Designing tables/text boxes and changing color from word

Participant ,
Dec 01, 2020 Dec 01, 2020

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Throughout my book I use tables such as this one:

simon5CD0_0-1606820635650.png


I have set these up in Word and then changed the color of this one (the first) in InDesign. I have searched around but can't find a good way to work with this.

Is there some way to easily set up a lot of tables in the same format?

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 01, 2020 Dec 01, 2020

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Simon asked: "Is there some way to easily set up a lot of tables in the same format?"

 

Hi Simon,

look into the SmartStyles plug-in for InDesign by Woodwing:

https://www.woodwing.com/en/smart-styles-adobe-indesign-plugin

 

There is a 30-days-trial version.

 

Regards,
Uwe Laubender

( ACP )

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 01, 2020 Dec 01, 2020

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HI @simon5CD0:

 

An alternative, included-with-the-software option is to define paragraph styles, cell styles and a table style. You gave us a very small sample table—but it looks to me like the table head is dark blue with bold, white text and then you have a row of text with a light teal background followed by a row with a darker teal background. If these two colors repeat in the body rows, then this can be done within InDesign's feature set. 

 

You will want to read up on nesting paragraph styles in the cell styles, and nesting cell styles in a table style. 

https://helpx.adobe.com/si/indesign/user-guide.html/si/indesign/using/table-cell-styles.ug.html

 

~Barb 

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Participant ,
Dec 02, 2020 Dec 02, 2020

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Thanks for the explanation. I found a good video om table style and much of it is intuitive.

 

However, I'm wondering if we have to make them from scratch in InDesign? I import my text from word documents and the tables are imported so that I can change the color of each line etc. but when I mark all fields in a table and make a new cell style the look of the table is not transmitted to the style it seems.

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 02, 2020 Dec 02, 2020

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Hi @simon5CD0 :

 

Yes, you have to design the cell and table styles in InDesign. Did you read how to nest (automatically apply) the cell styles within a table style? For example, you can design a cell style for the header row and then tell the table style style to assign it automatically. The alternating teal colors can be assigned through the table style, so you don't need cell styles (based on what you showed us) for those row.

 

When you place the Word document, you can enable the Show Import Options checkbox, and the can choose the existing table style that you want the tables to use, so that they are assigned the table style on the way in. Alternatively, you can assign table styles once the files have been placed but sometimes—and I think this is what you are saying in your second post—the ignore you. This is because InDesign tries to honor the Word formatting as overrides. You can remove the overrides on the way in—again using the Show Import Options dialog box, or your can removed them after. Since the InDesign Helpx file I linked to first doesn't address this, here is a post I wrote for my students that may be helpful. 

https://www.rockymountaintraining.com/adobe-indesign-tables-that-wont-accept-table-and-cell-styles/ 

 

~Barb 

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Participant ,
Dec 03, 2020 Dec 03, 2020

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I have now spent quite a few hours trying to do something much simpler: not to do what I wanted but to simply have 1 very simple table style working.

 

What I have tried:

 

1) Following the Indesign Manual: clicking inside a table (created in InDesign) and clicking "create new style". No success trying to apply this to other tables

2) Another webpage said to hold down alt when clicking "create new style". Still no success.

3) Just to test it out I tried to go into my table with some layout and then applying the [basic table] to see if I could change any borders etc. Again no effect.

4) I clicked inside my table and set up a new style. Now instead of simply trying to let it be based on how the table already looked, I tried to make changes in the menu that comes up when editing the style and saving these changes to the style.

Then applied this style to another table. Again no changes.

 

 

I am simply trying to save a formatting and use it on other tables. I can't find out what is going wrong. It should be such a simple thing and yet these hours have not born fruit

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Participant ,
Dec 04, 2020 Dec 04, 2020

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I now have a table style with cell styles and paragraph styles nested. This is working on tables created within InDesign.

 

The next thing then is to make it work on tables from word. I read through this https://www.rockymountaintraining.com/adobe-indesign-tables-that-wont-accept-table-and-cell-styles/

It's a good description, but I can't make the same thing work. I can remove all formatting at import, but when I apply my table style nothing changes with table that originally came from word - even with all formatting removed.

 

Anyone with some inputs to possible solutions?

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Participant ,
Dec 04, 2020 Dec 04, 2020

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I'll put this on hold for now as I seem slowly fix this issue.

Part of it was that the table had no header row at default.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 04, 2020 Dec 04, 2020

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You can designate the header row in Word and InDesign will recognize it when you import the file.

 

If you don't, you can select and right+click the header row(s) and choose Convert to Header Row from the context menu. 

 

~Barb 

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Participant ,
Dec 06, 2020 Dec 06, 2020

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Thank Barb. That part I had actually figured out (important to celebrate the small successes).

 

But the problem remains with the tables: If I import the document with all formatting removed, I can apply my table style just fine.

 

BUT if I place the text keeping the formatting and follow your "favorite" approach described in the article above, it doesn't work.

 

So for now I am important my document and set it up. Then in a separate indd importing my docx and then copying the tables between documents. Very primitive but nothing I have tried has allowed me to format the word tables with indesign table styles

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