11 Replies Latest reply on Oct 25, 2017 7:27 AM by chrisgv

    Table Styles and Cell Styles not working properly

    RichardM0701 Level 1

      Hi guys,


      I'm ready to pull my hair out with an issue I am having.


      The Problem: I am having an issue where I have a table style setup with cell styles (see below). When I make the table using the table style, none of the cell styles are applied unless I right click on the cell style and select "clear overrides". It also applies a random paragraph style. In the images below, you can see that I have my table style setup to use the assigned cells for the respective areas. As you can see when i click on the table, "none" is applied to the table.So basicly, the table styles are not loading cell styles.


      What I have done: I have inspected all of my styles and there is nothing referring to this character style. I have trashed my user prefs and also tried this on a brand new installation. I am using CS5.5 and Windows 7.




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        • 1. Re: Table Styles and Cell Styles not working properly
          Faith-Action Level 1

          I feel the same way. i cannot make the table and cell styles work unless it is one simple style - in which case you could just do it in one stroke anyway!

          • 2. Re: Table Styles and Cell Styles not working properly
            MT.Freelance Level 4

            It is probable that you have local overrides on the tables that are preventing the Table style from applying properly. Local overrides are when you manually apply a style.


            So, If you create a table, then style it by applying character and paragraphs styles, then apply your border changes, fills, etc., and then apply a table style... nothing happens. The table has the table style applied, but your local overrides are preventing it from showing. That is why when you clear the overrides, everything appears as you have set in the table style.


            With a table style applied, the cell styles will not show as enabled in the cell style panel, unless you have applied it as a local override. Also, the little '+' next to the [None] cell style indicates there are overrides in the table cell you have selected.


            Same concept applies to paragraph styles. You can assign a paragraph style and override everything manually or accidently with a character style selected. This can trip you up if you accidently have a character style selected in the character style panel when you assign a paragraph style.


            With nothing selected in your document spread (CTRL+Shift+A or CMD+Shift+A), check to ensure that you do not have the random character style or paragraph style selected in the character or paragraph style panel. If it is, then everytime you create a new text frame, or a type in new text, or create a new table, that style comes along for the ride.






            Screen shot 2011-11-18 at 4.44.41 PM.png

            • 3. Re: Table Styles and Cell Styles not working properly
              Faith-Action Level 1

              Thank you so much for trying to help. I have followed your suggestions but still come up with some problems. May i explain my tables and ask a few questions? Maybe you can help me --- I've spent HOURS on this. We are invovled in developing a curriculum and we use so many tables that the cell and/or table styles would be very helpful.


              Here is the description of a typical table;

              1) a header row (which i don't usually use the header option because i only repeat the header if it breaks over non-facing pages, otherwise i use a "continued" in the top line of the table on a facing page). This row will have 3 to 6 cells. I use a 1pt stroke on the outside border of all 4 sides, with a .5 stroke on the inside cell columns. It would be nice to include the style, as i see this is an option, but not so necessary. I also use cell fill of black, 10% tint.


              2) the following rows/cells use a .5 stroke with the border being a1pt stroke (so basically the outside of the table is a 1pt stroke with inside strokes of .5pts)


              3) i use a merged-cells footer row (altho the same explanation applied as in the header row) that has the 1pt stroke on the top row with a 0pt stroke on the other 3 sides.


              Is it possible to create this with these parameters or am i going to have to use a script (which i don't know how to write!)?


              Thank you for your time and advice.

              • 4. Re: Table Styles and Cell Styles not working properly
                Faith-Action Level 1

                PS - these tables come in from Word from the authors. I select the entire table and opt-click to clear all styles in the paragraph, character, table and cell styles.

                • 5. Re: Table Styles and Cell Styles not working properly
                  MT.Freelance Level 4

                  1) In the Table Setup dialog, you can define how the headers and footers repeat (every time, once per frame, once per page, skip first). Unfortunately, this cannot be defined by the style and also doesn't work as once per spread (which would suit your preference). To view your Table Setup options, select the table and either go to the menu (Table > Table Options > Table Setup), or use the keyboard shortcut (CTRL+SHIFT+ALT+B or CMD+SHIFT+ALT+B). Click the Header and Footer tab.


                  An advantage of defined automatic header and footers is that when your table spans more than one frame or page, then the headers/footers are automatically generated, even if the content is later changed (rows added or removed for instance). When you manually place a header row using a body row, if the content changes or your update the table, you may loose the header, or it may shift position to no longer be a header.


                  2) you can setup the general table style to auto-format your outer border as well as you column and row strokes, fills, etc. Anything set there can be overridden by a cell style, or manually applied styles.


                  3) like my example screenshot. Uses the top border stroke to cap the bottom of the tables that break across pages or frames.


                  As for getting more complex, such as only doing heading rows on new spreads, or alternate text for heading rows (such as 'continued'), I think there may be some 3rd party plugins that can do that... such as the Smart Styles by Woodwing.


                  Regarding pulling text from Word. I has used copy/paste from Excel for years to populate tables in InDesign. I cannot say that I've messed with tables from Word, but they may behave similar to Excel..


                  Once the table format is established, it is simple to copy the text in Excel and Paste into the InDesign tables, where the text picks up the formatting assigned to the table. One key part of this is that your clipboard preferences in InDesign must be set to Text Only. Otherwise, the styles from the office applicaiton come along for the ride and can cause styling issues.


                  You can set your general preference for this in Preferences > Clipboard Handling, and set the When Pasting option to Text Only. Doing this should eliminate the step you listed of clearing the imported styles after pasting your data.


