[Pre-Release] Performance Improvements, Font Kerning, Links to URLs, Right-To-Left Language Support!
Hello friends of Balsamiq!
We've been really busy here in Balsamiq-land.
The next release of Mockups will include a lot of new stuff, so we'd like to invite you to try it out before we ship it officially (maybe next week?).
Here's what's new in the pre-release:
Massive performance improvements
We changed the code that draws our custom mouse cursor to a more modern flash API.
The result was not only a MUCH more responsive mouse (it no longer lags behind), but also a big performance improvement of the application overall. Try it out, it should feel noticeably snappier.
A new text rendering engine!
We switched to a more modern text rendering engine (Adobe TLF), which finally allows us to support font kerning in our Balsamiq Sans font.
If you're someone who knows and cares about kerning, the difference is staggering. If you don't, just know that your eyes will thank you after a while. 🙂
The other nice feature this new text rendering engine gives us is automatic fallback for glyphs that are not included in the font. Here's what I mean:
You'll no longer need to turn on "Use System Fonts", yay!
Links to URLs support!
You can now specify Web Addresses (URLs) - http://, https:// and even mailto: - as link targets in all controls that support linking.
Here's how it works. There's a new "Web Address..." menu item in the Link property inspector:
Click it to show this little dialog:
Type your URL and click OK. Now when you click on the link while in full-screen, Mockups will open a browser page to that URL.
Notice that we gave web URLs a different icon so that you can spot them easily, and in Mockups for Desktop we also show a "broken link" icon for files that are no longer found. Another nice little feature (thanks Erik, robin and Matty Sallin for requesting it). 🙂
(Tentative) Right-To-Left Language Support!
This last feature is a bit embarrassing for us, as we're totally ignorant on how right-to-left software is even supposed to work.
The thing is, I tried switching my computer's keyboard layout to Hebrew and Arabic, and it sort-of worked!
We are working with a bunch of smart people from our community to bring this feature to a good quality. It will take time, so please be patient.
Ready to get your hands on all this new goodness?
Head over to our newly revamped Pre-Release Download Page and install the build from there. As usual, although we think it's pretty solid right now, pre-release software might be buggy, so back up your data before you try it.
How can I report issues?
Thanks so much!