Balsamiq Community Discussion

Create own UI Library (not symbol)

I use symbols but sometimes they don’t work for me because I have to always detach them from parent in order to use them as I like. Can I create my own UI Library like Balsamiq has “Label” or “Link” that I could drop in and start editing without that element being connected to a parent (symbol)?

Hi @TanyaG,

Thanks so much for the post.

While we don’t have a way, beyond Symbols, to extend the UI Library I wonder if we can get Symbols working for you the way you need to.

I’m not 100% sure what you mean when you say “I have to always detach them from parent in order to use them as I like”. Could you take a moment to expand on what you mean so that we can better understand the issue? If you could include a screenshot that may make it quicker to explain.

If it’s easier, perhaps you could drop us a line at support@balsamiq.com attaching your project so we can take a look at exactly what you are doing. We can also, if you would like, consider setting up a screen-sharing session where I can ‘remote-in’ to your machine and we can walk through this together? Again, just drop us an email and we cna get that set up.

I mean, for example: I like to annotate my wires with large text+specific color. So, I start from your Label or Text - I change color+size and use it. This is two clicks too many. If I create a symbol “My fancy label” I can’t just drag it, double-click and and use it because it thinks I want to edit parent symbol text. So, it’s again too many clicks to drag a symbol > select info panel > click break appart > ungroup > start typing. I’d like to be able to create my own library item just like “Label” that you have - only formatted as I like. Symbols only allow me to edit masters, but I want to be able to edit children.

Thanks for getting back to us @TanyaG.

too many clicks to drag a symbol > select info panel > click break appart > ungroup > start typing.

I think I understand. You shouldn’t have to break apart and ungroup a Symbol to edit it so I think we can make this easier for you. Symbols support the idea of Overriding Symbol Properties and, from what you are describing, I think you can use this to achieve your goal.

I have created a short video to show you what I mean. It’s not possible to attach videos to forums posts so you can grab it here: OverrideSymbol.mp4

Do you want to check it out and get back to me with any questions?

Ok, yes that makes sense. I have to double-click twice into it: once to get into the symbol and then again to edit it. It would be nice to be able to create your own library… I guess it would save that one click 8)

Exactly - just double click the instance of the Symbol to “enter it” and then you can edit it like any other control.

Any changes you make override just this instance and your ‘master’ Symbol remains unchanged.