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Hello. I'm a newbie with Affinity Products (I've already bought both Photo and Designer) and am now giving the Publisher beta a go.

There is very basic functionality I am trying to do, but simply can't figure out how to do it. Tried to search for an answer but no luck. So, the question, I've created a table, and although can nicely modify the settings within cells, I just can't find the functionality to create spacing between cells. Where can I find that?

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Have tried using the Table>Show Table panel?  The Frame portion sets the space around the table frame.  The Cell portion sets the spacing in the cells.  Try adjusting the insets dimensions to see if that helps.

 

Monosnap 2019-03-10 14-12-30.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Thanks @Michael117 for the reply. I've been playing with the Table panel, but haven't figured out how to create transparent spacing between cells.

I draw a quick example what I am trying to test out.

 

example.png

Edited by Silly Sausage

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Here's an example of what I did:

I set the Frame Stroke to 4.5 pt and the stroke color to white.  Then I set the Stroke and Fill on the Cells to 4.5 pt and the fill color to white as well.  In your case, you would set both to the background color on you document.  I also set the insets for the cells to .1 inches so that the text would be in the colored part.  The Frame controls the outside of the box on the table and the Stroke and Fill control the inner parts.  Does that give you what you want?

Affinity Publisher Beta - <Untitled> [Modified] (59.3%) 2019-03-10 15-48-56.jpg

Monosnap 2019-03-10 15-49-25.jpg

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No, wait... It works nicely with colours, but when trying to set the spacing between cells to transparent, the issue remains.

if I set a colour, is there a way to set it to be transparent? Setting a colour to match the colour of the page would be normally be ok, but when the paper/background has more than one colour, setting a single colour won't solve the issue.

 

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I know of two ways to do this but neither is particularly nice.

The first is to use a decoration on the table cell paragraphs instead of using a fill. Make the decoration as big as you would want the fill to be and position it manually in the middle of the cell. It's quick and dirty and you don't have much control but it works up to a point. If you change the height of the cells then you will have to change the height of the decorations.

The second is to use two copies of the table, one with the text and fill and one with the outlines (of any colour). Put both tables in another layer and set the blend mode of the table with the outlines (it should be above the other table) to "Erase". You can then resize the combined layer to resize both tables but if you need to make changes to one table then you will have to make the changes to both tables.

See the attached document where the layer "Decorations" uses the first technique and the combined layer "Combined Tables" uses the second.
Like I said, neither is a particularly great solution but they will probably do close to what you want until a real solution can be found.

P.S. The large size of the document is only becuase of the texture used as a background.

cells-with-transparent-borders.afpub

transparent-cell-borders.png

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Just add blank (transparent) rows and columns inbetween your existing rows and columns and format (resize etc) as required.

File attached

 

tablecells.jpg

tablecells.afpub


Due to the ongoing Brexit negotiations, punctuation, spelling and grammar will be used sparingly until further notice.

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8 hours ago, Silly Sausage said:

Was just hoping there would be a way to define the lines as transparent, but that's a good workaround - thanks!

The lines of a table won't determine the width between your cells. You could make them 50 points thick and they would just run into and cover up the content in your cells. Consider them as decoration, not an element that adjust space between cells.

If you must have cells with a fill, but you want clear space between those cells, the best way to do that is with inserting dummy cells with no fill or stroke.

Your only other option would be to ditch the table entirely and grid out the whole thing, making individual boxes with text, and then adjust the spacing between them as it suits you - not as quick to go an edit should the content of your 'cells' change.

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11 hours ago, Loquos said:

The lines of a table won't determine the width between your cells. You could make them 50 points thick and they would just run into and cover up the content in your cells. Consider them as decoration, not an element that adjust space between cells.

If you must have cells with a fill, but you want clear space between those cells, the best way to do that is with inserting dummy cells with no fill or stroke.

Your only other option would be to ditch the table entirely and grid out the whole thing, making individual boxes with text, and then adjust the spacing between them as it suits you - not as quick to go an edit should the content of your 'cells' change.

Thanks!

What I was really looking for was (transparent) spacing between cells, but there seems to be no such functionality.

As I need to create some tables with 20+ rows, although a bit frustrating, adding dummy cells is an OK workaround for now.

I do, however, hope that an option to manipulate the spacing between cells will be added later on.

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I think it's worth noting that if you add dummy rows/columns to provide the transparent spacing then you may have difficulty in getting the table the right size if you need the spacing to be of a particular size. A lot of manual calculation may be needed to set-up the table just the way you need it and re-calculation may be needed if the table has to change. Also, since you can't lock the size of rows/columns - as far as I have been able to ascertain - resizing the entire table will also change the width/height of the spacing columns/rows.

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17 minutes ago, GarryP said:

you may have difficulty in getting the table the right size if you need the spacing to be of a particular size

One trick you may want to try is to add a letter (or word) in the transparent row at the size you want the row to be.

Select the Row and use the command "AutoFit Row to contents"

Although not perfect, this seems to keep the Row height "fixed" when you (reasonably) resize the table.  (You may need to zoom in/out to refresh/redraw the table)

To hide the letter (or word) you added just set its colour opacity to 0 percent


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That seems to work nicely for rows - like you say, it's not perfect but it does the job as well as can be expected - but I can't get it working nicely for columns.
Sometimes the column just 'collapses', see the attached GIF where column B 'collapses' but column D doesn't.

collapsing-columns.gif

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I think "AutoFit Column to Contents" is still broken, it never seems to do what you expect it to do even if you type full words into the cell

It's been reported before...

https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/73473-table-column-bugs/

 


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Oh dear, well that explains it.
As long as it's been reported then I guess that's all we can do.
Hopefully it will be fixed soon.

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On 3/12/2019 at 3:17 AM, Silly Sausage said:

Thanks!

What I was really looking for was (transparent) spacing between cells, but there seems to be no such functionality.

As I need to create some tables with 20+ rows, although a bit frustrating, adding dummy cells is an OK workaround for now.

I do, however, hope that an option to manipulate the spacing between cells will be added later on.

Just an FYI, I don't know any design program that has that feature. It's a coding thing, CSS/HTML, not a design thing. Certainly not offered by InDesign. Definitely not in something more basic like Excel.

You can select a column and tell it how wide to be. When you adjust other columns, it won't affect the size of the column you've specified a width for. So simply set each of those dummy columns to your preferred width, and you're good to go.

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2 hours ago, Loquos said:

Just an FYI, I don't know any design program that has that feature. It's a coding thing, CSS/HTML, not a design thing. Certainly not offered by InDesign. Definitely not in something more basic like Excel.

You can select a column and tell it how wide to be. When you adjust other columns, it won't affect the size of the column you've specified a width for. So simply set each of those dummy columns to your preferred width, and you're good to go.

Now that I come to think that, you must be right.

Clearly too used to play with web publishing. If I remember correctly, Word has that functionality, but that's another thing.

Still, I still think it would be a useful feature to have - couldn't Affinity Publisher be the first designer program to have it?

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On 3/14/2019 at 2:27 PM, Silly Sausage said:

Now that I come to think that, you must be right.

Clearly too used to play with web publishing. If I remember correctly, Word has that functionality, but that's another thing.

Still, I still think it would be a useful feature to have - couldn't Affinity Publisher be the first designer program to have it?

Of course! No reason it has to be an exact copy of every other layout program! :-)

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