Monday, April 21, 2008

Page breaks in tables

There are three keyboard shortcuts in InDesign (and InCopy) that insert a "break" character in your text. This character forces all the text after the character to jump to the next column, frame or page. The shortcuts are:

  Macintosh Windows
Column break
enter
enter
Frame break
shift-enter
shift-enter
Page break
command-enter
ctrl-enter

(Note that these shortcuts all use the enter key on the numeric keypad. You cannot substitute the return key. If you do not have a full-size keyboard with a numeric keypad, you can substitute fn + return on most keyboards for the enter key.)

This "break" character is displayed on the screen as an odd little upside-down carat character when Type > Show Hidden Characters is chosen. So, to remove the column, frame or page break, just delete the break character.

Contrary to Adobe's documentation, these shortcuts work with long, multi-page tables as well as text. Just click with the Type tool on the row that you want to move to the next page and press the shortcut for either Column break or Frame break. This will force this row of the table to jump to the next column or frame (or page, if that is where the next column or frame is located).

If you later wish to delete the break, you will find that there is no visible "break" character in the row where you entered the keyboard shortcut. When you use the keyboard shortcut for column break or frame break in a table row, InDesign actually changes the Table > Cell Options > Rows and Columns "Start Row" setting to In Next Text Column or In Next Frame. So, to remove a break that you've inserted in a table, put your text cursor in the first row after the break, choose Table > Cell Options > Rows and Columns and change the "Start Row" to Anywhere.

(Tested in both InDesign CS2 and CS3). See also this related blog entry.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

It also works in CS4!

rs said...

thanks again. I had to search, but you had the answer!

MrStuart said...

You're a life-saver! I was racking my brain [and Google] trying to figure out how to get rid of those breaks. And yes - this does also work in CS4

gabrielamadeus said...

just saved my ass! Couldn't figure out why there were no visible breaks when I used a column break in a multi-page table.

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much - trying to remove a column break from a table was giving me headaches! (Hellooo Adobe...)

Ziggie-D-HarleyNut said...

What a life saver! I inserted breaks all over the place in a price list (which seemed a good idea at the time) only to be horrified when I couldn't figure how to remove them.

atoz said...

Thanks! You just saved me hours of work!

Mark said...

In CS4, I cannot insert Page Break into tables. Clicking on table row, then using keyboard-shortcut Command-Enter. Changed shortcut to avoid Command behavior—no luck.

If only Cell is selected then Parag return is inserted. Same effect if used in Story Editor.

Instead, went to: Table > Cell Options > Rows and Columns "Start Row" setting to In Next Page. Now off to see if can set keyboard shortcut for it, or if script is required.

Keith Gilbert said...

@Mark: This does work in CS4. Are you sure you're hitting Enter or Command-Enter on the Mac? Note that this has to be ENTER, not RETURN. On a full-size keyboard, enter is on the numeric keypad. On a laptop, ENTER is accessed by holding down the "fn" key and hitting RETURN.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much !!!

Annamarie said...

Yeah...! I was trying to find the answer and it came up. Knew it had to be a "keystroke away".

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU!!

Erica Gamet said...

A client called to ask me how to do this...and I was finally stumped! I had never used Enter to force a table to the next frame or column (just usually let it break where it needs to). A quick Google search led me here...long story short (too late): client thinks I'm her hero! Thanks for this great tip!

Anonymous said...

thank u... first to pop up in google search and immediate solution!

Anonymous said...

Thank you!!!

rosiezed said...

Thanks... you're a life- (and hair-) saver!

Anand Prasad said...

I had abit more sucess by using the On Screen keyboard (option>Turn On numeric keyboard)
Then i clicked on Ctrl on real keyboard and Enter on the On Screen keyboard.
It half worked in that if i go to InDesign Edit, at the top there is the option to 'Undo Page break'
but it has not actually broken the page and the hidden icon is exactly the same as a new paragraph icon.
So i am back to square one.

Anonymous said...

I have layed-out literally tens of thousands of pages of tables not knowing about this. I just want to say thank you!