Random frames defaulting to Absolute Position when applying Auto-Layout

For the past few weeks my team and I have been noticing this issue where we apply auto layout to a set of items and one of the items will randomly take absolute position property by default. Then you have to go digging around in your layer panel to find which item took the absolute position and turn it off in order for the auto layout to order things as expected (the way it was working previously). Anyone else experiencing this or know how to fix it?

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Hi there,

Thank you for your post! When you apply Auto Layout to a frame that already contains elements, we might need to use absolute positioning to maintain your original layout. This approach was introduced last year. There is another thread here: https://forum.figma.com/t/auto-layout-makes-contents-absolutely-positioned/52495/6.

If it’s causing them problems we suggest adding auto layout to a frame first, before adding any elements. However, if you are encountering anything unexpected behaviors, please feel free to reach out to our support team: https://help.figma.com/hc/en-us/requests/new. They will be able to examine your file directly and provide specific assistance.

I hope it helps.

Thanks,
Toku

@y_toku I also faced this problem and seeing that this is intentional behavior is disappointing, to be honest. Instead of quickly hitting Shift+A and adding AL, I need additionally go inside and remove the absolute position. If I make ex. a table with AL it becomes tedious unnecessary work that Figma added on top

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Completely agree with you here, my entire team has been super frustrated with the extra effort this requires. Absolute positioning is (in my opinion) a last resort setting that should only be applied when the other settings will not get the job done. When applied, that object doesn’t behave dynamically like the rest of the objects within the frame, so I never want to use it unless I have to. It seems like they have over-indexed for the edge cases rather than just supporting typical expected behavior. Sad to hear; was hoping that this was a bug and would be fixed eventually.

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I’m also disappointed and sort of stunned that this is expected behavior. Autolayout is useful because it saves time aligning elements - no time is saved if you have to align perfectly before applying autolayout.

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This issue is happening for me, too. Can someone from Figma reply with what’s going on?

This is happening to me every time I create an auto layout - it’s the most frustrating thing ever! I would expect that even if I don’t have the layers in the right position, creating an auto layout should at least assume it will go in the horizontal or vertical direction. I feel like Figma used to do this, and it’s only recently turned buggy with this absolute position behaviour.

This is absolutely unacceptable. It is a horrible thing to force absolutely positioned objects on designers who then have to go back in and do it the right way.

I think what angers me…really…angers me, is the fact that Figma acts like this is just how it is.

It has notr ALWAYS been like this. The thing used to work in a way that did not make designers go in and undo a bunch of things just to be able to sdo our jobs.

But somehow Figma (again) took the easy way out and said “We can’t figure out how to do it right…so let’s just absolutely position it and let the users deal with it.”

THAT part is not acceptable.