Weekly Release: a nice basket of low-hanging fruit

Hi everyone! I know I said we wouldn't have an update this week, but we ended up being able to carve out some time to dedicate to adding a few of those long-requested-but-not-so-high-priority features that have been sitting in our GetSatisfaction forums for a while.

So without further ado, here's what's new this week:

  • A new "Subtitle" control. Halfway between a Label and a Title, handy to have sometimes. Obviously you could build a subtitle by changing the font properties of the Label control, but having its own control makes it faster and a bit more standardized. Thanks so much to Roland for asking for it!
    subtitle
  • Added border support to the Icon, "Icon and Label" and Image controls. Very useful, sorry it took me so long to get to it. Thanks Michael Matti for requesting it!
    newborders
  • You can now remove the frame around the Tab Bar and Vertical Tab controls, and just keep the line. Thanks to Brian Jamieson for requesting it! I also removed the green from the selected tab, which was distracting to some. The selected tab is now white and bold (and looks connected to the main area, of course). A great idea by Nathaniel Flick (via email) and Stephen (on GetSatisfaction).
    tabbarborders
  • You can now specify a 2nd level of items in an Accordion control. This turns an Accordion into a quick 2-level navigator easily. This was a highly requested feature, thanks to Bi-Roller Disorder and the others who helped me design the feature!
    newaccordion
  • Added background color support to the Button and Text Input controls. Thanks to adrienne, olofweb and Erika for their requests!
    bgcolorbuttontextinput
  • Fixed a bug in the new Custom ID feature: you can now give Groups IDs as well. Thanks to sebastian.vorlaender for bringing this up!
  • Fixed an issue with the demo version: if the nagging screen comes up while you're dragging things around (or editing text), things no longer go south. Thanks to Santi for reporting the issue!
  • Images in the image selection pulldown are now sorted properly (case-insensitive)
  • You can now disable items in the Menu control, by wrapping them -like this-. Thanks so much Robert Sholtz for asking for this!
    disabledinmenu
  • You can now use &this notation& to underline text throughout the app. This is very useful for specifying Windows accelerator keys for instance. Thanks so much to Ilya Ryzhenkov, Andi and Oli for their help designing this feature.
    amptounderline
  • [], **, __ (and the new &&) notations now work after a \r as well. I forgot who pointed this out, but thank you!
  • The Image control now shows the "little arrow icon" properly when needed (it was hidden by the image before)
  • Mockups for Desktop: We removed an option we had recently added (I doubt any of you used it yet) to keep your BalsamiqMockups.cfg file in your Documents and Settings folder. We are back at looking only at the old locations. The good news is that we have added support for a new configuration tag: <documentsPath>C:\something\something</documentsPath>, which tells Mockups where you want to keep your account assets (we create a "Balsamiq Mockups\assets" folder there). So if you want to keep your account assets on a thumb drive, now you can! This also provides a workaround for those of you who keep their Documents folder on a network drive and want to use Mockups even when that drive is not connected (hello Laurent!) 🙂
  • Mockups for Desktop: Fixed a bug with pasting text in the "create new image from clipboard" dialog. Thanks to Martin N. for reporting the bug (via email)
  • Mockups for Desktop: You can now double-click on the empty area to the right of the mockups tabs at the bottom to create a new mockup, Firefox-style!

How do I upgrade?

  • Mockups for Desktop: here (you might hit this one-time error if you haven’t updated in a while)
  • Mockups for Confluence: here
  • Mockups for JIRA: here
  • Mockups for XWiki: here
  • Mockups for FogBugz: here (onDemand customers: this will go live for you automatically in a few days)
  • Web Demo: here

What's next?

We're making great progress on the web app, with real-time-collaboration being very close to being usable.

I also plan on picking some other low-hanging-fruits this week, like adding link support to Menus, List and Trees for instance.

We are also doing a long-overdue round of reskinning of the app (it won't be very different, just a bit cleaner and more professional-looking. We had all of our icons made professionally, and they look very nice!). Come back next week for updates, or check the pre-release version in the next few days if you're curious.

Onward!


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Comments (8)

  1. Thank you! Yes #2 (arrow heads bug) seems fixed in the pre-release.

    #1 is really up to individual preferences. I personally like the old method better. Especially when I use it in storyboard mockups, it attracts enough attention so people know we are now in a different tab. The new way is too subtle. I’ve got a few clients who were slightly confused by this change.

    The best way is to make it an option: subtle highlight vs. colored highlight. Or, at least make the new highlight more significant.

    Just my two cents. Thank you for the great work.

    [Hi Samson, how’s this? http://skitch.com/balsamiq/n8dtu/easier-to-see-selection-on-tabs – I made the borders thicker and the label moves a little bit towards “the content area” when selected]

  2. I found some weird behavior since upgrading to this build. For example:

    1. The green highlight of selected tab is gone. Now it’s harder to see which tab is current.

    2. Save a mockup, close Balsamiq, and re-open the mockup, sometimes the arrow heads are gone — they become line-only, or one of the 2 heads is gone, or flipped. Very strange.

    I’m using the Windows desktop version.

    Hi Samson, #1 is true. I hope you’ll grow to like the new look. If not, let us know and we’ll see what we can do.

    #2 I just fixed in the pre-release version: http://www.balsamiq.com/products/mockups/desktop/next – I’ll merge it into the main build with the next release (in a day or two). Sorry about that.

  3. Is selected tab highlighting gone for good?

    Love the button backgrounds!

    [Never say never, but that’s the plan, yes. Less color = less distractions. I hope you’ll grow to like the new look. Otherwise, let us know!]

  4. Great news!

    Am I now able to use my Mockup templates in Dropbox, too ?

    How should the path be for this scenario ?

    Stefan.

    [Hi Stefan, is this what you’re looking for? http://is.gd/4Niph%5D

  5. Pingback: Weekly release: some of them they were really low-hanging - Napkee - make your mockups come alive

  6. Backgrounds for buttons? Awesome!!! I don’t have to use boxes for that anymore. You might call these low hanging fruit, but they will go a long way. Great.

  7. There is a minor bug with the new icon border. By default the border is checked but new icons don’t get inserted with border. You need to toggle the state twice to get it to work.

    [Yup, working on it. Thanks Michael!]

  8. Well done, Peldi!