My client created his book using Microsoft Word. He's sent me the file and I've placed it into InDesign in order to make it look beautiful and more pleasing to read. Everything went on well, except for the tables.

Since it's a book with a lot of pages and tables, I was wondering if there's a way to work around this issue without having to set every row, cell size, and font manually. All the errors below are from overset text in the tables.

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2 Answers 2


In addition to @Lucian's answer... you can use Table and Cell Styles as well.

Configure 1 table how you want it to look. Set the type sizes, fonts, colors, borders, headers, footers, etc.

  1. Save the various type formatting as Paragraph styles (Header type, cell type, footer type, etc)
  2. Save the cell formatting as Cell styles (Header cells, body cells, footer cells, ect). When doing this you reference the paragraph styles above. So when a cell style is applied, that paragraph style also gets applied.
  3. Lastly, select the entire table and save it as a Table style. Doing this allows you to set what the cell styles should be (and in turn those cell styles set what the paragraph styles should be). You can also configure things like minimum row heights, alternate fills/strokes, header duplicating, cell padding etc, here. So, when the style is applied to an unstyled table, it will change to match, just like Paragraph or Character styles do.

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CS6 screenshots, but it's essentially the same in more recent CC versions

With all this in place, it's then just a matter of selecting a table and clicking the Table Style you've set up.

  • Select the entire table by clicking the arrow that appears as you hover the very very top left corner of the table (the pink circle in my image below). You have now selected all the cells in your table and can apply the same formatting for everything (font, font size, etc)
  • Set the Row height to "At least" and play with the value on the right (the pink line). This makes the cells adjust in height depending on the amount of text, so you should fix all the overset errors with this setting.
  • Repeat the same steps for every table.

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