Creating Tables in InDesign

If you work in marketing and with a large amount of products, chances are that tables will or are a major part of your design practice. There are a million (ok maybe not that many) ways of creating tables in InDesign, but only one that is the best practice of designers everywhere. Creating tables the proper way will save you loads of time when it’s time to make edits or changes later. Learn how in under 2 minutes.

As in all of our tutorial videos, the script from the video is below if you prefer to follow along in that way.



5A – Body Columns & Rows

To create a new table click Table > Create Table. From here you can add how many of each body and header rows and columns you want. Header rows and columns contain categorizing text like size and weight. Just like in Excel, rows are stacked vertically and columns are categories from left to right.

Once you have configured your table, InDesign loads your cursor with the table. Click and drag to your desired size. Tables exist in frames in the same way that text and images do. To resize, double click the table and drag the lines in your desired direction.

4B –  Editing A Table

To add or subtract rows or columns after creation, double click into a cell, and click Table > Table Options > Table Setup. To merge cells, select them by dragging the cursor across cells, and click Table > Merge Cells.

Edit a table’s stroke and colors with the stroke panel or in Table > Cell Options.

To set up Alternate Shading put the insertion point in a cell, choose Table > Table Options > Alternating Row Fill or Alternating Column Fill. Select the type of alternate pattern and from here you can make further customizations.

4C –  Table Styles

Creating Table Styles allows you to create default tables with fill and stroke colors along with other settings for ease of use later. Table Styles can be set up in the Create Table window or after if you want to experiment with color and stroke first.

To create a new Table Style go to Window > Styles > Table Styles and click the Create New Style button.

creating tables in indesign

Automating Table Creation

While this method makes creating tables in InDesign simple, the process can still be daunting when creating catalogs that are hundreds of pages long. However, table creation can be automated so that information flows directly into the tables when product information, images, and specs are housed in Catsy. Your entire team can access your centralized product data and designers can use Catsy’s powerful automation to automatically populate tables both online and in InDesign. For more information check out