Typing Tab in a Table Cell
Here’s a little quickie… something that I thought had been covered in a previous blog post, but apparently not! How on earth are you supposed to type a tab in a table cell? After all, when you press tab in a table cell, the cursor jumps to the next cell. (Or, if you’re in the last cell in a table, InDesign inserts a whole new row.)
(Why on earth you’d want to insert a tab into a cell so has also been discussed before, but suffice it to say that sometimes people want a tab inside a cell. And it’s not immediately obvious how to do it in InDesign.)
Fortunately, Anne-Marie answered this conundrum a year and half ago, but I see that it’s hiding inside a comment at the end of another (excellent) blog post. Here’s what she said (with a few small edits for clarity, as I’ve taken this out of context):
On the Mac, you can just press Option-Tab to insert a tab inside a table cell.
On a PC, Alt-Tab is reserved for flipping through your open programs. However, you can choose Type > Insert Special Character > Other > Tab. Or, instead, just go to Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts and assign a keyboard shortcut to it. It’s listed under the Type Menu product area; look for Insert Special Character:Other:Tab. You’ll see that “Tab” is already set as the default keyboard shortcut for this, but only while in a Text frame (it says “Context: Text”). If you choose “Table” from the Context pop-up menu, you can add another keyboard shortcut for this command. I use Control-Tab. In other words, when I want to add a tab inside a cell in Windows, I press Control-Tab. Works great.
So that’s it! Option-tab on the Mac; make your own keyboard shortcut for it on the PC.