What a release! Autosave, Toggle Markup, PDF Export Options, New Icons, Native Installers, and more!

Hello friends! We have so much cool stuff for you today, it's hard to believe it's only been two weeks since our last release.

Let's get right to it.

Auto-Save!

I don't need to tell you how horrible it is to lose work due to a crash.

Our app doesn't crash very often at all, but when it does, it hurts. Well after today, it won't hurt a bit! πŸ™‚

Just restart the app and you'll get your unsaved work back if you want it. Simple as that.

We keep auto-saved data around for a week, which should be plenty to recover your work.

Auto-save now works in Mockups for Desktop, the web demo and myBalsamiq. We'll add auto-save to the plugin versions this week.

That's right, we can all be even more relaxed when using Mockups from now on! πŸ™‚

Thanks to Nathan S, Geert, Daniel Wabyick and Lin Smitt-Amundsen for pushing us to build this feature, and to Ben Norris for the debugging help while we were developing it!

Toggle Markup Feature!

Mockups has offered the ability to hide or show markup controls in presentation mode for a long time now.

Today, we extend that ability to the rest of the app: the same toggle now affects editing mode, export to PDF and export to PNG!

The feature simply hides or shows all the controls that are found in the "Markup" tab of the UI Library.

You can toggle markup visibility from the Application Bar (top-right), via the menu, or via CTRL+K (CMD+K on Mac).

While in full screen, you can toggle it with the old "M" shortcut as well as new K and CTRL+K shortcuts.

The setting is application-wide (it affects all the mockups you have open) and will be remembered across restarts.

But wait, there's a twist! You can also decide to treat some individual controls as markup for a specific mockup. Just right-click on the controls you'd like to treat as markup and select the new "Treat as Markup" menu. Voila'!

Notice that this works the other way as well: for instance, if you don't want your Geometric Shapes to be treated as markup in a particular mockup, just select them all, right-click on one of them and select "Do Not Treat as Markup" from the menu.

This feature works on all versions of Mockups already.

Thanks to all who contributed to the design and debug of this feature via this year-old GetSatisfaction thread. Also thanks to jkeener1 for the "Treat as Markup" idea!

As a nice side-effect, the size and position of the mockup updates properly in full-screen when you toggle markup now! I know, finally! Thanks to Jeff Godfrey for pointing that out.

We hope you'll like this feature, we think it's important enough to add a new button to the application bar for it - something we don't do lightly, at all... πŸ˜‰

Mockups for Desktop: PDF Export Options Dialog!

This is another highly requested feature. Over time we have learned that some of you use export to PDF to create a document that will be printed (for reviews or for paper-prototyping usability sessions), while some other use export to PDF to create packages that will only ever be used on the screen (a quick and free viewer for your prototypes).

To reflect these different use-cases, we are adding an options dialog.

We don't like to interrupt your flows with dialogs in general, but we felt that this one was unavoidable. The good thing is that we remember your last choice across restarts, so if you like to work in a certain way you can just set it once and accept the dialog with a quick ENTER key from then on out.

One other option you'll see on the dialog is a checkbox to show or hide linking hints. If you select this option, you will see hints of where the links are in your PDFs. Depending on what you choose in the Viewing vs Printing choice, you'll either see the familiar pink-red rectangles you also get in full-screen mode.

If instead you're exporting for printing, you'll get a printer-friendly gray transparent rectangle with a little arrow on it.

Here are a couple of examples of PDFs created with the latest build: pdfexample_viewing.pdf and pdfexample_letter.pdf.

Many thanks to Aaron Trevern for asking for the highlight links option, Matty Sallin for asking for the Optimize for Viewing option, to pixeline for asking for the page size option.

Mockups for Desktop: "New" Application Icons!

We brought the smiley face back! It makes our icon stand out more, and it conveys how much fun using (and making!) Mockups is. We hope you'll like it!

As a bonus, we also created document icons for your BMML files:

Aren't they fun? πŸ™‚

Mockups for Desktop: new native installers!

In the vast majority of cases, installing Mockups is a breeze. You head to the download page, click on the badge and voila'.

Unfortunately, just like snowflakes, no two computers are exactly alike. If you are having trouble installing Mockups for Desktop, do not despair: it means you’re special! πŸ˜‰

To address these issues we have expanded the Troubleshooting Mockups for Desktop Installation Problems section of our download page, and plan on keeping it updated with the most common issues.

