The easiest way to make tables in QuarkXPress is to use an XTension specifically designed for making tables. But unless you make complicated tables or make tables often, an XTension may not be worth the money. If all you need to make are simple tables once in a while, here's how to use XPress's built-in Tabs feature to do it.
First, import a table from another program, such as Microsoft Word or Excel (saved as text), into a QuarkXPress text box. You can also manually create a table in XPress by placing one tab between each column; don't worry that the columns don't line up yet.
Next, select your entire table with the Content tool (if the table fills the whole text box, just type command-A to Select All). Now open the Tabs frame (A) of the Paragraph Attributes dialog box by choosing Tabs from the Style menu (or pressing command-shift-T). Note that when you open this dialog box, a ruler appears across the top of the text box, too (B).
To place a tab stop, you can either click in the ruler above your text box, or type the desired position in the dialog box (C). Don't forget to click the Set or Apply button after you type the position (D). If you want a right- or center-tab stop (E), select it from the dialog box before setting the stop. When you're done, the table will be formatted, but look plain.
When you are finished formatting your table, it should look like this:
TIP: If you want several tab stops that are all the same distance apart, such as 4p3, type 4p3 into the Position field of the Tab frame and press the Set button. Then type 4p3*2 and press Set, then 4p3*3, and so on. Each time you click Set, you'll get another tab stop. If you mess up, don't worry: Option-clicking in the ruler deletes all the tab stops.
DAVID BLATNER is the author of The QuarkXPress 4 Book (Peachpit Press, 1998) and a coauthor of Real World Photoshop 6 (Peachpit Press, 2001). (Get information about these books at www.peachpit.com/blatner.)
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