Illustrator Tip #17: 4 Methods of Drawing Tables in Illustrator

Tables are often used when you are designing brochures or company profiles. However, drawing a table can be quite tedious in Illustrator as there is no proper tool to draw tables. I will illustrate some workarounds to this problem and its pros and cons.

Method 1: The Old Method
The traditional method is to draw boxes and lines manually in illustrator. Next, you place your text inside the boxes. Aligning the text in the table fields is always very time consuming as you have to do all the spacing using your gut feeling.

Method 2: Using Area Type Options
Another way is to draw a text field and go Type>Area Type Options. You can setup your columns and rows there. Enter your value in the first table cell. Press Tab repeatedly until you reach until another table cell to enter the next value.

This method uses text flow, hence adjusting your table after you enter all your table data will make your text overflow into the next table cell. Not a good solution as it always drive you screaming…

Method 3: Using Microsoft Word
Yes, you can actually copy and paste tables to illustrator. Table lines will be converted to fills and text remains editable. Fast and easy way to draw simple tables.

Method 4: Using Indesign
By far the best method is to use indesign to draw you table and import it to illustrator. Simply copy and paste the table from indesign to illustrator. Your table lines, colors and text will still be editable. You can have total control of the padding, columns font and even create alternating colored background fields in indesign.

Back to 101 Illustrator Tips & Tricks »

Scroll to Top