Balsamiq Community Discussion

Clickable background through unclickable foreground in pdf



I have an issue with clickable objects behind other objects. In full screen mode an object prevents me from clicking on clickable objects behind these. In PDF, objects without links in front do not block the clickable objects behind. How can I prevent this from happening?



Hey again, @Maarten

Sorry for the trouble you are having here. It sounds like you’re running into an issue where having a control on top of another control is preventing you from clicking links on the lower control?

If so, that should be how the app works normally (respecting the z-order of objects), but it may not be doing it in PDFs as some PDF readers don’t respect z-order.

Would you mind making sure you’re up-to-date and then trying again. If it’s easier (or I misunderstood) you can send us the file and we can troubleshoot directly.

Let me know how you’d like to proceed, my friend. :slight_smile:


Hey again @Brendan,

Thanks for the speedy feedback!

I think I could not make the situation clear and will try again now:

Slide one: a window object with a button on it.

Slide two: the button has a pop out dialog.

I want the pop out to close (back to slide one) when I click next to it. So I place a rectangle as a hit area under the pop out, covering the inside of the window object. This rectangle links back to slide one.

In full screen mode clicking on the pop out does not trigger the rectangle underneath, as it should.

In PDF clicking on the pop out results in a movement to slide one, which I do not need or want.

Maybe there is another way of fixing this (I already made multiple rectangles around the pop out and none under but that seems like way to much work (in more complex prototypes)

Thanks for your help!




Ahh, I see! Sorry, Maarten. I answered before I had the appropriate amount of caffeine.

So it sounds like your PDF reader isn’t respecting the z-order. Would you mind seeing if Adobe Acrobat Reader behaves better? If not, would it be possible to send us the PDF so that we can take a look?

Sorry again for misunderstanding, my friend. We will get to the bottom of this!


Hi Brendan,

I’ve tested the pdf in Acrobat Reader and Foxit, both with the same result. I will be able to send the file in three weeks, as now it’s holiday season :slight_smile:




Sounds good, my friend. Have a happy holiday break! We will tackle this next year (ha ha). :slight_smile:


Hi Brendan,

First things first: Happy New Year :slight_smile:

Secondly, I checked and found to have the latest version of Mockups.

I made a very small test for the problem I described and will add it here.popover exclude hitarea test.pdf (23.4 KB)

Hope you see the same problem I see… otherwise I don’t know what to do next.


Hi @Maarten and thanks for sharing your example file.

You’re right, the clickable area is not optimal in that PDF created with Mockups 3 for Desktop, because of the technology we used for that process.

The good news is that we improved it in our new native editor and you can already try it out in our web version, Balsamiq Cloud.

New Desktop apps are next on our list (Mac and Win) and we’ve already started the beta phase.

Sorry that I don’t have an immediate solution for you (besides using a different Balsamiq product) but this won’t be an issue in our upcoming major Desktop version.

Happy new year to you as well! :slight_smile: