Table Cell Background Image
It would be really helpful if we could use an image as a background inside a table cell.
Or even just improve the ability to insert an image directly into a table cell, making the actual cell boundary function as the graphic frame.
Currently we can only paste a graphic frame into a cell as an anchored object, which is very cumbersome to align and position with all the levels of nesting involved.
Steve Edwards commented
I had a file where I tried using table cell background images and had a lot of problems. It was a 4 page A4 document which listed a lot of e-learning and which countries it was available in. Those were full opacity flag images and where it wasn't available they were 10% opacity (so faded back). There were somewhere in the region of 2500-3500 images and it made the InDesign file pretty much unusable it was that slow. I spent some time experimenting with different image types and sizes. Illustrator vector files were the slowest and made the exported PDF absolutely huge. Even making the images tiny, and I'm talking 15 pixels wide still didn't make any difference. Changing the Display Performance setting to Typical Display or even Fast Display didn't change how slow it was. It did seem that having that many images in one file was too much for InDesign to handle.
In the end I did the table in Numbers then experimented with how wide all the columns needed to be to make it fit properly in the InDesign file. I then updated that each time (which was easy as the file supplied to me was an Excel document anyway), created a PDF from Numbers, opened that in Illustrator to get rid of the odd things that Numbers added and then importing that into InDesign with everything else needed and then exporting again as a PDF. Sounds like more of a pain than it actually was.
It's something we don't do any more but I thought I'd mention it in this thread.
Wow, thank you William I had no idea about this! This works exactly how I dreamed it would, and it changes my life!
William Overbeeke commented
I'm not sure which version of InDesign you are using, but as of 2015, this is a feature. See this help article: https://helpx.adobe.com/indesign/how-to/insert-image-table-cell.html