Formatting should always done in InDesign, not in the original program, not in Word, not in Excel as you describe here.
When you format tables you have to:
- Define Paragraph Styles and Character Styles for the Text.
- Cell Styles which can have a reference to your Paragraph Styles.
- Table Styles where you can choose the Cell Styles for your table.
When you import an Excel Data Sheet, use a Table Style to format it, upon import or later.
When it comes to special formatting of numbers in Excel, I would recommend to create another sheet in Excel where you automatically link to your original sheet (if numbers change) but format all content and define it as text. That sheet is to import in InDesign. Otherwise InDesign tries to reformat it in its own way. E.g. even if I have set up everything in German on my Computer and in InDesign and in Excel, and I have a Day formatted like dd.MM.yyyy in Excel, and the language in the used paragraph style is Germany, InDesign is transforming it to MM/dd/yyyy, which nobody would recognize as Date in German. So I have to transform it in Excel to the desired format and take care that the cells are recognizied as text. The same is with numbers, if I have a German formatted number like 123.456,12 or 123456,12 InDesign transforms it automatically to a US formatted number like 123,456.12. (In German comma and dot are used the other way round than in US.)
I disagree. There is nothing wrong with doing all formatting in Excel and
importing as a formatted table. That said, we don't know enough about the
issue, including what version of ID, what version of Excel and what
operating system is in play here.
Bob, how shall I take over Excel's formatting, when InDesign it completely ignores and replaces it with US Excel defaults, even if I have worked on a German version and Excels takes its default setting from the OS, InDesign assumes the US settings are valid for every Excel sheet. I get terrible results when I import MS files into InDesign and keep their formatting, everything runs amok.
I wouldn’t even guess at an issue like that, Willi. I truly admire you folks that are multi lingual.
That said, with a strictly US English workflow this shouldn’t be a big deal for anything but the most complicated of tables.
InDesign is the newest version, Excel is 2010, working on a 1-year old Thinkpad.
I played around with it a bit more and realized that the missing numbers issue was specific to that spreadsheet. With others, I have no problem getting the numbers to transfer. But I do need this specific spredsheet, it was given to me and would be very hard to recreate it. Is there anything about an excel table that would prevent its numbers from transfering into InDesign, that can be easily fixed?
Also, while my other spreadsheets do successfully transfer, I cannot adjust their dimensions in InDesign. Normally there's a "fit content to frame option", but here there's onlt "fit frame to content". If they are rigid height and width, they are pretty much useless to me.
Thanks for the replies, guys
It’s not a graphic so there’s no fit option here. Tables will even extend out the sides of a frame.
Do you see a red dot in the cells without text? That would indicate overset text in those cells and you can change the inset to zero to see if it fixes it.
No red dots.
I guess my only workaround is to turn tables into images by taking screenshots, unless you can think of a better way. I'm currently pasting screenshots into paint, and when I then transfer them into InDesign, they're extremely pixelated. Are there other free programs besides paint that can do this while keeping the image quality intact?
You can save the speadsheets as PDF files from Excel, and place the PDFs into InDesign.
If you want to import an Excel sheet as image—I would not recommend it—then you should export or print a PDF and place this PDF into InDesign. Not a raster image.
Screenshots? Lord no!
If you’re going that route create a PDF and place that.
Well exporting to pdf certainly works! Thanks everyone!