Designing tables with a hanging bracket

Tables with figures

It’s the joyous season of the dreaded companies’ annual report and accounts where artworkers and printers try to make money by producing horribly boring documents full of endless tables with horrendously dull titles like “Intangible Assets”.

But, do you know the trick of how to get columns of figures to line up, as the accountants like, with the bracketed figures (negative numbers) aligning with the figures not in brackets (positive numbers)? If producing the tables in normal tabbed text in both Quark and InDesign the solution is to select the tab icon that looks like an arrow with the decimal point after it in both applications. This not only lines your numbers up on the decimal point if you have them and also “hangs” the brackets outside the numbers.

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  1. Jenny says

    This is a great tip. However, I’m perplexed on how to do this when creating the table not as tabbed text, but in actual InDesign tables as all the Annual Reports I do are set out.

    The only way I can think of doing this using your method, is to stick a tab in every single cell, which would be time consuming to say the least.

    Any ideas would be most welcome – thanks!