1 Reply Latest reply on Mar 28, 2015 8:34 PM by Michael Witherell

    Two questions/topics about table styles


      Two sort-of-related (in that they both involve table styles) topics here.


      Topic 1:

      So, here's my current procedure for importing a table from Excel:

      1. Copy it in Excel and paste it to the desired point in Indesign.
      2. With the whole table selected, clear overrides (i.e. select Cell Styles and click this option at the bottom).
      3. Apply the desired table style.
      4. With the table still selected, ALT-click that same table style, because for some reason Indesign always assumes I'm kidding about step 3 and applies only parts of the style
      5. Pull my hair out in frustration as I manually apply the fills and paragraph styles that are part of that table style, but that Indesign STILL hasn't added even with not one, but TWO clearings of overrides.

      Is there any way to skip step 5? (And in a perfect world, step 4 too.)


      A bit more specifically, when I apply a table style, it:

      1. Doesn't apply the fill for the desired header style, but does handle this correctly for the rest of the table.
      2. Applies the desired paragraph styles to some cells but not others, seemingly at random. (In the case of the header row, one pattern I've seen a couple of times is: it ignores one column entirely, does everything as expected in another, and - most aggravatingly - applies the colour and size but not the font to the third. Since there are only three columns, it's literally doing a different thing in every cell!)
      3. Seems to do everything else correctly, but who knows, I don't trust it 100% and end up having to spot check everything so carefully the table style is barely saving me any time over doing everything manually.

      Now that I think of it I've noticed a similar thing with object styles. In this case it's text wrap settings that it decides to ignore, and alt-clicking fixes it though it sometimes takes two tries.


      tl;dr: When I select something and apply a table style, or for that matter an object style, I want to apply ALL aspects of that style, to EVERYTHING I selected. Not some aspects to some parts. Is there a way to get Indesign to consistently do this?


      Topic 2:

      While I'm on the topic of table (and cell) styles, I just want to make sure I'm not missing anything here. There doesn't seem to be any way to set some of the most obvious things I'd want my styles to include - row heights, column widths, a way to apply a different stroke to (say) the very bottom of a table, for example. (I can see an indirect way to do the latter via cell styles, but it seems kind of Rube Goldberg.) I've got a project that at one point features 18 tables which would be identical in these respects but with different content, and a one-click way to set all of this up would make it a lot easier. Is there a way to include these things in my style settings that I've overlooked, or do I need to continue applying these things manually?

        • 1. Re: Two questions/topics about table styles
          Michael Witherell Adobe Community Professional

          My mere advice:


          Concoct your table and cell styles while NOT in a Type tool that is also NOT in any sample example text. IOW, be in a black Selection tool and have nothing selected. Dream up your style attributes in your head and build them in the Table and Cell Styles dialog box. Clean. No conflicts.


          Place command your Excel file and hold down the Shift key when you choose the file to place. This brings you to Word/Excel options where you should probably opt to bring in the table unformatted, in order to leave behind any attributes that tend to override and confound your styles.


          Once the table is on the page, select the table with your Type tool and click once on the Table Style that you made. This, in turn, will apply your Cell Styles. Don't directly apply your cell styles first. Only apply cell styles afterward if you are making a complicated table and have bits that the Table Style cannot make for you. Finally, as you have already been doing, click on the Remove Overrides if and when you see the Cell Style panel showing None+. That should strip any remaining oddities, if any.


          Excel tables must have the top row selected and you make the top row into a header row, if the table is long and flows onto a new page or column. Unfortunately, you cannot do this in advance.


          Yes, a bit Rube Goldberg. (Wasn't he amazing?) But that is because a Table Style can be overridden with up to 4 other situations on top of it: Directly applied cell styles, directly applied attributes, original attributes that came in when you placed the table, etc. Your goal here is to be clinically pure in only applying your nest of attributes from the top down; only from the Table Style down.


          Be sure to read the helpfile about Table Styles. It is very enlightening.


          Hope this helps,