QuarkXPress 10 Keeps Formatting when Updating Excel Tables

One of the new features in QuarkXPress 10 is that tables imported from Excel and formatted in QuarkXPress can now maintain the QuarkXPress formatting when the Excel table is updated.

The trick is to NOT include any of the Excel formatting when you first import the table — you can include the geometry, but then format the table in XPress.

To create a table in QuarkXPress and link an Excel spreadsheet to it, first get the Table tool:

Table Tool

Click and drag on the page to define an area for the table. Here’s what the first dialog box looks like after you do that:

Table Properties dialog-Link to external

When you check the “Link to External Data” checkbox and click the OK button, this dialog appears:

Table Link-no properties

Note that the “Include Style Sheets” and  “Include Formats” checkboxes are not checked. Browse to your Excel table and click the OK button to import it into the table on the QuarkXPress page.

When the original Excel table is changed, you can successfully update the table in QuarkXPress by choosing Utilities> Usage…

Usage>Tables>UpdateCookedBooks

… and your existing QuarkXPress formatting will still apply to the updated table!

Jay Nelson is the editorial director of PlanetQuark.com, and the editor and publisher of Design Tools Monthly. He’s also the author of the QuarkXPress 8 and QuarkXPress 7 training titles at Lynda.com, as well as the training videos Quark includes in the box with QuarkXPress 7 . In addition, Jay writes regularly for Macworld and Photoshop User magazines and speaks at industry events.

Tips for Resizing Columns and Rows in Tables in QuarkXPress

When you change the width of a column in a table in QuarkXPress, one of two things happen: either the entire table changes width to accommodate the new column width, or the table stays the same width while the other columns adapt to the change.

To resize one column or row while maintaining the widths of the other columns and rows (but changing the width of the entire table), just use the Content (hand) tool to drag the line that separates it from other columns or rows:

To maintain the size of the table, but force the other columns to adapt to the column you’re changing, first go to Item> Modify (Command-M/Ctrl-M), choose the Table tab, and turn on the Maintain Geometry checkbox. This tells XPress not to change the size of the table when you change the size of its cells:

Jay Nelson is the editorial director of PlanetQuark.com, and the editor and publisher of Design Tools Monthly. He’s also the author of the QuarkXPress 8 and QuarkXPress 7 training titles at Lynda.com, as well as the training videos Quark includes in the box with QuarkXPress 7 . In addition, Jay writes regularly for Macworld and Photoshop User magazines and speaks at industry events.

Unlink an Excel Table in QuarkXPress

I have a table that I imported from Excel, and since I have made many changes to this table in QuarkXPress I do not want it to be linked to the Excel file any longer. Is there some way to unlink this table?

The answer is simple, if not obvious:

To break the link with the original Excel file, choose Table> Convert Table> To Group. (You can also right-click or Control-click on the table, and choose the same thing.) The table will keep its formatting, but no longer be linked to the original Excel file.

Jay Nelson is the editorial director of PlanetQuark.com, and the editor and publisher of Design Tools Monthly. He’s also the author of the QuarkXPress 8 and QuarkXPress 7 training titles at Lynda.com, as well as the training videos Quark includes in the box with QuarkXPress 7 . In addition, Jay writes regularly for Macworld and Photoshop User magazines and speaks at industry events.

Use Excel Tables in QuarkXPress

In QuarkXPress 6.1 and above, you can import a spreadsheet from Microsoft Excel as a table, optionally maintaining the formatting from the spreadsheet.

The table keeps a dynamic link to the original Excel spreadsheet, so when the spreadsheet changes, you can instantly update the data in the QuarkXPress table. To update the table, or to see if the Excel spreadsheet has changed, choose Utilities> Usage and click the Tables tab.

Warning: if you have applied any formatting to your table in QuarkXPress, it will be lost when you update it with new Excel data, so you’ll probably want to use the spreadsheet as-is.

Tip: when first importing an Excel spreadsheet, leave the Include Formats and Include Geometry options unchecked. Some spreadsheets are enormous, so it’s best to see how big it is first.

Jay Nelson is the editorial director of PlanetQuark.com, and the editor and publisher of Design Tools Monthly. He’s also the author of the QuarkXPress 8 and QuarkXPress 7 training titles at Lynda.com, as well as the training videos Quark includes in the box with QuarkXPress 7 . In addition, Jay writes regularly for Macworld and Photoshop User magazines and speaks at industry events.

Another FREE XTension from Quark: XPressMath creates professional mathematical equations

Quark has released a FREE XTension for QuarkXPress 8 that lets you typeset complex mathematical formulas and equations directly in QuarkXPress. In addition to providing a relatively simple interface for building the equations, you can edit existing equations in a WYSIWYG window. You can also use a style-sheet-like system to ensure that all equations in a project share a similar appearance.

Here is Quark’s list of the features in XPressMath:

  • Associate characters with procedures (such as Sigma with summation)
  • Typeset horizontal and vertical placement
  • Insert fixed integrals, radicals, and summations
  • Customise space around mathematical structures
  • Import and export ASCII text for offline keyboarding
  • Edit in WYSIWYG view to easily format previously created mathematic equations and structures
  • Perform advanced formatting in the Equation Builder window
  • Export an equation in JPEG format (replaces PICT [Mac] and BMP [Windows] export)
  • Support Unicode
  • Access four additional pi character levels

XPressMath formerly cost $259 for earlier versions of QuarkXPress, but now it’s free!

Jay Nelson is the editorial director of PlanetQuark.com, and the editor and publisher of Design Tools Monthly. He’s also the author of the QuarkXPress 8 and QuarkXPress 7 training titles at Lynda.com, as well as the training videos Quark includes in the box with QuarkXPress 7 . In addition, Jay writes regularly for Macworld and Photoshop User magazines and speaks at industry events.