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Library: Creative Design

 

Import & edit tables easily with InDesign's Place & Table commands

Added on Wednesday 4th of March 2009 09:23 am EST

 
Applications > Adobe InDesign CS/CS2, Microsoft Excel 2000/XP
Operating Systems > Microsoft Windows, Macintosh

Data tables have become an integral part of our daily life. We find them everywhere—in banking and finance, in sports statistics, and in scientific analysis. Because they're so essential, we're often asked to include them in the publications we produce. Stock market results, food calorie charts, and even weather charts, as shown in Figure A, are but a few examples. But just as often as we're asked to include a table, we're asked to use a file provided by an outside source such as a client. While you could reconstruct the table using InDesign's Table command, you can save yourself time and effort by using the Place command.


Design your spreadsheet
Data table, i.e., spreadsheet, software is sold by many manufacturers. One very popular application is Microsoft's Excel program. For our example let's use an Excel spreadsheet that charts the phases of the moon, as shown in Figure B. To follow along using our example, download the plan.zip file from the URL given at the beginning of this article.

1. Launch InDesign and select File > New > Document. When the New Document dialog box opens, choose Letter from the Page Size pop-up menu.
2. Click OK to open a new publication.


Place a data table file
The data in our table is straightforward ...