4 Replies Latest reply on Aug 22, 2016 5:22 AM by Obi-wan Kenobi

    Table-like layout (the proper way)

    JohnStern Level 1

      Hi !

       

      I want to find a way to create a table-like layout like this:

      indesign1.png

       

      As you can see, this example actually made in word-like application. I want to make it in InDesign, but I don't know what is a best way to do it.

       

      From my point of view, there are two ways, both very ugly.

       

      The first way is just to use a table. But as I understand, that may bring some problems in the future. Why? Because, as I think, the document is not intented to be a large table, and so, there are may be some problems with images, nested tables, references and TOC. Since I'm novice in InDesign, I'm not sure, but I think it's true.

       

      Another way is to use anchored frames, together with auto-resize height of frames. Here is the image. For better understandability, I colored frames into different colors:

       

      indes5.png

       

      The beige and blue are frames which are anchored to the red frame. (I should also note that beige and blue frames are not inline frames). The second red frame is also anchored to the first red frame. So we have 3 frames anchored to the first red:

      - beige frame

      - blue frame

      - second red frame

       

      This second (anchored-based) approach is also ugly, because:

      - we have a lot of anchored frames (it looks like something very unstable)

      - it also hard to insert text (I want to insert text into blue frame, but when I click it, the text is entered into the red one)

      - I don't know a way to make red frame automatically resize it's height to match both heights of beige and blue. In other words, if I add or remove text into the beige or blue, as the next step, I must manually (not automatically) change the height of the red one.

       

      Maybe someone know what is the way to make such layout without all this ugliness?

       

      Cheers, John

        • 1. Re: Table-like layout (the proper way)
          Willi Adelberger Most Valuable Participant

          Do it with a table. What problems do you expect? InDesign tables can be nested countless, contain images and the design, including used paragraph styles can be saved in Table, Cell and Paragraph Styles.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Table-like layout (the proper way)
            jane-e Adobe Community Professional

            JohnStern wrote:

            I want to find a way to create a table-like layout like this:

            ...

            The first way is just to use a table. But as I understand, that may bring some problems in the future. Why? Because, as I think, the document is not intented to be a large table, and so, there are may be some problems with images, nested tables, references and TOC. Since I'm novice in InDesign, I'm not sure, but I think it's true.

             

            To answer the other questions:

            • Yes, you can generate a TOC from styles used in a table.

            • Unasked, but maybe an issue: you cannot create an automatic footnote for text in a table. If you need to do this, there are some workarounds. Ask in a separate post or search the archives.

             

            Pro tip: create a small sample as you did above. Test everything you need to test.

            Also: use Paragraph styles, Cell styles, Table styles, and Character styles throughout. Remove all overrides.

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Table-like layout (the proper way)
              Laubender Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              Willi Adelberger wrote:

              Do it with a table. What problems do you expect?…

              Hi Willi,

              yes I'd do this kind of work also with tables. Perhaps.

              It will depend on the structure of the actual text and if the customer is prone of doing last minute changes.

               

              The thing is, that table cells cannot break between text frames (MS Word tables can do this).

              Depending on the length of texts within the individual cells, that missing feature would require some extra work, if the table flows from page to page and the bottom of the last row on every page should be in alignment with every other last row.

               

              I'd do that fine tuning at the very last stage of the document where contents and formatting of the text is finalized.
              Problem with that? The customer likes to see the final layout with a first draft perhaps and then doing changes.

               

              The alternative?
              Using two stories, two flows of text frames throughout the document, that resemble the two columns of a table and let them flow through the pages. To get the right alignment of the corresponding texts add paragraph signs. But here we have the same problem: If the customer is doing changes, we have to rework the number of paragraph signs added.

               

              Regards,
              Uwe

              • 4. Re: Table-like layout (the proper way)
                Obi-wan Kenobi Adobe Community Professional

                Hi Uwe,

                 

                I've discussed about this point with Kasyan Servetsky a long time ago!

                 

                We thought a good way was to effectively play with 2 stories and a script that extracts the Y-Offset of a para placed in Story 1 (marked with, e.g. a non-joiner at its beginning) and applies "space-before/invisible para rule above" to the corresponding para in the Story 2  (marked too with, e.g. a non-joiner at its beginning).

                 

                (^/)