a new Indesign stumper for Tiffany et. al.

jlt's picture

OK, here's a tough one. At least, it's tough for me.

Say I have 50 pages of identical tables in Indesign. Each table has a few dozen cells, and I want to flow a giant block of text through specific cells through the whole document - for example, cells 1 > 2 > 10 > 11 > 20 > 24 > 29 on each page, linking from one page to the next.

Now, I could do this pretty easily with plain old text boxes, but I have no idea how to flow text between cells in a table. Given IDCS2's great handling of tables, I imagine this may be possible.

Any ideas?

Linda Cunningham's picture

That's a serious poser (as opposed to a flippant poseur....) :-)

Without sitting down and getting my hands dirty with this right now, the only way I can think of doing this would be to set up the text originally as comma-delimited, convert it into one big table, and then break up the big table into smaller ones, and have one each on a page.

There may be an easier way to do this, but I'm not sure how else to circumvent the "plop info into specific cells" requirement.

Miss Tiffany's picture

I'm stumped.

Miss Tiffany's picture

Nice. I don't use tables often. But, I can see the power there.

Reed Reibstein's picture

I don't have time to find it, but I believe this is reminiscent of something that David and Anne-Marie talked about on a post in InDesign Secrets. If I remember correctly, there is no way to link between cells. Take a look; they might have some solutions for your problem.

Miss Tiffany's picture

Just poking around InDesign Secrets and found this: http://indesignsecrets.com/thread-text-between-table-cells.php

Linda Cunningham's picture

Interesting article: maybe it's me, but that seems to be an awful lot of work to do somthing that you could set up with text frames and a grid in the first place and not have to go through the table thing.... ;-)

Miss Tiffany's picture

I think that is why I don't use tables. :^)

(But, I can understand situations where tables are really useful.)

jlt's picture

Tables are GREAT for forms - I mean, my form design work is 5x faster and twice as good (and much more consistent) since I started using frames.

I think threaded text blocks on a grid are the way to go for this one. It will take less time to recreate the table as text blocks than it would to hand-enter the info. But yes, I've already made it comma-delimited.

thanks everybody!


jlt : http://www.hewnandhammered.com

Miguel Sousa's picture

Joshua, if you're going to make a grid of text boxes in InDesign, the MakeGrid script might come in handy. You can get it from here: http://download.adobe.com/pub/adobe/indesign/InDesign_Example_Scripts.zip

Linda Cunningham's picture

Gee, thanks, Miguel, that looks really useful. I don't often need to do this often, but I can see that it would save great swacks of time when I do.

Tiff, tables are great, but like everything else, there's a time and place for them. The trick (if there is one in design) is knowing when to use what, why, and how.

In that sense, "design" and "editing" are a lot alike: absorb and become the rules, and you'll know the rationale for violating them. ;-)

jlt's picture

Miguel - that's very useful and I'll be using it quite a bit - thanks! I have a few templates and scripts from that part of the Adobe site but hadn't seen that one in particular before.


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