Graphic Design / Interactive Design / Fine & Applied Arts / Parkland College

Graphic Design Exercises
InDesign: Tables


To learn InDesign layout and production techniques by recreating this table:


prepping for the exercise

  1. download starter files
  2. examine downloaded files
  3. launch InDesign
  4. file > new: letter, facing pages=no, landscape, margins: top/bottom 3p6, left/right 2p6
  5. practice Adobe navigation keyboard shortcuts: space=hand; space+cmd=zoom in; space+cmd+opt=zoom out; cmd+zero=fit in window
  6. practice InDesign preview shortcuts: cmd+opt+I (show/hide hidden characters); W (normal/preview mode)

creating a chart with tables

  1. file > place "chart.doc" (cmd+D); snap text frame to margins
  2. window > paragraph styles: edit "normal" style: 11/14 Helvetica Neue 55 Roman
  3. replace hyphens with en dashes (add thin space before/after)
  4. cut "intro" and "footer" copy and into separate text frame (temporarily)
  5. select chart info: tables > convert text to table
  6. table > insert > column (before column 1)
  7. table > insert > row (after last row)
  8. table > merge cells (column 1 and last row)
  9. paste "intro" into first column
  10. paste "footer" into last row
  11. adjust column width
  12. select cells for chart area
  13. table > cell options > fills & strokes: bottom stroke=1pt
  14. table > cell options > rows & columns: row height=at least 1p7
  15. table > cell options > text: adjust top & bottom insets
  16. window > styles > table styles > cell: new
  17. apply style to other cells as needed
  18. make rules for top row 3pt; adjust text insets
  19. style head: 14/16 Helvetica Neue 95 Black, tracking=-20; space after=1p
  20. add your name and exercise number


  1. submit b&w proof with your name and exercise number on it for grading
  2. file your graded proof in your Process Book for individual review

Last updated: 3/2/17 ■ Webmaster: Paul Young