                  To paste into an InDesign table (if you do not already know), be sure to select the first cell that the data will paste into. If you only place the cursor IN the cell, then your pasted contet will try to fit in that single cell...





                  • 6. Re: Table Styles and Cell Styles not working properly
                    hrdina Level 1

                    Thanks! The cell style over-ride was messing up my copy-paste operation from an old doc.

                    • 7. Re: Table Styles and Cell Styles not working properly
                      Nelway Level 1

                      Thanks MT.Freelance!  I had a paragraph style selected that was overriding my table/cell styles.

                      • 8. Re: Table Styles and Cell Styles not working properly
                        ShaneH Level 1

                        For the first time in my 26 year career as a graphic designer, I have an urgent need for Table Styles. I was just given a huge book which could best be described as an annual report — replete with tables, charts and graphs. Of course, before starting this project, I explained to my superiors how easy this would be — that I'd just import the tables from Excel, Word, whatever, and apply Table Styles to them.


                        This has been nothing but hassle, frustration, and hours upon hours wasted trying to find some logic in the way this works. I've watched Adobe's online video regarding Table Styles, and it is absolutely lacking.

                        I am having the same issues described herein and have simply concluded that Table Styles in InDesign simply do not work. Sometimes I imagine Adobe to be just a research and development club, and they don't actually try this stuff in a real-world situation.

                        What's really extraordinary is that this post is from 2011, and I'm using the 2014 version of Adobe InDesign CC... and it's still an issue that hasn't been improved. Complete NEGLECT on Adobe's behalf.

                        Adobe: This is WAY, WAY too complicated, and you owe it to us to make this less buggy and more intuitive.

                        • 9. Re: Table Styles and Cell Styles not working properly
                          Nojo509 Level 1

                          I have hundreds of tables from Word, and have to convert each table to [Basic Paragraph] before the cell settings work. And while they work, they don't show up in the toolbar. The formatting is applied, but the Cell Styles remains [None].


                          When I import my tables from Word, is there a setting that will allow them to come thru as [Basic Paragraph]?

                          • 10. Re: Table Styles and Cell Styles not working properly
                            Laubender Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                            Nojo509 wrote:

                            … When I import my tables from Word, is there a setting that will allow them to come thru as [Basic Paragraph]?

                            Hi together,

                            I came about this older thread while doing some research on issues of format overrides with tables.


                            If one wants to clear overrides there is a script written by Marc Autret that is working with a selected table and can do clearing in different levels.

                            ** IMPORTANT NOTE **

                            The script that I linked to below was written before the introduction of graphic cells with InDesign CC 2015.
                            I did not test it with InDesign CC 2015 or CC 2017.


                            // LEVEL 0  => only clear overrides relative to *defined* style attrs
                            // LEVEL 1  => clear all overrides (through root style)  
                            // LEVEL 2  => clear all overrides and apply [None]  
                            // LEVEL 3  => apply [None] *in depth* (i.e. release all attributes)

                            See his post at the InDesign Scripting forum:


                            6. Re: How to break link to cell/table style in a selection

                            Marc Autret Dec 15, 2013 (in response to Uwe Laubender)



                            Marc's blog post about this can be read here:


                            Breaking Link to Cell/Table Style in the Selection

                            Marc Autret June 19, 2014

                            Indiscripts :: InDesign Scripting Forum Roundup #6


                            How to work with ExtendScript scripts in InDesign:


                            Installing a "script"

                            Marc Autret



                            Hope, this is of help.



                            • 11. Re: Table Styles and Cell Styles not working properly
                              chrisgv Level 1

                              I was searching for an answer to this and haven't found much. After playing around for awhile I MAY have come up with a solution. I know this was posted 6 years ago, but maybe it'll help someone now.


                              Here's the order that I use for a table using a header row, a left column, and a right column:


                              1. If needed, set up a paragraph style for each cell:


                              • header_text (set the font size to 16pt)

                              • left_text (set the font size to 12pt)

                              • right_text (set the font size to 8pt)


                              2. Set up a cell style for each cell:


                              • header_cell (In the cell style options, under general, link to the header_text paragraph style. Set the fill of this style to a unique colour)

                              • left_cell (In the cell style options, under general, link to the left_text paragraph style. Set the fill of this style to a unique colour)

                              • right_cell (In the cell style options, under general, link to the right_text paragraph style. Set the fill of this style to a unique colour)


                              3. Set up your table style:


                              • table_style (in the table style options, under general, under cell styles, link the following:


                              Header Rows: header_cell

                              Footer Rows: [None]

                              Body Rows: [None]

                              Left Column: left_cell

                              Right Column: right_cell


                              4. Now that we have everything set up, in a text box, insert a new table (Shift+Ctrl+Alt+T):


                              Body Rows: 3

                              Columns: 2

                              Header Rows: 1

                              Footer Rows: 0

                              Table Style: table_style


                              5. Test


                              What you should see is your table. Your header row will show it's unique colour and your left and right columns will each show their unique colour.


                              But if you type in any cell, you're probably not getting the paragraph style you set up to function. All the cells are probably using the same paragraph formatting too. If you check your cell style, you'll see that none of them worked and they're all set to [None]*.


                              6. Fix


                              Select the entire table. If you hover over the top left of the table, your cursor will change to an arrow pointing to the bottom right. Click to select the whole table.


                              Now go to your Cell Styles window and option click on [None]*.


                              This will force the table to use all the styles we set up.


                              Note that I didn't use footer rows or body rows, but the same principle applies, it's just creating more styles.


                              Hope this helps!