12 Replies Latest reply on Jan 6, 2012 2:17 PM by Petros_

    Tabled Table of Contents


      I have about 20 pages of a document, each page has short snippets of text in three different paragraphs styles (paragraphStyleA, paragraphStyleB, and paragraphStyleC, for example). Is there any way to pick up those styles and text to create a table of contents for these pages which is laid out like a table, as pictured below? I know how to make a basic toc with various levels of lists. Is this layout possibel for a toc? I thought about skinny column text frames, and possibly text variables, but it seems like this is what a TOC should do. Cheers,




      TabledTOC.png(short lines here represent sentences of text, whereas the long vertical lines represent horizontal rules)

        • 1. Re: Tabled Table of Contents
          Grant H Level 4

          yes you can...

          • 2. Re: Tabled Table of Contents
            Grant H Level 4

            soz... 5 min

            • 3. Re: Tabled Table of Contents
              Grant H Level 4

              ok, there are a few ways I can think of...


              1.     Create three different TOC's with unique paragraph styles.
              2.     Create paragraph styles with nested styles etc in a 3 column text frame.


              u know what I mean... or must I elaborate...



              • 4. Re: Tabled Table of Contents
                Petros_ Level 1

                That gets me closer, I think I know what you mean by #1. Only trick there is I might end up with tons of semi-duplicate paragraph styles. Currently I have five statements, each with two to six substatements, and then each of those substatements will have two to four bullet points. So I'm thinking that would mean five different (but otherwise identical) paragraph styles for the statements, one more for each statement's substatements (total of five), and then one more for each bullet point (total of five). So fifteen where I could have just three. Clear as mud, right?


                I'm not a total InDesign novice, but I can't quite say I understand #2. Any insight you offer would be much appreciated!

                • 5. Re: Tabled Table of Contents
                  Grant H Level 4

                  u not quite understanding me,


                  You need para styles for the content yes. But you need to save 3 different TOC's styled with 3 new toc para styles. eg


                  TOC-1 you need mainParagraphStyle
                  TOC-2 you need discriptionStyle and bullet stlyle
                  TOC-3 you need finalStyle


                  then you create TOC1ParaStyle, and so on. This is so you can adjust the style to match/align everything... (difficult to explain)



                  • 6. Re: Tabled Table of Contents
                    Petros_ Level 1

                    I follow that, I have to set up TOC paragraph styles to control the style of the TOC itself (apart from the content that populates the TOC). But how to set up those styles so the overall layout follows the drawing above, I still don't know. For instance, how do I align three different pieces of text next to each other horizontally? In HTML or CSS you might set three divs to each float up against one another. Thanks for the help thus far!

                    • 7. Re: Tabled Table of Contents
                      Grant H Level 4

                      You need to make use of next style and keep options... this is quite complex and easy at the same time.


                      Maybe I'll do a vid tut or something tomorrow...



                      • 8. Re: Tabled Table of Contents
                        Petros_ Level 1

                        Read a bunch about next style, keep options, and nested styles. Learned a lot, but not enough to solve my original query. I can get one element to jump over to the adjacent column using Paragraph Style Options>Keep Options>Start Paragraph>In Next Column, but then if there's another substatement how do I keep that substatement in the same column as the previous? I have "same" selected for next style, but no dice. And then how do I get the statement text back into the left column? New text frame?


                        I was getting pretty far along setting up a ton of separate text frames but it felt more cumbersome than I expected from the geniuses (serious) that created the program. Attached is where I'm at.


                        Screen Shot 2011-12-28 at 10.52.30 PM.png

                        • 9. Re: Tabled Table of Contents
                          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                          Quite honestly, I don't think you are going to be able to automate this particular arrangement through the TOC feature unless you make a non-printing paragraph with a unique style to include, and manually build a one-row table for each topic in that paragraph (and you'd have to move the page number out of the table). That's about as much work as building the whole TOC manually.


                          You might be able to do what you want with cross-references, but I'm dubious, or with scripting, but it would be a very complex script I suspect, and would tak a lot longer to write than manually formatting the TOC. I'm not entirely sure I understand Grant's three-TOC method, but I think it's also going to fall down when you have different numbers of sub-topics under some headings.

                          • 10. Re: Tabled Table of Contents
                            Petros_ Level 1

                            The other question was about setting this all up manually. Mainly I want to avoid having to edit in two places if any of my text changes. If I set up a table manually, is there any way to call up the text from a particular paragraph style instead of copying & pasting the text I already have entered? This would save me the trouble of updating text in two places each time I make an edit.


                            BTW, Peter, did you illustrate a children's book about Noah?

                            • 11. Re: Tabled Table of Contents
                              Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                              The edit in one place was why I suggested possibly using cross-references. Linked Stories is another possibility, if your version of ID is new enough.


                              I'm the "other" Peter Spier.

                              1 person found this helpful
                              • 12. Re: Tabled Table of Contents
                                Petros_ Level 1

                                Looks like cross-references may be the way to go to achieve what I want. Linked Stories looked nice, but the parent/child relationship means you can't edit in either place, and you also can't really format the child text without it getting overwritten if the parent updates. Thanks for the help!


                                Helpful video explaining cross-references: http://tv.adobe.com/watch/visual-design/creating-crossreferences/