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#40 Creating New Tables

If you need to build a table in InDesign from scratch, you can easily create one with the number of rows and columns you need. In addition, you can add header rows for labeling the table and footer rows for details and such. Since tables are always anchored in text, you need to click in a text frame to create a table. The table will automatically match the current column width, so if you need to create a text frame to contain a table, make it approximately the width you want for the table. (See #36 for more information about anchored objects.)

To create a table:

  1. Select the Type tool.
  2. Click in a text frame to position the text insertion point wherever you want the table.
  3. Choose Table > Insert Table.
  4. In the Insert Table dialog box (Figure 40a), enter the number of horizontal rows you need for basic table data in the Body Rows field.
    Figure 40a

    Figure 40a The Insert Table dialog box lets you specify how many rows and columns you want in a new table.

  5. Enter the number of vertical columns you need in the Columns field.
  6. If you need header rows for the table (to contain a table head and column heads, for example), enter the number of rows in the Header Rows field.
  7. If you need footer rows for the table (to contain a citation, for example), enter the number of rows in the Footer Rows field. The advantage to creating official Header Rows and Footer Rows is that they automatically repeat if the table splits across columns or pages.
  8. If you have created any table styles, you can choose one from the Table Style menu. See #44 for more information.
  9. Click OK to create the table.

The table is anchored in text at the text insertion point. The height of the rows is based on the formatting of the text insertion point, whereas the width of the columns is calculated according to the width of the text frame and the number of columns specified (Figure 40b).

Figure 40b

Figure 40b New tables are automatically anchored in surrounding text so if the text reflows, the table moves accordingly.

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