We've used Adobe InDesign CC in this tutorial, but older versions would work as well to follow along. You will also need the following stock photo to complete this tutorial. Please download it before you begin, or substitute with a similar picture and adjust the steps accordingly:
- USN Aircraft Model Plane PSD — free
1. Prepare the Canvas
Start by making a new file in InDesign. Click File > New and set the Page Size to Letter.
Activate the Type Tool and then click and drag to create a new text box.
2. Add the Title and Subtitle Text
Add a title and subtitle table.
Using the Type Tool, select the title. In the Option Bar, set its font type and size.
Open the Character Styles panel and then click the Create New Style icon to keep the text format as a new Character Style.
Double-click to change its name.
Here are the title and subtitle used in this tutorial, both in Avenir font. Feel free to experiment.
3. Import the Table
For the table content, we are going to use a table from a Microsoft Excel file. The file is available along with this tutorial: there's a download link in the sidebar.
In InDesign, click File > Place to import the Excel file.
Select the file. Make sure Show Import Options is selected.
The table content ranges from A1 to F23. You can see it inside Microsoft Excel.
You can manually set the table Cell Range in the Import Options and then click OK. InDesign will try to automatically detect the table cells. As you can see below, the results are not accurate. Click OK. We will just delete the unused rows and columns in the next step.
You can see that there are some unused rows at the bottom of the table.
Select the unused rows by clicking and dragging them vertically.
Right-click and then choose Delete > Row.
4. Modify the Table Appearance
Click and drag the edge of the last column to change its width. Make sure it fits the page width.
We want to make one of the columns wider. Hold Shift and then drag it to change its width independently, without affecting the other columns.
Select the Departure and Arrival columns.
To make both columns the same width, right-click and choose Distribute Columns Evenly.
Select the first row and then click the Align Center icon to center the text.
Select both columns and then center their content by clicking on the Align Center icon.
Select all the table cells by clicking on the top-left corner.
Change the font formatting. You may find that some of the new text doesn't fit the current table cell width. InDesign marks this with a red dot.
All you need to do is to change the cell width or height by Shift-dragging it.
This is the current table design.
Change the width of the first row by dragging down its bottom line.
Select the row and then click the Align Center icon to center the text vertically.
This is the current design.
Select all the table cells.
We don't want to see the lines in each table cell. To remove them, select all the lines in the Option Bar and then set the width to 0 pt.
The borders are gone, but we still have to find another way to add contrast to the table for easier reading.
Open the Swatches panel and then click the New Swatch icon.
In the Swatch Options, set the new swatch color to (100, 80, 0, 0). We will consistently use this color throughout this design.
Click Table > Table Options. Add some space between the table and the text above it. Set Space Before to 10 mm.
Activate the Fills section. Select Every Other Row in Alternating Pattern.
Set First 1 Rows with no color and set Next 1 Rows with the color swatch created earlier. Set the Tint to 10%. Select Skip First 1 Rows to exclude the table header from this fill pattern.
Here's the result.
Draw a rectangle using the Rectangle Tool. Use the same swatch color that we made earlier.
Add rounded corners to the shape using the menu Object > Corner Options. Select Rounded and set the size to 3 mm.
Make sure you activate Preview to see the results in real time.
Here's a closer look at the current header.
Place the rectangle right behind the table header. Select it and then hit Ctrl-Shift-[ to put it behind the text.
Select the table header and then set its text color to white.
This is the result.
Select all the table cells and set the text color to blue.
Repeat the same process on the title and subtitle.
5. Add the Page Footer
Draw a curved shape manually using the Pen Tool. For its color, use blue.
Draw another curved shape. To add contrast, use a different color.
Grab the transparent airplane image from DeviantArt. Place it in the bottom-left corner of the page.
Add a quote and some other text in the page footer.
We're done! This is the end result. I hope you enjoyed this short tutorial and learned one or two tricks on working with tables in Adobe InDesign.
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