3 Replies Latest reply on May 24, 2017 3:43 PM by sheilaw92326890

    Indesign complex table with varying column widths

    quoz Level 1

      I've made my best attempt at using merge/split to create a complex table in InDesign where the columns are varying widths. (The person requesting this work is very particular about how columns are arranged.) But however "clever" I try to be, I inevitably run into the problem shown in the attached JPG, circled in red. I get to a point where I just can't align cell columns, no matter how I merge or split cells. In the attached example, the bottom vertical line that is slightly to the left of the one above it refuses to be moved further to the right. It happens sooner or later--I'm actually amazed I got as far as I did with this table, and it was rather a struggle with a lot of guessing about how to merge/split cells.


      So I don't think one big table is how I want to approach these tables... (I will be doing quite a few, all with similar but differing complex layouts--and I will eventually add creative backgrounds.) I am looking for ideas about the best way to set up a table/chart like this. A page full of individual text boxes makes me shudder... surely there is a better way?



      Thank you!

        • 1. Re: Indesign complex table with varying column widths
          SJRiegel Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Turn on Show Frame Edges so you can see any unstroked cell borders that my be in your way.

          That is the only way that what you are showing could happen in an InDesign table.

          Screenshot 2016-04-20 11.10.04.png

          • 2. Re: Indesign complex table with varying column widths
            Laubender Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            Hi quoz,

            yes this is looking challenging…


            I would start out with a regular grid of cells. No cells are merged. Not yet.
            Very fine grained. Where you will not touch ever * the top row or the bottom row (that will depend, if you plan to use a header row that repeats itself from text frame to text frame or from page to page)


            1. Regular grid where the yellow row and the yellow column is your safe zone. Don't touch it. Or: Only touch it to split cells to create new rows or columns.




            * you would remove this helper row and this helper column after absolutely finishing your work.
            Or you would not remove it and use no fill color and no strokes for that.


            2. Build the table step by step by merging cells.

            If you want to add columns and rows, split the right cells in the safety zone and change the width of the cells there.



            3. On with building:



            If you never remove the safety zones during the building process, you always have full control over the whole table.



            • 3. Re: Indesign complex table with varying column widths

              Thanks, you just solved my problem!