Quick Tip: How to Make Tables With Rounded Corners in InDesign


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This post is part of a series called Design Essentials.
Design a Print-Ready Accordion Fold Document in Adobe InDesign

This tutorial will show you how to make fully editable tables with rounded corners in InDesign, quickly and easily. It's actually a bit trickier than you would expect it to be, but if you follow this Quick Tip you will be making great looking tables in no-time!

Step 1

Design the look of your table within your main text box - choose fonts, padding, cell size (height and width) including the header bar. You can define your Table Styles to make the process easier if you like - but it is not essential for this tip.

Step 2

Next, anywhere else on the page, (right below the table helps) draw a box the exact width of the header bar (using guides to help you draw it), and place your header text inside (adjusting "Inset Spacing" in the Object > Text Frame Options dialogue box). It doesn't have to be the same height as your original table's header bar.

Step 3

Add rounded corners to the top two corners of the box. Make it the same color as the original header bar as well. Extra Tip: If the Inset Spacing size is the same as the corner size, the text will fit nicely in the top right corner.

Step 4

Select the header cell (hover over the top left corner of the cell until a small black horizontal arrow appears) of your original table and delete it completely.

Step 5

Now insert a new table above your first table, with 1 row and 1 column. Give this table no stroke and no fill, with 0 mm cell insets.

Step 6

Cut the box you created and then place your cursor in the empty table so the text I-beam appears - then paste the box into the cell. It will fit perfectly, and will also nicely adjust the height to make the box fit.

Step 7

Now highlight the cell in the top table (click anywhere in a cell and drag right to highlight a cell) and change the Table Settings (Table > Table Options > Table Setup) so that it has 0 space after.

Now select the bottom table and highlight any cell to change the table settings so that it has 0 space before. And voila! the two tables will seamlessly meet in the middle. You might want to remove the stroke from the top of the bottom table in order for the 2 tables to join better.

The neat thing here is that if you resize the height of the top table in any way, it will move the bottom table as well, which is really useful when you want these tables to re-flow in your main body of text. These tables are selectable within your body text, so can be copied and pasted as one element really easily.

Step 8 - Bonus Tip!

If you want to round the bottom two corners of your table as well, this technique also applies. Just make a new table below your current table, and insert new rounded corner boxes into the bottom right and bottom left cells. This might take a bit of tweaking to get right, but once you do, you can use it again and again in your designs.


And there you have it, a rounded corner table in InDesign. Until Adobe includes a Round-Table-Corners feature in future editions of InDesign, I hope this tip helps you.