InDesignSecrets Podcast 153

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See the Show Notes for links mentioned in this episode.
Or view the transcript of this podcast.
  • Tables Tables Tables! Answers to:
    • Table styles with column widths?
    • Find (and change) tables with Find/Change?
    • Merge two tables into one, easily?
    • Fill table cells with placeholder text?
    • Insert consecutive numbers in a column?
    • Make a cell show the sum of its column or row (or other math)?
  • Obscure InDesign Feature of the Week: Automatic Document Conversion
  • Quizzler Answers!!!! (“How many ways can you tell the current page number?”)

16 Comments on “InDesignSecrets Podcast 153

  1. The Quizzler in episode 152 asked “You’re looking at a page in InDesign. How many ways can you tell its page number?”

    Mary K. from Wisconsin was the winner! Here is her complete list, minus the ones we felt didn’t quite qualify (explained in the podcast):

    1. Lower left page navigator
    2. Pages panel
    3. Current page number marker (from Type > Insert Special Character)
    4. Selecting image on page and looking at column Links panel
    5. Selecting image on page and looking at link info Links panel
    6. Preflight panel, error box has a column for page number. Find an element for the page in question.
    7. Save a preflight report. Page numbers for items in error will list in report.
    8. View an inserted text variable that is defined with current page numbering.
    9. Open package from the file menu, view links, select a link on your current page, the page number can be viewed in one of the columns to the right.
    10. If the page you are on has a non-opaque object (and it is the only one in the doc) on it, go to summary in package menu
    11. Package, generate report and look for any links you know are on that page
    12. If you have a font on that page that is used for the first time on that page, go to package, font dialog and view
    13. Find font in type menu may be helpful if you have a one time font on the page.
    14. Generate a table of contents and view that.
    15. Generate an index and view that.
    16. Go to links panel drop down, select copy info, copy all link information and paste into doc and view a link on the page in question.
    17. View a live or static caption (if defined to show page metadata)
    18. Insert a cross reference.
    19. Generate a new hyperlink, link to â??pageâ??
    20. Insert a page, usually by default the page selected will appear in the second box in the â??insertâ?? row.
    21. Go to Bridge, Select the document in Bridge and look at preview as you navigate to your page using the page indicator below doc preview.
    22. Press ctrl-J (layout>go to page), your current page will be in dialog.
    23. Select a layer and look at the bottom of the layers panel, it will show the page #.
    24. From a library panel, select the drop down and choose one of the â??Add items on page X). If you are on the page in question, X will be your current page.
    25. Take one of Anne Marie or David’s courses at

    Jao Carlos de Pinho, Sao Paulo, Brazil had some of Mary’s, plus these unique ones:

    1. Insert Special Character -> Markers -> Previous Page Number command or Next Page Number.
    The “Insert Special Character -> Markers -> Previous Page Number” inserts the current page number at the text insertion point, as long as the frame containing this maker doesn’t overlap a story that follows from previous pages.
    2. Notes panel.
    Create a note in the page. The Notes panel shows the page number of the selected note.
    3. Bookmarks panel.
    Create a bookmark in the page. The Bookmarks panel shows the page number when we hover the cursor over the bookmark name.
    4. Move Pages command.
    The “Move Pages” command comes pre-defined with the number of the current or leftmost page.
    5. Delete Pages command.
    The “Delete Pages” command comes pre-defined with the number of the current or leftmost page.
    6. Apply Masters to Page command.
    The “Apply Masters to Page” command comes pre-defined with the number of the current or leftmost page.
    7. Preview panel.
    The interactive panel Preview show the numbers of the current spread.
    8. Via script. [and he provided a script to do this!]

    Simon K Nottingham – UK had many from above, and also this one:

    1. Create some overset text on the page and then export to PDF. A warning dialog will tell you “Overset text on page x”

  2. It may be that I remember it wrong, but I thought that if you have date on the clipboard that has more data in it then a table had rows/columns, and you selected one cell (with ESC) and pasted, InDesign would create new rows and columns needed to accommodate all data.

    Now, In CS5 and CS5.5 thist does not work.
    Did it work in CS3/4 or do I simply remember this wrong…?

  3. Hi AM,

    if I have a table say 4 x 4, and the data holds say 8 x 8, in CS3/4 selecting the first cell with ESC of the 4 x 4 table then pasting results in InDesign adding 4 rows and 4 columns. In my CS5.5 version simply nothing happens at all. I can only paste to a table that has at least the same rows columns as on the pasteboard…

  4. To add to that: when I copied data (from either tables in InDesign itself or from another application) and try to paste that into a table that holds not enough rows and columns (again, first cell selected, easy to do with ESC) the Paste command under Edit is greyed out. As soon as I add rows the command gets visible again when there are enough cells to hold the data on the pasteboard in CS5.5. This is different from what I’m used to. See the screen movie here (used is a Dutch version of InDesign):

  5. now that IS strange AM, I’ve tested this on an English version under Windows and a Duch version on the Mac and it does not let me paste as expected, so I don’t have a clue what is going on.. we must investigate!

  6. Oke, so I tested all these configurations:
    CS5 Mac OS X 10.6 and 10.7, InDesign Dutch
    CS5.5 Mac OS X 10.7, InDesign Dutch
    Windows 7 under paralles VM, InDesign English
    Windows 7 InDesign Dutch

    NONE of hese configurations lets me paste if there is more data on the clipboard then cells in the table to paste in, menu greyed out.

    InDesign CS4 works oke in all configurations.

  7. @marijan
    Strange, isn’t…
    Did you see the screen movie I made a link to? There you see what is hapening. It is so weird that it works in CS4 but in none of my CS5.5 or CS5 versions, not under Mac OS X nor Windows 7. Both systems are Dutch, maybe that has to do with it? I also toggled all pasteboard handeling preferences, removed all third party plug-ins… Still the same, while CS4 keeps pasting like expected. Any suggestion is welcome. Also, on my MacBook Pro, my clean machine with clean InDesign installs and no third party plug-ins its the same problem. Maybe a defect in the installer for Dutch versions? A, no: I also have a English version of InDesign and the same problem there…
    Makes me go crazy :-(

  8. Oke, narrowed it down: if I copy TEXT with tabs and returns, then pasting behaves as expected: tables are expanded with rows and columns as needed; if I copy from a InDesign tables paste fails; if I copy from Excel paste fails.
    But the last two options that fail now worked like plain text still does…

  9. I started this with ‘maybe I remember it wrong’. I seem to remember that this copy/paste for tables always also worked with data copied to the pasteboard from Excel tables or InDesign tables. As it still works for plain text, do I indeed remembered it wrong…? Could it be that? Geez, I start to question my own brain! ;-)

  10. Oke, the official answer is:
    “The current copy/paste behavior of table cells is as designed and it?s also documented in the ID help where in it says ?there should be sufficient number of row/column in the table in which you want to paste the copied content.?
    Got this from the Adobe engineers, and indeed the help files states this clearly

    So it ONLY works with plain text copy/paste, there it will add rows and columns, NOT if the data on the clipboard is copied from InDesign tables or Excel tables, there it will not work (and, it seems has never worked! One of those ‘memory playing tricks with me’)

  11. Automatic Document Conversion is not really such an obscure feature; it’s right in your face, in fact, the moment you open multiple files from the book panel in a new version of ID.

    Your tricky manipulation of it to update files en masse, though, definitely qualifies!

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