Another thing we did is to create native installers for Windows, Mac and Linux! You can download them from our download page. The experience is really smooth, just like any other good old installer.

We have also created a version of the Windows installer that has Adobe Air embedded in it. It's 40Mb, but it's useful for our enterprise customers who want to install Mockups for Desktop on computers who are not connected to the public Internet.

Fancy stuff!

Other improvements and bug fixes

  • All versions: a great little QuickAdd improvements, courtesy of Eric and Matt McNamara: hitting ENTER when there's no text (and no list) and one editable control selected on the canvas will send focus to the canvas and start editing. Hitting F2 when there's one editable control selected (even if the list is up) will send focus to the canvas and start editing. It's hard to explain but super-handy to use, try it!
  • All versions: fixed a bad bug with going fullscreen when you had something selected and the Property Inspector docked. Thanks so much Kenny Saunders, Jon Boardman and Tom Zeppenfeldt for reporting it!
  • All versions: fixed issue with changing font size to ComboBox. Thanks so much Eduardo Vila for reporting the bug!
  • All versions: we now fix some corrupted BMMLs on load (an older version of Mockups had a bug which created controls with enormous x and y coordinates. We now handle these files properly). This would have taken care of JayneHilditch's files.
  • All versions: Added "/" and "+" to the Quick Add tooltip, a @maxkir idea (via Twitter).
  • Mockups for Desktop: fixed link position in PDF export. Thanks Ben Norris for reporting it!
  • Mockups for Confluence: we made some improvements with how we deal with version numbers. This should make Florian Guttmann happy! πŸ™‚
  • Mockups for FogBugz: Do not cache bmml and pngs from the server. Thanks Reuben S. for reporting this problem (via email).

How do I update?

Easy! Just install from our download page on top of your current installation. You won't have to re-register.

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 2.0.13
  • Mockups for Confluence: version 2.0.13
  • Mockups for JIRA: version 2.0.14
  • Mockups for XWiki: version 2.0.12
  • Mockups for FogBugz: version 2.0.14
  • Web Demo: version 2.0.12

Onward!

Peldi for the Balsamiq Team

Get the Inside Scoop

We'll send you just one email a month and share a ton of information that you'll get before everyone else. More info about the newsletter here.

We'll never share your email address or spam you.

Leave a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared.

Comments (7)

  1. How do I access auto-saved files in the cache ? I lost some work then the next time I opened balsamiq the auto save dialog popped up, but then my mac crashed… now if i open balsamiq I can’t see the auto-save any more… is it stored somewhere?

    Thanks

  2. Joe, auto-save is really meant to be there for you if you close Mockups without saving. What version are you using? I think some minor adjustments have been made to improve how and when it comes up.

  3. Can I turn off the autosaving? I get the pop-up all the time now. I save when I want to, and don’t want to accidentially auto-save over the version I meant to save.

    Joe Ranft
  4. It would be very appreciated if the texts were not rasterized. I use Balsamiq and find it very convenient, except when I have to give it to graphists, who can’t copy paste the text in my pdf export (no, everyone doens’t have and use Balsamiq πŸ˜‰ ).

    Thanks!

    [Peldi: thanks for the feedback. Making the font not rasterized is really hard for us at the moment. In the meantime, why not have your collaborators download the Mockups for Desktop demo? They will be able to open your mockups for free (the only feature that times out after 7 days is the ability to save, not to open files). Hope this helps!]

    remidot
  5. Any thoughts on adding update alerts? Had I known of this latest version I might have avoided losing all my wireframes this morning when laptop died.

    Great to now have autosave, but a simple update ping on startup would be a nice feature?

    [Peldi: Hi Richard. We’re considering it. In the meantime you can follow @balsamiq, the RSS of this blog or our Facebook page for update notifications]

    Richard
  6. Still hasn’t “selected row” option for a table. God, I need that.

    [Peldi: Hi Pavel, not sure I understand. The Data Grid control supports selection, look in the property inspector. Email me if I didn’t understand your question: peldi@balsamiq.com]

    Pavel M.
  7. “Unfortunately, just like snowflakes, no two computers are exactly alike. If you are having trouble installing Mockups for Desktop, do not despair: it means you’re special! ;)”

    Great copywriting, and great update!