Section 42. Converting Text to Tables

#42. 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). You do not need to retype this text into a new table; you can easily convert it into a table. To do this:


If necessary, import the text into a text frame.


Choose Type > Show Hidden Characters to determine how the text is currently separated (Figure 42a). Usually, you will see tabs between "columns" of information and paragraph returns between "rows" of information. Also, check to see that all the columns have the same amount 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 characters used.

Figure 42a. 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).


Select the Type tool and highlight the text to convert to a table.


Choose Table > Convert Text to Table.


In the Convert Text to Table dialog box (Figure 42b), confirm the information selected 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 42b. The Convert Text to Table dialog box lets you specify the characters used to separate columns and rows in the text.


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.


Click OK to create the table.

You may need to manually adjust the column widths as we did (Figure 42c), and you can add header and footer rows as necessary.

Figure 42c. InDesign converts the highlighted text to a table, but it's likely that you'll have to adjust the column widths based on the content.

Adobe InDesign CS2 How-Tos(c) 100 Essential Techniques
Adobe InDesign CS2 How-Tos: 100 Essential Techniques
ISBN: 0321321901
EAN: 2147483647
Year: N/A
Pages: 142

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