InDesign is amazing, but how can I set table column widths without dragging their borders with the mouse?

I mean (= I hope to find) a window where I can specify the width of each column, either in picas/points or percentage. Does it exist somewhere?

Something like this:

enter image description here

Or, what is the "mainstream" or recommended way to create tables like "40-15-15-15-15"? (The values are given as percentage.)

I have a document where some tables should be "40-15-15-15-15" and some "52-12-12-12-12". I'm trying to figure out how to create them properly and how to handle such cases in the future.

2 Answers 2


You need to use the Table Panel. Here you can specify the Column Width (and other useful settings).

You can't enter percentages (or rather they work relative to the current cell size), but you could enter the percentages in a physical unit and then drag the table to fit the text frame. Perhaps you need to reenter the wanted Row Height afterwards as you might change the height.

Another way of being able to set percentages could be to use copy/paste in a clever way. If the width of your text frame for example is 120 mm, copy %*120mm to the clipboard. Then select a column, enter the wanted percentage, paste and press enter.

All of these settings also appear in the Control Panel (the vertical toolbar in the top of the window) when you select a table or part of it.

See the manual for all the basics about tables.

  • Yeah, thanks. But it seems I cannot specify all of the values in one step (see the screenshot I have just added), and there will be at least 2 steps (or more). That is, for a table like 40-15-15-15-15% it will be two steps, and for a table like 20-10-40-20-10% it will be 5 steps, right?
    – john c. j.
    Jan 26 at 18:36
  • Yeah. Doesn't sound too terrible to me. 😀 Once you've adjusted one table you can just copy/paste it around. I'm pretty sure the functionality you dream about doesn't exist. You could write a script for it if it really bothers you. But how many seconds will it save you per table? And how many tables do you have?
    – Wolff
    Jan 26 at 18:50
  • I just discovered github.com/gsingelmann/indd_autocolumn, but still thanks!
    – john c. j.
    Jan 26 at 18:59
  • @johnc.j., that's neat! I was thinking something like that. Sadly doesn't seem to allow percentages though. Or any other units than the default for the document.
    – Wolff
    Jan 26 at 19:07

Actually this was not asked, but I have never seen it difficult to drag the columns to exact widths if needed. I have prepared some rectangles by inputting numerically their dimensions and dragged table columns (and rows as well, if needed ) to snap to them.

  • In such a case it will be better to use guidelines, probably...
    – john c. j.
    Jan 26 at 17:13
  • Rectangles have worked well - They can be placed and pasted from another program. In addition there can well be a harmfully full field of quidelines.. But a few quidelines only - that will work well.
    – user287001
    Jan 26 at 17:26

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