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Working with Typography and Tables in Adobe InDesign CS4

Chapter Description

Learn how to apply special effects such as scaling type, creating drop caps, anchoring objects in text, and wrapping text around objects and images. Also learn the tricks for creating and formatting tables that save you time and enhance your designs.

#41 Converting Text to Tables

The text that needs to go in a table often already exists, usually in a tab-delimited format (meaning that the cells of information for the table are separated by tabs and paragraph returns). You do not need to retype this text into a new table; you can easily convert it into a table. To do this:

  1. If necessary, import the text into a text frame.
  2. Choose Type > Show Hidden Characters to determine how the text is currently separated (Figure 41a). Usually, you will see tabs between "columns" of information and paragraph returns between "rows" of information. Check that all the columns have the same number of tabs between them; it doesn't matter if the tabs don't line up and the text looks messy. All that matters is consistency in the separation characters used.
    Figure 41a

    Figure 41a Before converting text to a table, choose Type > Show Hidden Characters to determine what is separating columns (usually a tab) and what is separating rows (usually a paragraph return).

  3. Select the Type tool and select the text to convert to a table.
  4. Choose Table > Convert Text to Table.
  5. In the Convert Text to Table dialog box (Figure 41b), confirm the selections for the Column Separator and Row Separator. If necessary, you can change the separators by choosing Tab, Comma, or Paragraph from the menus or by entering a different separation character (such as a semicolon) in the fields.
    Figure 41b

    Figure 41b The Convert Text to Table dialog box lets you specify the characters used to separate columns and rows in the text.

  6. If you choose the same separation character for columns and rows, you can clarify how many columns you need by entering a value in the Number of Columns field. Otherwise, this field is unavailable.
  7. If you have created any table styles, you can choose one from the Table Style menu. See #44 for more information.
  8. Click OK to create the table.

You may need to manually adjust the column widths (Figure 41c), and you can add header and footer rows as necessary.

Figure 41c

Figure 41c InDesign converts the selected text to a table, but it's likely that you'll have to adjust the column widths based on the content.

10. #42 Adding Content to Tables | Next Section Previous Section