Setting up Templates

Find out the most important tips & tricks for setting up your templates in the Template Library.

Updated over a week ago


This article shows you some of the options you have when setting up your templates in your Template Library. If you want to know how to set up the Template Library itself, please go to the help article on the Template Library.

For input on how to set up the source files (in InDesign or Sketch), please jump to the corresponding help articles

Define elements as adaptable

After uploading a template to a template library, all layers are automatically locked, so your end-users cannot change anything if they create a publication from that template.

You can set parameters to the template and allow your users to change the content or the design of specific elements. This can be done by setting the template to Edit Mode (clicking on the “pen” icon, cmd-e, or ctrl-e) and then clicking the specific area you’d like to set to edit or lock.

If there are layers in your template that you want users to be able to edit, click on the element and then on the lock on the side panel, e.g., turning its color to purple and activating the text to be edited once the template is published.

This can be defined for every layer you have in your template. An overview of all available layers can be seen under the “Layers” tab on the left side of your template.

Download/Replace existing template

When you need to do changes in your original InDesign or Sketch files after having set up your template, you can replace the InDesign package or Sketch file on the already existing template.

Download the original InDesign package by clicking "Download" on a template in the template overview in your library at the bottom right.

Or you can also download the package directly from your template or publication:

After you make your changes, replace the old package/file with your new package by clicking "Replace" and selecting the changed file/package.

Important: When you add new elements or pages/spreads in your changed file, InDesign assigns new IDs to those elements, so you must set your restrictions again for those elements. This happens also when the elements have the same name.

This also applies for comments in case you change spreads/pages completely - meaning if you have comments on a spread in version 1 and then remove that spread in version 2, the comments won't show any more.


Image Restrictions

When you define your images to be adaptable (by unlocking the layer), your users can choose from any image on Frontify they have access to (Choose), upload images (Upload), and crop them (Crop) if wanted.

If you don't want your users to crop an image, you can disable the cropping functionality.

You can also restrict the use of uploaded images or images in libraries/projects by setting the corresponding switch to inactive.

By default, everything is allowed.

Gallery (pre-selected images)

If you want to give your users pre-selected images to choose from, you can browse your libraries or projects to add these images.

If you want the image selection to change dynamically, you can select collections from your libraries. Collections are linked to their original source and will update automatically (e.g., users will see if images are added or removed from the collection). To avoid this, select each asset individually.

Single images:


Auto sizing images

The options for automatic image resizing are available only for rectangular images. They are not displayed for polygons/circles.


"None" (standard setting) keeps the ratio of the original image frame and allows for cropping. This is the default setting for images and is suitable for images that are intended to cover a specific area in a template/publication.


The Fit option allows you to fit an image in its original ratio within a given image frame. There are 9 options in how the fitted images should behave. The fitted image is placed within the original image frame using the previously defined placement options.

Make sure to not move around the image in the template if you plan on using the "fit" option on your publications.

The "Fit" option is suitable for all cases when you want to keep the original ratio of an image, but still limit the space it occupies, for example for different logos.


The Scale option allows you to scale your images so that they have a different ratio than the original image. You can scale your image either in width or in height. With fixed height (scaling the width) you have the option to grow the image from the left, center or right; with fixed width (scaling the height) you can scale from the top, bottom or center.


Adapt Text

To let your end-users change the content of a text field, make the text editable by clicking on the lock. The purple color indicates again that the element is unlocked now.

If you want your users to just be able to pick from preset text snippets, you can set this option up by using our external data feature.

Adapt Text Styles

Besides changing the text itself, you can allow your end-users to change the styling of the text and the text field. You do so by clicking on the corresponding lock.

If you want to allow your users to change the "Font Size", you should set the "Line Height" to a relative value. By default, the line height is set to a specific pixel value that comes from InDesign or Sketch. However, if you allow font size changes in a multiline text box, the absolute pixel value will produce a result you probably don't want (since it remains fixed regardless of the font size you choose). However, if you set 1.2 (without px), for example, the value always adjusts relative to the font size.

You can also allow your users to change the typeface in individual text fields. Simply unlock the "Typeface" option for that field and all of the typefaces included in the source file (packaged in the InDesign package or embedded in the Sketch file) will be available for them to choose from.

The users can apply all of these changes to an entire text field or individual characters within the field.

Sample settings in the Template Library:

Corresponding options for the users (line height is automatically calculated):

Adapt (Restrict) Color of Elements

You can allow your end-users to change the color of an element (i.e. a background shape or some text). Start by unlocking the "Fill" or "Text Color" setting. The available colors will be served from your Guidelines. If you'd like, you can restrict the colors that will be available to the end-user.

Adapt (Restrict) Position of Elements

You can allow your end-users to change the position of an element. You do that by unlocking the “Position” setting. Once unlocked, you see some options to restrict what your end-users are able to do.

“Lock Axes” defines on what axis they allow to reposition the defined element. Locking the “X” axis means you can move the element on the “Y” axis and vice versa.

If you want to keep the moving contained to a specific area in your template, you need to define a “Safe area”.

Defining the safe area requires a bit of detail work. One very important point is that a safe area must ALWAYS have a width and a height for it to work properly. Once defined, the safe area will be displayed in purple. This means that an element can only be moved within the white part of the area (the purple area is "safe").

Adapt (Restrict) Visibility of Elements or Pages

You can allow your end-users to change the visibility of an element or a page. This will determine whether that element/page will be included in the final export. This can be helpful if you have optional elements in your design (i.e. a callout that can be included but isn't required) or if you have optional pages in a multi-page design.

Hint: If you have multiple connected elements that should be shown/hidden at the same time. Group them together in the design tool and unlock "Visibility" for the entire group.

Visibility settings for an element:

Visibility settings for a page:

By unlocking the "Visibility" setting (purple lock icon), you allow the user to choose themselves whether the element/page should be included in the export. You can also determine what the default should be by changing the settings from visible (eye icon) to hidden (crossed-out eye icon). If you set the default to hidden, your users will need to look for the optional element in the "Layers" tab on the left side of their screen (the element will have the crossed-out eye icon next to it). Consider naming your elements to make it easier to find the right one.

"Layers" tab with the hidden element highlighted:

Video Templates

To set up video templates, please refer to this help article.

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