Table continuation

Enthusiast ,
Jul 27, 2018 Jul 27, 2018

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I know about the clunky workarounds for this missing feature in InDesign.

The tables are placed and linked from Excel and I'm trying to come up with a table continued line that doesn't require a lot of manual work each time the table is changed in Excel and updated in InDesign.

Does anyone know of a efficient way to do a table continuation line in InDesign when a table spans multiple pages and need to be updated frequently?

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correct answers 1 Correct Answer

Most Valuable Participant , Jul 28, 2018 Jul 28, 2018
But InDesign does have the option for multi-row headers. I don't see what the problem is. Just try it!1. Insert a row above your current header. Type "(continued)" in this.2. Copy your current header row(s).3. Mark the header rows to be repeated – including the top 'continued' row (well, you cannot not mark it) – as Table Header.4. Set the table options to skip the header rows. All of your current headers will disappear.5. Insert blank rows for your number of actual – not counting the 'continued...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 27, 2018 Jul 27, 2018

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What technique are you currently using?

Unlike FrameMaker, InDesign does not have table continued/sheet variables. (A shame...)

The best method I've seen is to dupe the first row that is formatted to look like a header row (using Cell styles). Convert the top row to a header row with the "(continued)" text added to it. Then choose the Skip First option for the table. The second row, which is not a header but looks just like one, appears on the first instance of the table; the actual header row with the continued text appears on the rest of the instances.

If you use Table and Cell styles exclusively for your formatting, you can link to the Excel file. A couple of clicks is all it would take to apply the modified formatting.

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Enthusiast ,
Jul 27, 2018 Jul 27, 2018

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Thanks, IDEAS. I know about that workaround. The reason it doesn't work for me is that I need to have the continued line above the header. row, not within the same row. If InDesign had the option to have two header rows combined with the option to skip just the top header row, then it would work for me. But I've not seen that as an option.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 27, 2018 Jul 27, 2018

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Hi Jay,

As David said, InDesign does not have this feature (yet).

Please post a feature request to User Voice:

Adobe InDesign Feedback

The engineers will read it and track it there. It's a great idea!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 28, 2018 Jul 28, 2018

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You still might be able to make it work by designing the actual header row with a paragraph rule to simulate a cell background. That way, the "continued" text could appear to be "above" the header row without any special formatting.

Definitely a feature request, however. There are a lot of features I would like to see copied from FrameMaker into InDesign. For the most part, long-document features pretty much started and stopped with CS3.

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Enthusiast ,
Jul 28, 2018 Jul 28, 2018

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That is a very clever idea, IDEAS!

Wish it would work for me, but there are multiple columns in the table, some with a single line of text and some with two lines of text, making it difficult to pull off.

I put in an feature request, but I feel like the requests just go into a dark hole somewhere. So many feature requests for basic day-to-day features get ignored while Adobe adds more flashy features.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Jul 28, 2018 Jul 28, 2018

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But InDesign does have the option for multi-row headers. I don't see what the problem is. Just try it!

1. Insert a row above your current header. Type "(continued)" in this.

2. Copy your current header row(s).

3. Mark the header rows to be repeated – including the top 'continued' row (well, you cannot not mark it) – as Table Header.

4. Set the table options to skip the header rows. All of your current headers will disappear.

5. Insert blank rows for your number of actual – not counting the 'continued' line – header rows. Paste yours inside it.

This is my current workflow for long tables, and it works without a hitch, no matter if the table does or does not span a page. The only thing to keep in mind is that you have the same header text in two places, so if you edit, remmeber to edit in both the "top (visible) row" and the repeating header at the top of the next page.

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Enthusiast ,
Jul 28, 2018 Jul 28, 2018

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Jongware, I'm glad you responded because now I know that it's probably not something that can easily be scripted.

Yes, I could have two header rows. If InDesign had the ability to skip just the first header row on the first page, that would work fine. But with multiple tables and periodic updates to the tables from Excel, using your method requires a fair amount of manual formatting, which I'm trying to avoid.

If I did do as you suggest, I'd need to put a white box over the first of the two header rows on the first page. That's possible.

But it all comes down to the fact that InDesign table features need significant improvement.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Jul 28, 2018 Jul 28, 2018

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Jay, if you set the table options to skip the header rows on the first page, you don't need a white box. The number of header rows is not important.

My method can be scripted – all it needs to do is copying the current header rows, add one above, and set the First Row Skip Option – but I am not sure I understand why it would not work for your tables.

Check the Adobe InDesign: Feature Requests: Hot (1332 ideas) – Adobe InDesign Feedback  forum (previously known as "Feature Requests"); I think adding automated "continued" lines has been requested before.

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Enthusiast ,
Jul 28, 2018 Jul 28, 2018

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Because I don't want to skip the header row on the first page. I just want to skip the row that says "continued" on the first page. I still need the headings for each column on the first page and all consecutive pages. I'm dealing with multiple tables, and don't want the hassle of manually adding fake column headings on consecutive pages every time the table link is updated.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 29, 2018 Jul 29, 2018

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Jay -- Jongware's method works fine. More detail here:

https://indesignsecrets.com/continued-heading-table.php

P.

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Enthusiast ,
Jul 29, 2018 Jul 29, 2018

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I understand how the method works that Jongware suggested, and probably it is the best workaround. The part I'd prefer to avoid is that when the linked table is updated two rows need to be edited which requires manual formatting. InDesign has a missing feature so I guess there's no way to avoid manual formatting.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 04, 2020 Dec 04, 2020

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Hi, this does work well but the tables in the text book I am working on, are auto numbered as 1.1, 1.2, 1.3...2.1, 2.2, 2.3 (chapterNumber.tableNumber). In this case, the method you have described does work but the table numbering changes. Is there any solution to this? Could you please help?

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