Mid-Summer Release: Colors, Notifiers and Bug Fixes

Hello friends! With most of the team traveling around the world for vacation and family visits, summers are a bit slow here at Balsamiq. We are part European after all... πŸ˜‰

That said, we managed to do two new beta refreshes of myBalsamiq, as well as adding a few little features here and there and to fix a number of pesky little bugs.

Here they are:

New Features

  • All Versions: New {color} modifier for text. You can now use the {color:#123456} modifier to color parts of your text, like so: {color:#FF0000}this is red{color} or {color:00FF00}this is green{color}. Notice that the macro works both with and without the # in front of the HEX color value. This simple one-line change takes care of a number of feature requests. Here's the main thread by anamitra banerji, trubliphone, derrickjon, Adi Roiban and Jon Daues, but there are others: this one by Phil Haselden and others, this one this one by Kevin, this one by adrienne, this one by walter.smith and this one by Adi Roiban. Thanks for your patience everyone! πŸ™‚

  • All Versions: New notifications: we have removed some annoying, flow-interrupting dialogs and changed them to growl-style pop-up notifiers. This is a classic example of something that's been on our TODO since day one but haven't gotten around to implementing until today - two years later! Funny how that happens...thanks so much Mike for whipping up a design for the notifiers in no time.

    Huge thanks to Robert M MΓΌnch, Andi and Philipp Quaet-Feslem for the input and to the ever-awesome Jon Boardman of Red Gate software for all the help debugging this new feature. These are the dialogs that got replaced with notifications: "your mockup was exported to PNG", "your mockups were exported to folder XYZ", "your PDF is ready", "the file you're editing is read-only" and "your mockup was exported to XML". Yay for less distractions! πŸ™‚
  • All Versions: Added Align support to the Geometric Shapes control, which also finally fixes the pesky "words go missing" bug:
  • Mockups for Confluence: you can now add Mockups to bug reports! Simple as that. Thanks to Roberto Dominguez for the feature request and to Kevin R. for a strongly worded email about it. πŸ™‚
  • Mockups for Desktop: opening files via the "Open Others in Same Folder" right-click menu item now opens the in alphabetical order! This was part of the Projects feature request discussion.
  • Mockups for Desktop: added a new "the file you're editing was moved or deleted" notification. We now deal with this case properly. This is another "Jon Boardman special", so you should all thank him. πŸ™‚

Bug Fixes

  • All Versions: dramatically improved performance on Windows XP, and improved performance on Mac and Linux as well. Our performance improvement when scrolling a large mockup was a little too aggressive, and due to an Adobe Air limitation it made XP really slow. It should be all better now, thanks aaandre for reporting the bug and to Marco for fixing it quickly!
  • All Versions: moved the zoom pop-up in the toolbar to the right a bit, so that it doesn't interfere with the lock icon any more. Thanks Tony Goggin for the bug report!
  • All Versions: renamed "Check box" to "Checkbox", thanks moflaherty for pointing this out!
  • All Versions: finally, FINALLY fixed the "mouse goes crazy if you drag something outside of the Mockups window and release the mouse while you're outside" bug. This actually takes care of a number of other bugs (this, this), it's awesome. Marco, you are a GENIUS for figuring this out, thank you thank you thank you.
  • All Versions: fixed a bug with the algorithm that positions of the property inspector, it got broken when we added group editing, sorry about that. Thanks to Joseph Tate and kbromberger for bringing this up here and here.
  • All Versions: moved the default position of new elements added via Quick Add down 10 pixels, so that it doesn't interfere with the group editing breadcrumb bar. Thanks to Andi and Nelson for the bug reports!
  • All Versions: fixed the vertical alignment of the ComboBox control. Thanks Tony for bringing it up and for the debugging help!
  • All Versions: fixed a bug with the web panel of image import feature. Thanks mattcruise for the bug report!
  • All Versions: fixed a bug with positioning of groups when copied and pasted. Thanks Brian Rittermann for the bug report!
  • Mockups for Desktop: Version 2.0 of Adobe Air broke our full-screen mode on Windows Vista: you could see the menu bar while in full-screen. Weird! With the help of Alisa(Ying) Wang from Adobe, we were able to work around the bug. Thanks Mandi for reporting it!
  • Mockups for JIRA: fixed a bug that gave you a "EULA Violation" warning if you updated the plugin during your last month of maintenance. It's all better now.
  • Mockups Web Demo: fixed a typo in our nagging screen. How nice of Nathan P. to bring it up via email!
  • Mockups for XWiki: fixed a bug with the way we parse the mockup macro on the page in some cases. Huge thanks to Julian Whitaker for reporting the bug and helping us debug it!

