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I am creating a wine portfolio in InDesign and have been given an Excel .doc file with various columns filled with data (name, description, country of origin) and want to know the quickest way to import all these, without them being in a table. Then I need to be able to apply paragraph and character styles to it, as the various columns will need to be editable as separate paragraphs. How can I import a table from an Excel document into InDesign with little editing needed?

  • Import into what? There seems to be some serious details missing from your question. – Scott Aug 25 '14 at 1:16
  • Matt guessed it was Indesign... My question in the comment above is still valid. – Scott Aug 25 '14 at 6:01
  • I wrote an answer, but then I read the question again and decided that I'm not sure what is being asked here. – Joonas Aug 25 '14 at 6:46
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Well, you can import external objects into InDesign in a easy way. If I remember correctly, you can do it with the shortcut Ctrl+D (Cmd + D on Mac). When you do that, there is a window with options for the Import features where you can customize the way you do it. There are options for tables, where you can keep the original format, or use plain text, or csv, etc. In fact I only import text from MS Word, not from excel, but perhaps is the same way.

But remember it's fair to say that the design and implementation of informative and visually appealing tables is one of the most difficult and time-consuming pieces of document creation for any word processing, desktop publishing, or professional typesetting system.

So, the easy or the lazy way of import a table perhaps won't be the best.

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The way we do this here is to:

  • have matched paragraph and character styles between the MS product and InDesign
  • write an Applescript which will then clear overrides and set the table formatting to match the desired appearance

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