Saturday, January 07, 2012



When InDesign CS4 hit the streets, I thought that PopTabFmClip was obsolete. I said so on my web site and basically abandoned it. But it turns out that there's one thing that PopTab did that isn't available in native InDesign. If you want to copy the content of one InDesign table into another (target) table without losing the formatting of the target table, then PopTab is the answer.

So, over the holidays, I decided to rework PopTab to make it available for users of CS4 and later. And I also decided to release it in source form so people are free to read its code if they wish. I'll examine the code here in this blog too to explain the techniques it uses. But the purpose of this blog entry is to announce the availability of PopTabUnleashed -- there's a link at the left of this page you can use to download it.

Here's how the script describes itself in the introductory comment at the head of its code:

This script is provided as-is. Use at your own risk.

The script populates a table, or part of a table, with the text/values on the clipboard without changing the formatting/styling of the target table. The effects of running the script can be undone using Edit/Undo Populate Table.

The content of the clipboard is expected to be a table or part of a table. It can be a selection from Excel or any other application that exports table data, but you hardly need this script to support external applications because since CS4, InDesign provides this functionality: just paste into an existing table.

PopTab comes into its own when you're copying from one InDesign table to another. That is not natively supported because the formatting of the source table is included when you paste.

The selection is required to be in a table. It can be text in a cell, a cell, a range of cells, or a complete table. Selecting text in a cell is regarded as the same as selecting the cell.
As always, just move the script into your Scripts Panel folder so it is visible in your Scripts Panel. To use it, copy appropriate content to the clipboard, make a selection in your target table and then trigger the script to move the clipboard content into the table.

A link to the script is 404
Dumb mistake. I've fixed it. That's what happens when you wait three and a half years between posts. Thanks. for letting me know.
Thank you! You're a life-saver! InDesign's table spec tools are pretty primitive.
Dave, I just found this script and it is a life-saver.
However, if my new table is longer (more rows than the original table), The new rows are not moved to the original table.
Anonymous: Right. The script does not add rows to the target table.
Simple but useful script. It seems to have issues with cells that have been merged or split though and gives errors even when rows and columns are the same.
OMG — such a useful script!

This feature i have missed since my switch to InDesign from QuarkXPress where similar table cells copying exists by default.
Your script saved the day! Thanks!
I write books and the books have Maya Cosmic Number Puzzles in them. They are composed of tables with Maya Numbers, which are dots and bars. It has been a real challenge to get the formatting done correctly. The dots and bars are drawn in Indesign and placed in the table. One would think copy and paste would be simple, but no, nothing worked like the book said it would. I used your program and got it to work. When I get some money off of the books, you deserve some money. Thanks, for the help. This worked for me 04-05-2014. Indesign needs to catch up. You can see my work at John White

Thank you! Just saved me hours on a complex poster.
Very cool, very helpful, very easy. Thanks so much!
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