keep accurate formatting
            Florian Pennetzdorfer Level 1

            Thanks, Willi.

            The reason why we currently place our tables as PDF is, that we want to avoid any additional setup in InDesign. In fact we use InDesign "merely" to place & arrange all objects like tables, images, text etc. properly. There is no editing or formatting of content done in InDesign (Excel-spreadsheets are well-designed anyway) - I think otherwise our loads of price lists for different countries wouldn't be manageable at the moment ...


            I'm just looking for a way to keep the advantage of placing PDFs (retain accurate form) and eliminate the disadvantages (additional step of saving each spreadsheet as PDF and lack of the "Edit Original" option).


            Any ideas are appreciated!