Real World Tips for QuarkXPress 5: Working with Tables
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Convert Text to Table
QuarkXPress lets you turn any selected block of text into a table by choosing Convert Text to Table from the Item menu. This gives you the Convert Text to Table dialog box (see figure 1), which lets you specify the row and column delimiters, and the order you want the table filled. XPress automatically calculates the number of columns and rows, so you don't have to type those (though you can override these numbers if you dare).
Figure 1: Convert Text to Table
Let's say you need to format some data from Microsoft Excel. You can tell Excel to export the data using a tab-delimited format, which places tabs between each field and a paragraph return at the end of each row. Import that text file into XPress, select it, specify these delimiters, and press OK. QuarkXPress does the rest and builds a table object on your page, placing the proper fields in each cell. The original text box is still there; if you don't want it anymore, you'll have to delete it yourself.
Note that some comma-delimited text files use a format in which any fields that actually contain commas are surrounded by quotations marks. Currently, XPress 5.0 cannot deal with these kinds of files, so it's much better to use tab-delimited text whenever possible.
Resizing the Table
There are two ways to resize your table: you can drag one of the table's corner or side handles, or you drag the edge of the table itself. The difference between these two methods is important. If you drag a corner or side handle, XPress changes all the cells in the table. For instance, if you pull the right side handle out, you change the width of every cell in the table.
You can hold down a modifier key while dragging a side or corner handle, too. If you hold down the Shift key while you drag, the table is resized to a square. If you hold down the Command-key, XPress resizes the contents of each cell along with the table (Command-Option-Shift-drag resizes the table and keeps the same height-width proportion.)
If, however, you drag on the edge of the table (on any point where there isn't a handle), then you extend only the cells along that edge.
Read more Real World Tips for QuarkXPress 5 here.