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Free Video: Adding Continued Headers to Tables

When I first started laying out pages using a computer, there were no dedicated tools and features for working tables. In fact, the software I was using didn’t even allow you to make a real table; we just faked it using manually-positioned text boxes and lines. It tedious just to create a table, and even worse to edit a table when the content had to change.

Now, many years later, we have some good table tools in InDesign, but it can still be tedious to deal with complex tables. There’s just a lot to learn and watch out for. That’s why we did The Tables Issue of InDesign Magazine, and that’s also why you should watch the latest free video in the InDesignSecrets series at In the video, David Blatner shows a clever trick for making headers for tables that span multiple pages, where you’d want the word “continued” to appear on all pages except the first page of the table. If you ever have to work with long tables in InDesign, definitely check out the video.

Adding continued headers to tables

For members, if you are currently signed in to your account, you can also check out these videos from the series.

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Mike Rankin

Mike Rankin

Editor in Chief of, InDesign Magazine, and Author of LinkedIn Learning courses on InDesign, Illustrator, GIMP, Inkscape, and Adobe Dimension.
Mike Rankin

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3 Comments on “Free Video: Adding Continued Headers to Tables

  1. Interesting and thanks for sharing. Seem to recall that either FrameMaker or Ventura Publisher could do that a decade or so ago, but it’s about the only thing I ever missed.

    • It’s one of my “Theories about Life” that when anything surpasses a certain level of ability, it’s abilities expand exponentially. whether that’s people or software. Adding a new feature to an app doesn’t just add that feature, it adds a host of other abilities that the feature can do in conjunction with other existing features.

      C. S. Lewis said something similar although in the other direction when he described friendship in The Four Loves. When I lose a friend, he wrote, I don’t just lose what that friend brought into my life. I also lose the aspects of other friends that only he could bring out.

      That’s why I’m ticked off at both Apple and Adobe, although for different reasons. Increasingly, Apple “improves” its products by adding either artistic glitter or features that cause pundits to gush but have little or not practical value. The obsession with thin to the exclusion of all else is an example of both.

      Adobe bugs me because I can see all that InDesign could be but only the slowest pace of change. One main feature of the latest updates, easier placement of glyphs would not make the top 100 in my much needed list. I don’t care that much how easy it is to do things I rarely do. On the other hand, while the capabilities of ID’s indexing are marvelous, for usability, it rates an F-. I know. I just had to index a book that required thousands of entries. The tiny type, the clumsiness of scrolling down a long list, and an infuriating tendency to re-enter the multiple pages of a previous entry on the next left me wanting to scream. Something I must do literally thousands of times should have a tool—perhaps one running on an iPad—that makes it silky smooth to apply.

      There’s also a major gripe I have with Apple, Adobe and (I presume) Microsoft, because all seem to think they’re being oh-so-fashionable using an “open-source product,” Hunspell. They enthusiasm, however, never extends to actually devoting enough effort and spending enough money to making Hunspell of much valuable. It may be, for all I know, an excellent spell checker for Hungarian. For English, it’s a piece of junk that would shame an late 1980s word processing program.

      The vocabulary is dreadful, about that of a college sophomore. Take a common world exceptional and add a commonly used suffix, exceptionalism and it balks, thinking the latter is a misspelling. Users waste a lot of time confirming that the spelling of many, many words is, in fact correct. And that’s for Adobe products such as InDesign, for any app for OS X and iOS that depends on the built-in spell checker, and I assume for a host of Microsoft products.

      Would a professionally maintained top-of-the-line vocabulary be that hard to include, given that it could be covered by the combined resources of Apple, Adobe, and Microsoft? I think not. Apple alone is sitting on almost $200 billion in cash.

      And while these industry giants are opening their Scrooge-like wallets, why not offer a document-specific options to add spelling vocabularies for fields such as law, medicine and the various sciences? I layout science books with ID and it ticks me off that the app knows almost no science words.

      And why are all these dictionaries so stupid? There’s a host of issue that extend beyond mere spelling. Why don’t our 21st-century spell checkers display up-to-date skills. Why don’t we have a option that would tell us what various style guides give, i.e. the it is email not e-mail. At the very least, give us an option to quickly look up what is expected.

      One illustration of that is particularly vile. This spell checker is so stupid, it considers any two legitimately spelled words as legitimate if connected by a hyphen. That’s ridiculous. In English, ly words should never be hyphenated. Yet this spellchecker from idiotsville has nor problem with a combination like “quickly-go.”

      Lookup is another area where Adobe/Apple/Microsoft’s spell checker is garbage. About a third of the time, it offers no suggestions for misspelled words. It apparently can’t handle as few as two out-of-place letters. Yet when I paste that same misspelled word into a Google search, about 98% of the time Google makes the correct guess. If this evil trinity won’t give us a decent spelling lookup, couldn’t they at least give us an option to “check spelling with Google.” I waste a lot of time pasting words into a Google search and pasting back the correction.

      I could rant on, but you get my point. There’s a lot that could be done to make our lives better that isn’t being done because a kind of hardening of the arteries has set in among the decision makers. Adobe’s video editing products are getting a host of meaningful improvements because the field is new. ID, which is just as much in need of time-saving improvements gets neglected. Given ID and a host of other products a far better spelling checker would save us a lot more time than tweaking glyph entries, but somehow that gets missed. “Open source” is equate to up-to-date when it clearly isn’t.

      At technology companies I fear that open source has become a synonym for “let others spend money to improve this.” That’s clearly true of the spellchecker that underlies many Adobe, Apple and Microsoft products.

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