How do I update?

Easy! Just use our badge button below! Blog-via-email readers, head to our download page instead.

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

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

  • Mockups for Desktop: version 1.8.9
  • Mockups for Confluence: version 1.8.10
  • Mockups for JIRA: version 1.8.8
  • Mockups for XWiki: version 1.8.8
  • Mockups for FogBugz: version 1.8.9
  • Web Demo: version 1.8.8 launch it

What else is going on?

  • Marco is deep in the components feature, which is coming along nicely (he has a "project assets" and an "account assets" tabs in the UI Library on his computer. Sweet!)
  • Mike is heads down designing and implementing a new design for balsamiq.com, which has us drool all over our keyboards with excitement (sorry about the imagery, but it's true)
  • Luis is cranking away at myBalsamiq, we did two releases last week and the app is looking more and more polished.
  • I added a new Tutorials page to our site and wrote a couple of new tutorials, check them out!
  • We created a @balsamiqNext account on Twitter, where we'll announce new features and bug fixes just as we check them in. For hard-core fans only! πŸ™‚

The next couple of weeks will be a little slow...Natalie and Luis will be working from the US and also taking some vacation, Marco is going to be offline working on the components feature from his beach house in Liguria, Val is going to Israel for a week...Mike and I will hold down the fort as best as we can! πŸ™‚

Moral of the story is that we're recharging our batteries to prepare for a HOT HOT fall, with lots and lots of fun work to do (check out our roadmap if you still haven't seen it).

Onward!

Peldi for the Balsamiq team

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Comments (7)

  1. @mab, it’s working for me in paragraph control. Which control isn’t working for you? Incidentally, it may be faster for you to receive our answers from our support channels than having to check back in the comments, but we’re happy to answer wherever you ask. http://support.balsamiq.com

  2. Hi,

    Color macros don’t seem to be enabled in v 2.1.1 Was this feature merged in or do I need to install the patch ?

    thanks

    -mab

  3. Sandy, the color macros, e.g. markup like {color:#ff0000}{color}, are used in text components that don’t already have a color picker. So this works in Paragraphs and Datagrid/Table for instance. Label, Title, Subtitle, have a color picker already in the property inspector, so you can just use that.

  4. I am a new user to Balsamiq (just started yesterday)and I need to add colored text to a mock up. I see how to do it but I don’t know where to get the color numbers. Is there a place for this?

    Thanks,
    Sandy

    Sandy Nunez
  5. Randy, that’s because Mockups automatically centers content in full screen mode. The trick to keeping things fixed is to place a relatively large transparent element in the page positioned to the back, e.g. a rectangle or a browser component and always keep your content positioned relative to that object. If that background object is always the widest object on the canvas, full screen will always center around that.

  6. When I go into full screen mode, the various mockups are apparently centered on the screen, as you point out in your helpful help site. This makes the objects on the screen jump around, even though they are in precisely the same places in their respective mockup pages. Is there a setting that I can use to stop the centering behavior, or should I put a big blank screen in the background of every mockup to make sure it is centered and hopefully force your Full Screen Mode not to move the objects. I can well expect you have heard about this behavior in the past. Any suggestions?
    Thanks, and I LOVE YOUR APPLICATION
    Randy Hawkins

    Randy Hawkins
  7. Hey team, it has been a while since this feature has been implemented, but I recently posted a reply to a 10 month old post in Getsatisfaction regarding row and column spans http://gsfn.us/t/odom and I have come up with a temporary workaround (not exactly polished yet, but a workaround nonetheless).

    Let me know what you think.