Start with a table that does reflect the underlying grid of your final design.
So, what does that mean?
A basic grid of 8 x 10 cells where in the header row cells 1-4 are merged and cells 5-8 are merged:
If you now select the vertical border between column 1 and column 2 AND hold the SHIFT key, you could drag the border to a new width without changing other column widths.
To select the border, just click inside a cell so that the cursor will turn to a text symbol, slowly move to the side where the border is, the cursor should turn into a horizontal double arrow.
Then hold the SHIFT key and drag.
The result could be something like this:
Hope, that helps.
Thanks, SJ and Uwe for responding.
To take your example, Uwe, and start out with 8x10 cells and, say, as in this example we want 2 header rows as well. So in Figure 1 we merge Header A and Header B into 2 cells each but then want Header A, as in Figure 2, with the border now moved unevenly compared to the all the other rows below. I take it this means that it will have to be a separate table for Header A and use SJ's suggestion of separate tables and deleting the space between.
That figure 2 does not necessarily requires two or even three tables.
Just split the blue cell "Header A" 2 times and then cell one another time and then cell 2 even another time.
Then merge cells 1 and 2 to "Header A" (blue) and cells 3 to the end of the row to "Header A" (yellow).
Or plan ahead and start again…
Technically spoken: After you split that single cell indicated in my screenshot you automatically created a new column where all cells from column 2 and column 3 are merged from row 2 to the end. Sounds paradox, but so are the rules with InDesign's table feature.
From then on you only have to merge the cells according to your layout.
On your second question, how to snugly join two tables: check the Space Before in the second table. This usually is the default value 1.4mm (4 pt, to be exactly), and if you set it to "0mm" you will see there is no space between the two. You also must set the top line of the second table to 0pt thickness.
I'd like to point out that with two separate tables, splitting the first headers is easier but synchronizing the widths of all other columns is way, way harder.
To remove the space between tables, There is a setting in the Table options for Table Spacing.
Typical! It's been such a long time since I needed to do anything like this that I'd simply forgotten. Thanks so much for that.
Appreciate the help.
Appreciate the help everybody. Brilliant forum.
Are you saying, both tables, one underneath the other, within the same text frame? Because when I select the final table paragraph mark at the left bottom edge of the top frame (so you get an extended 'I' bar cursor running down the side of the table) the Space Before and Space After are '0'. The following table's Space Above is also set to '0', but there's still a gap.
Please bear with me because I realise that I'm not fully understanding your instructions.
.. Because when I select the final table paragraph mark at the left bottom edge of the top frame (so you get an extended 'I' bar cursor running down the side of the table) the Space Before and Space After are '0'.
Well you're partly right, as this is of no use if there is a Space Before or After in the paragraphs themselves. But I mean the Space Before and Space After in the table setup dialog for each of the tables: