About table strokes and fills

You can add strokes and fills to your tables in a number of ways. Use the Table Options dialog box to change the stroke of the table border, and to add alternating strokes and fills to columns and rows. To change the strokes and fills of individual cells or header/footer cells, use the Cell Options dialog box, or use the Swatches, Stroke, and Color panels.

By default, the formatting you select using the Table Options dialog box overrides any corresponding formatting previously applied to table cells. However, if you select the Preserve Local Formatting option in the Table Options dialog box, the strokes and fills applied to individual cells are not overridden.

If you use the same formatting repeatedly for tables or cells, create and apply table styles or cell styles.

Change the table border

You can change the table border by using either the Table Setup dialog box or the Stroke panel.

  1. With the insertion point in a cell, choose Table > Table Options > Table Setup.
  2. Under Table Border, specify the desired weight, type, color, tint, and gap settings. (See Table stroke and fill options.)
  3. Under Stroke Drawing Order, select the drawing order from the following options:

    Best Joins

    If selected, row strokes will appear to the front at the points where strokes of different colors cross. In addition, when strokes such as double lines cross, the strokes are joined and the crossing points are connected.

    Row Strokes In Front

    If selected, row strokes appear in front.

    Column Strokes In Front

    If selected, column strokes appear in front.

    InDesign 2.0 Compatibility

    If selected, row strokes appear in front. In addition, when strokes such as double lines cross, they are joined and the crossing points are connected only at points where strokes cross in a T‑shape.

  4. If you do not want stroke formatting of individual cells to be overridden, select Preserve Local Formatting.
  5. Click OK.

Note:

If you remove the stroke and fill from a table, choose View > Extras > Show Frame Edges to display the cell boundaries of a table.

Add stroke and fill to cells

You can add stroke and fill to cells using the Cell Options dialog box, Stroke panel, or Swatches panel.

Add stroke and fill using Cell Options

You can determine which cell lines are formatted with a stroke or fill by selecting or deselecting lines in the Preview proxy. If you want to change the appearance of all rows or columns in the table, use an alternating stroke or fill pattern in which the second pattern is set to 0.

  1. Using the Type tool , place the insertion point in or select the cell or cells in which you want to add a stroke or fill. To add a stroke or fill to header/footer rows, select the header/footer cells at the beginning of the table.
  2. Choose Table > Cell Options > Strokes And Fills.
  3. In the proxy preview area, specify which lines will be affected by stroke changes. For example, if you want to add a heavy stroke to the outside lines but not to the inside lines of the selected cells, click an inside line to deselect it. (Selected lines are blue; deselected lines are gray.)
    Proxy preview area
    Select the lines you want to affect in proxy preview area.

    Note:

    In the proxy preview area, double-click any outside line to select the entire outer selection rectangle. Double-click any inside line to select the inside lines. Triple-click anywhere in the proxy to select or deselect all lines.

  4. For Cell Stroke, specify desired weight, type, color, tint, and gap settings. (See Table stroke and fill options.)
  5. For Cell Fill, specify desired color and tint settings.
  6. Select Overprint Stroke and Overprint Fill if desired, and then click OK.

Add a stroke to cells using the Stroke panel

The Stroke panel is available in InDesign, not InCopy.

  1. Select the cell or cells you want to affect. To apply a stroke to header or footer cells, select the header or footer row.
  2. Choose Window > Stroke to display the Stroke panel.
  3. In the proxy preview area, specify which lines will be affected by stroke changes.
  4. In the Tools panel, make sure the Object button  is selected. (If the Text button  is selected, the stroke changes will affect the text, not the cells.)
  5. Specify a weight value and stroke type.

Add a fill to cells using the Swatches panel

  1. Select the cell or cells you want to affect. To apply a fill to header or footer cells, select the header or footer row.
  2. Choose Window > Color > Swatches to display the Swatches panel.
  3. Make sure the Object button  is selected. (If the Text button  is selected, the color changes will affect the text, not the cells.)
  4. Select a swatch.

Add a gradient to cells using the Gradient panel

  1. Select the cells you want to affect. To apply a gradient to header or footer cells, select the header or footer row.
  2. Choose Window > Color > Gradient to display the Gradient panel.
  3. Click in the Gradient Ramp to apply a gradient to the selected cells. Adjust the gradient settings as necessary.

Add diagonal lines to a cell

  1. Using the Type tool , place the insertion point in or select the cell or cells in which you want to add diagonal lines.
  2. Choose Table > Cell Options > Diagonal Lines.
  3. Click the button for the type of diagonal line you want to add.
  4. Under Line Stroke, specify desired weight, type, color, and gap settings; specify a Tint percentage and Overprint options.
  5. From the Draw menu, choose Diagonal In Front to place the diagonal line in front of the cell contents; choose Content In Front to place the diagonal line behind the cell contents, and then click OK.

Table stroke and fill options

When selecting strokes and fills for the table or cells, use the following options:

Weight

Specifies the line thickness for the table or cell border.

Type

Specifies the line style, such as Thick - Thin.

Color

Specifies the color of the table or cell border. The choices listed are those available in the Swatches panel.

Tint

Specifies the percentage of ink of the specified color to be applied to the stroke or fill.

Gap Color

Applies a color to the areas between the dashes, dots, or lines. This option is not available if Solid is selected for Type.

Gap Tint

Applies tint to the areas between the dashes, dots, or lines. This option is not available if Solid is selected for Type.

Overprint

When selected, causes the ink specified in the Color drop-down list to be applied over any underlying colors, rather than knocking out those inks.

Alternate strokes and fills in a table

You can alternate strokes and fills to enhance readability or improve the appearance of your table. Alternating strokes and fills in table rows does not affect header and footer rows. However, alternating strokes and fills in columns does affect header and footer rows.

Alternating stroke and fill settings override cell stroke formatting, unless you select the Preserve Local Formatting option in the Table Options dialog box.

Note:

If you want to apply a fill or stroke to every body cell in the table, and not just alternating patterns, you can still use the alternating stroke and fill settings to create such non-alternating patterns. To create such an effect, specify 0 for Next in the second pattern.

Alternating fills in a table
Before (left) and after (right) alternating fills in a table

Add alternating strokes to a table

  1. With the insertion point in a cell, choose Table > Table Options > Alternating Row Strokes or Alternating Column Strokes.
  2. For Alternating Pattern, select the type of pattern you want to use. Select Custom if you want to specify a pattern; for example, one column with a thick black line followed by three columns with thin yellow lines.
  3. Under Alternating, specify the fill options for both the first pattern and the next pattern. For example, you may want to add a solid stroke to the first column and a Thick - Thin line to the next column, so that they alternate. Specify 0 for Next if you want the strokes to affect every row or column.

    Note:

    In tables that span multiple frames, alternating strokes and fills for rows do not restart at the beginning of additional frames in the story. (See Break tables across frames.)

  4. Select Preserve Local Formatting if you want formatted strokes previously applied to the table to remain in effect.
  5. For Skip First and Skip Last, specify the number of rows or columns at the beginning and end of the table in which you do not want stroke attributes to appear, and then click OK.

Add alternating fills to a table

  1. With the insertion point in a cell, choose Table > Table Options > Alternating Fills.
  2. For Alternating Pattern, select the type of pattern you want to use. Select Custom if you want to specify a pattern, such as one row shaded in gray followed by three rows shaded in yellow.
  3. Under Alternating, specify the fill options for both the first pattern and the subsequent pattern. For example, if you selected Every Second Column for Alternating Pattern, you may want to shade the first two columns in a gray tint and leave the next two columns blank. Specify 0 for Next if you want the fill to apply to every row.
  4. Select Preserve Local Formatting if you want previously formatted fills applied to the table to remain in effect.
  5. For Skip First and Skip Last, specify the number of rows or columns at the beginning and end of the table in which you do not want fill attributes to appear, and then click OK.

Turn off alternating strokes and fills in a table

  1. Place the insertion point in the table.
  2. Choose Table > Table Options > Alternating Row Strokes, Alternating Column Strokes, or Alternating Fills.
  3. For Alternating Pattern, choose None, and then click OK.

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