Friday, February 15, 2013

How many squares can you count? (tables in iWork)

Here's a puzzle. You must count as many squares as possible in this grid.

I've counted 51.
(update 25 March: after a recount, I could only find 40!)

While you count I want to show you how to design this grid, and then how to highlight the squares you found.

To design the grid, import a table into an iWork document. Go to the Toolbar and click on the Table icon. iWork will create a default table in your document.

1. Go to the Table Inspector.
2. Uncheck header row.
3. Set the number of rows and columns at four.
4. Make the cells square: click in the Row Width and Column Width windows and type the same number.  Here it is 2.63 cm
5. Set the thickness (width) of the lines in the grid. Here it is five points.
6. If you want a colour that is different from default, click in the colour well under Cell Borders (not the large one under Cell Background!) and choose your colour.

When you create a table in Pages word processing mode it may appear as an inline object that is anchored to a point in the document. Go to Wrap Inspector and change the setting to Floating.

7. Create another table and set the number of columns and rows to two.
8. Make the colour of the grid and the thickness of its lines the same as the larger grid.
9. Change the size of the second table so that its square cells are (roughly, it's only a puzzle!) a quarter of the size of the cells in the large grid.
10. Drag the small table to sit flush where the middle squares of the first and second rows of the large table come together.

11. Duplicate (copy) the small table and move the duplicate to the middle of the third and fourth rows.

Now that the puzzle is ready, count the squares.

You can try to do it mentally or marking them on a scrap of paper. Here, I will highlight each square with a different colour.

First, click on the large table to select it. In the Table Inspector, click on the colour well under Cell Borders and choose different colour. We have sixteen squares here.

Next, the large square that forms the outside perimeter of the grid. It's seventeen squares now:

1. To change only the outside lines, click on the large table to select it all.
2. Then click again on the left side to select just the line on the left.
3. Press Shift and click on the other three sides. All four will be selected.
4. In the Table Inspector, click in the colour well under Cell Borders and choose a colour.

I'll carry on counting in the next post, but meanwhile have a look at an earlier article in 'I Work in Pages' to see how the 'select cell borders' feature can help in designing coupons: 'How to design coupons in Pages'. 

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