You can create float-free zones where no floating element can be placed. This article will show you how to create a float-free zone in an Adobe InDesign (INDD) template.
What is a float-free zone?
While element Layout Rules → Limits define where floating elements can be placed on a page, a float-free zone defines where floating elements cannot be placed on a page. Float-free zones are defined by adding “blocker” frames to your parent pages.
Blocker frames are specially named objects that Typefi's InDesign workflows recognize as a float-free zone when scoring a potential layout. You can use any InDesign frame object—ellipse, rectangle, or polygon—to define a float-free zone, but Typefi uses the bounding box of the frame as the float-free zone. All that’s required is to name the frame “blocker” in the Layers panel.
Use case for blocker frames
Prevent floating elements in the first column
Your design or editorial standards don’t allow figure (floating) elements within the first column of any two-column layout. Your element layout rules allow floating elements to be placed—aligning to the top or bottom of the Main Story text frame.
To prevent floating element placement within the first column, go to your section’s first parent page and create a nonprinting blocker frame with the exact dimensions of the first column. Align the blocker frame to overlap the first column. Then, move it to another layer or use Arrange → Send to Back to put it behind the Main Story frame. Save the changes, and now floating elements will always ‘skip’ over the first column on the first page of the section.
Create a float-free zone by adding a blocker frame
Follow these steps to create a float-free zone by adding a blocker frame.
A float-free zone cannot be grouped with other frames and should not be tagged as a Typefi frame.
- Open your INDD template and go to the desired parent page (previously known as the master page).
- Select the Rectangle Frame tool, the Ellipse Frame tool, or the Polygon Frame tool from the toolbox.
- Click and drag the frame within the document window to create the blocker frame. (Hold down Shift to constrain the width and height of the frame.)
- Open the Layers panel (Window → Layers).
- Use the coloured dots on the right side of the layer list to toggle the frame selection and confirm the desired
polygon(based on your chosen frame tool) as the intended blocker frame.
- Single-click on the placeholder text (
polygon) and wait for the name to become editable.
- Rename the frame to “blocker” (not case-sensitive), and press Enter.
- (Optional) Open the Attributes panel with the frame still selected (Window → Output → Attributes). Then, choose Nonprinting to hide the frame from appearing in your final input.
- (Optional) Arrange the blocker layer to the bottom (Object → Arrange → Send to Back) or create a dedicated “blocker” layer by dragging the blocker frame using the coloured dots on the right side of the layer list.
- Save your INDD template.
Tips for working with blocker frames
Create an Object Style to enhance visibility:
- Use object styles to give blocker frames distinct safe areas (for example, a semi-transparent colour). For detailed guidelines, refer to InDesign’s user guide on using object styles).
Ignore Text Wrap to control text interaction:
- Prevent blocker frames from affecting surrounding text by selecting the Ignore Text Wrap option in the Text Wrap panel. (Window → Text Wrap → Ignore Text Wrap).
Set frames to Nonprinting to hide blocker frames in your output:
- Hide blocker frames from the final output by selecting Nonprinting in the Attributes panel (Window → Output → Attributes → Nonprinting).