Mockups 2.0: the Symbols release

After months and months of work, we are ecstatic to finally be able to release Mockups 2.0 into the world.

The main feature of Mockups 2.0 is what we pre-announced last week, the ability to reuse groups of controls as templates / widgets / components, which we're calling Symbols.

Here's a video that shows the feature in action. It's 9 minutes long, but worth a watch:

Here's the documentation for this somewhat advanced feature: Working with Symbols.

Symbols was our #1 most requested feature, starting all the way back to 2008 with Michael Bourque's "Insert a mockup by reference instead of copy..." post. Clearly, back in 2008 I wasn't ready to add this feature: the product was just getting started, I was still the only employee of Balsamiq, and we had much bigger problems to solve first. I am incredibly proud to see how far we've come since then. We were able to afford to have our lead programmer Marco spend months on this incredibly hard addition, while the rest of us kept the company running and developing other things like myBalsamiq, our new website and our back-office infrastructure. As a result, we are now ready to support many more customers, which we are confident will come now that Symbols are released. I love how "organic" our growth is, it really feels like we're cooking a very elaborate recipe. :)

But I digress: there are LOTS and LOTS of people to thank for their help with the Symbols feature. Michael Bourque, of course, with his original vision and for pushing us beyond our limits ever since we started. Marco for being a genius coder (his new job title, starting today, is "super-duper coder", whether he likes it or not). Mike for his UX help, and the rest of the Balsamiq team for supporting us through this effort. A special thanks goes out to Louanne Poisson, an incredible QA engineer who we've hired for a 4 months contract to help us ensure top-notch release quality. Then, of course, there's our awesome user community, who helped us beta-test this release on GetSatisfaction: Gordon MacLeod, Ben Norris and Jan-Ivar for this bug. jumontennoise for this bug. ppc for this bug. Jan-Ivar for this bug. Win7Guru for this bug and this bug and this bug. Win7Guru and Michael Bourque for this bug. Jan-Ivar and Jenni Merrifield for this discussion. Ben Norris and Win7Guru for this one. Ben Norris for this bug and this one. Ben Norris, Jan-Ivar and Muz for this bug. Ian Norton for this performance issue, this bug and this bug. Jon Boardman for the bug report. I'm sure there are others I forgot to mention. Let me know if I did and I'll update the post!

What else is new?

  • Mockups for Desktop now checks to see if files are read-only or locked when exporting to PNG or PDF. This takes care of natobasso's bug report as well as webmonger's bug report and stephen.friedrich's bug reports.
  • in Mockups for Desktop, closing a file now takes you to the previous one you were looking at. This little feature really helps when doing an "Edit Source" on a Symbol, but it's nice to have in every case.
  • Fixed this annoying bug that László Bővíz submitted: dimmed background in PNG and PDF export
  • We now cache images so that they don't reload each time you switch from one mockup to the next. This takes care of Michal Kopec's bug report.
  • In all versions, added Undo/Redo via keyboard (CTRL+Z for undo, CTRL+Y for redo) WHILE EDITING TEXT. This was long overdue: Dan C asked for this over two years ago, Will shared the idea a year ago, Ed Everett reported this two weeks ago, and Jenni asked for it one more time just today! Sorry it took a while - the good news is that this is proof that we don't forget about your feature requests, so if you have one in the queue, hang in there! :)
  • usability improvement: toolbar icons and menu items get disabled when appropriate (for instance, you can't select "Copy" if there's nothing selected).
  • renamed the "Link Bar" control to "Link Bar / Navigation", for easier Quick Add action.
  • Added support for bullets in Sticky Notes, Vertical Curly Braces, Callouts and Geometric Shapes controls  - thanks Ruben for the feature request.
  • Using the mouse wheel scrolls the UI Library vertically again. Thanks Wayne Bloss for the bug report (via email).
  • Changed some keyboard shortcuts in Mockups for Desktop: we removed the shortcut for "Save All", and changed the shortcut for "Save As..." to be CTRL+SHIFT+S, which is more standard, especially on a Mac. Veddermatic, Israel Orange and Fredrik Matheson will be pleased. :)
  • We also changed "Unlock All" from CTRL+SHIFT+2 to CTRL+3, which is simpler to type, and, with the changes above, fix issues with Polish, Spanish and Swiss keyboard layouts, as well as fixing issues with copy/cut/paste not working on linux.
  • fixed a bug with checkbox and radio button groups not working when there are no labels. Thanks Besi for the bug report.
  • {mockup-name} now works with files that have dots in their names. Thanks to @tomzeppenfeldt for reporting this via Twitter.
  • we now reload files when you switch to them and they have changed on disk (and if you didn't touch them).
  • "Save as" now defaults to the original name. Thanks to Jay Rogers for the bug report and to Michael Burke for asking for this via email.
  • Mockups for FogBugz works again in wiki pages: this was actually a FogBugz bug, which FogCreek just fixed yesterday, yay!

How do I update?

Easy! Just install from our download page on top of your current installation. You won't have to re-register. If you haven't updated in a long time, you might need to uninstall Mockups first.

As always, if you hit any snags with the new build let us know immediately and we'll fix it right up! :)

For posterity, these are the version numbers of today's release:

  • Mockups for Desktop: version 2.0.4
  • Mockups for Confluence: version 2.0.4
  • Mockups for JIRA: version 2.0.3
  • Mockups for XWiki: version 2.0.3
  • Mockups for FogBugz: version 2.0.3
  • Web Demo: version 2.0.3 launch it

What's next?

The next week will be focused on fixing any bug that might show up, as well as going back to implementing lots of little low-hanging fruit bug fixes and little features from our TODO list. We are looking forward to going back to our weekly release schedule, if we can.

Other than that, our next big release on the horizon is myBalsamiq! We just did another release to the private beta group today: next up is moving the last pieces of our infrastructure to Amazon's cloud and payment processing. After that, we ship, can't wait!

Onward!
Peldi for the Balsamiq team

Comments (4)

  1. Pingback: Balsamiq Mockups 2.0: UI Patterns FTW

  2. Yeah! Templates! Well done!

  3. i don’t have a license for mockups, however i enjoy following the development for the product wich i think is great.
    congratulations to the new release and merry christmas to you all.

    Patrick.N
  4. Pingback: The comeback release: apologies, 100% coverage again and roadmap - Napkee - make your mockups come alive

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