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Learn How To Convert Text Documents Into Adobe InDesign Tables

Creating tables in #Adobe InDesign is a great way to add more context to an editorial layout.

Whether it's breaking down figures or displaying stats related to an article, tables can take readers deeper into the content displayed on a page while also adding more contrast to the overall layout.

In this tutorial, I go over how to create a table from a text file, such as a Microsoft Word document. I'll demonstrate how to convert the text into a table and show you steps on formatting and editing cells in Adobe InDesign.

Before getting started, it's important to add tabs and paragraph breaks in your text document. This will make the process easier when converting to a table in InDesign.

Converting a Text File to a Table

  1. In your project, go to the page where you will be placing the text file.

  2. Go to File > Place and select the file from your saved documents.

  3. Your curser will have the text file loaded, which you can click and drag or click on the page to place. It's much easier to drag the proper size using columns in Adobe InDesign

  4. Select the body of text, go to Table > Convert Text To Table.

  5. In the Convert Text To Table dialog box, set the Column Separator to Tab and the Row Separator to Paragraph. Click OK.

  6. This will format your Word Document or related text file into a table which you can now edit on the go.

Here's an overview of the steps explained above:

Formatting and editing content within tables can be done through the Tables drop-down in the main menu bar. Primarily, we will focus on Table Setup and Cell Options.

Formatting and Editing Tables

  1. To edit text justification and insets, select the entire body in the table and go to Table > Table Options > Table Setup

  2. Among settings found here, justification and insets are important to focus on to avoid type sitting too close to cell strokes.

  3. To edit strokes and fills of an entire table or individual cell, select the text and go to Cell Options > Strokes and Fills.

  4. In the dialog box, you can alter the table cell stroke as well as the fill settings

To adjust the spacing of each row or column, hover around the areas you want to adjust and when the cursor becomes an arrow, drag the columns or rows left or right, up or down, respectively.

If you want to format the font, this can still be done in the regular properties panel or control bar where the settings are. Just select the text and choose a typeface by row, column or entire table.

You now know the ins and outs of creating tables in Adobe InDesign. Incorporate it into your next print project!

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