How to autonumber cels in InDesign

Posted on 2009-02-20
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-02
Is it possible to number table cells in InDesign.
I need to make table with y cels and x columns, and set number to all of them after filling info to the cell.
Question by:Ripin
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Expert Comment

ID: 23693619
Unfortunately, InDesign's tables still have some shortcomings. If you're accustomed to Excel's functionality, you'll be disappointed that an InDesign table can't do simple things, such as auto-filling a series of numbers.

But you can usually come up with workarounds.

For what you want, you can create a paragraph style that includes "numbered list" functionality, then apply that paragraph style to the column.

  1. Create a new Paragraph Style
    • Windows>Type & Tables>Paragraph Styles; then hold the Alt button and click Create New Style at the bottom of the Paragraph Styles panel
  2. On the left side, click Bullets and Numbering, then use the following settings:
    • Style Name: (Name it whatever you want)
    • List Type: Numbers
    • List (you can leave this at Default or you can name a new list)
    • Level: 1
    • Format: 1,2,3,4
    • Number: (Leave this field alone)
    • Character Style: (You can leave this at [None] if you want)
    • Mode: Continue from Previous Number
    • Alignment: (This is the alignment of the numbers ONLY, not any text you put after each list item. If you want the numbers to be aligned on the period, choose Right. Otherwise, leave it at Left)
    • Left indent: 0
    • First line indent: 0
    • Tab position: .25
  3. Ok, now go back to your table. Highlight the entire column where you're going to want the series of numbers to appear. With the whole column highlighted, click the name of this new Paragraph Style on the Paragraph Styles panel. This will apply the style to the whole column.
  4. You still won't see numbers in your column. You'll have to put at least a space in each cell. Fortunately, you can fill multiple cells easily:
    • Put your cursor in the topmost cell in this newly formatted column and type a space. You'll now see "1."
    • Highlight THE ENTIRE CELL, not just the contents of the cell. You do this by highlighting the text, then continuing to drag to the edge of the cell.
    • Hit Ctrl-C to copy
    • Highlight the entire row again, and hit Ctrl-V to paste the space into every cell.
  5. You should now have a column with a series of numbers.
I know, this is very tedious compared to Excel. But until Adobe decides to bring InDesign's table functionality up to speed, you have to come up with these workarounds.

By the way: if you want the cells to contain numbers ONLY (and no period after them), go back into the definition of your Paragraph Style and change the Number field from      ^#.^t       to      ^#^t    (in other words, remove the period.)

Hope this helps!


Author Comment

ID: 23696671
all i want is that I get numbers to table cells automaticly, that style approach is not what I need, tryed that all ready.

Is there just some feature that adds fiels to cells that can inherid some number somewhere, like xml.

If there is details, how to are wellcome.

Expert Comment

ID: 23698012
I guess I'm not clear on what you want. Can you post an example?
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Author Comment

ID: 23699075
Need to make numbered lunch tickets. We need them to be numbered. All startst like EKS and then running number (like EKS55544328) That number is what have to be automatic. I don't want to write 100000 times number in cell.

If there is some other way to get same result, that is an answer allso.

Hope this clarify some...

Author Comment

ID: 23699084
by the way, I can use CS3 or CS4.

Accepted Solution

casinnola earned 1000 total points
ID: 23705187
You can still do that using the Paragraph Style I described above. Just make the following changes:

  1. Instead of applying the Paragraph Style to just one column of your table, select the entire table by clicking at the top left corner and apply the Style to every cell.
  2. Now fill every cell in the table with a space, the same way I described above: put a space in one cell, then highlight that entire cell, then select the WHOLE table and hit Ctrl-V to paste.
To put the prefix "EKS" before each number, go into the Paragraph Style and change the Number field from      ^#.^t       to          EKS^#

To start your numbering at something other than zero, go into the Paragraph Style and change the Mode from "Continue from Previous Number" to "Start at 55400."  The only limitation is that your starting number must be 90,000 or lower.


Author Closing Comment

ID: 31549167
This works just I needed. Thank's

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