Deleting objects in a symbol instance


This is probably expected behavior, but I have notice I am unable to “delete” items in a symbol when editing the instance.

I have several symbols that are in all my wireframes as quick and dirty ‘shapes’ that always need tweaking. For example I have a “popup” symbol that has a header and the buttons and even the shadow, so I can quickly add a message dialog. But I need to change the words and such every time I use it.

I can of course break apart the symbol, and perhaps I should get in the habit of doing so for these symbols that are more “templates” since they serve only to get the element on the page. But I always forget to. And sometime it’s not a template symbol but I want to “delete” one of the elements - for example to show a zero state of a panel that has a tool bar or other elements where keeping it connected to the symbol is beneficial.

Just wondering if deleting symbol objects was something your team had discussed. I noticed today that I was unable to removed the icon from an icon+label shape in a symbol. I clicked the little (x) icon several times before I figured out why nothing was happening (it’s in a symbol!) It’s not quite a delete, but apparently enough of an edit that it is not allowed.

Feature Request: Selection Independant from Symbol

You are right, Rae, this is intended. However, we have kicked around the idea of having a “visibility” property for controls in a symbol, allowing you to hide them.

It’s not something we have talked about in a while, so I will check in on it.

As you suspected, the best workaround is to break the symbol apart, delete the control, and then regroup it. The downside is that you won’t get changes from the main symbol.

Sorry for any hassle this causes you, my friend, but I really appreciate you bringing it up again. It’s a new idea for me, and I can totally see the use :).


Yes - toggling visibility of symbol elements would go a long way for those times when I want to keep the symbol being a symbol. I will add my +1 to that feature. (suddenly images what that would do the UI…maybe hide it on a right click option on the element rather than adding to the inspector…?)

Hassle-wise, it’s not a terrible problem, the time I save making generic symbols is much more than the small hassle of getting it to look right when I place them.


Being able to toggle the visibility of symbol elements would be great. I frequently find I have to break apart symbols and it leads to extra work when the symbol needs a tweak which has to be applied across dozens of elements.


Just coming across this as I’m a fairly new Balsamiq user. LOVING the functionality of Symbols. I am constantly amazed how I can edit portions of an instance, while all other aspects get updated when I change the symbol source. Super helpful for things like course cards (on a training site) where the title changes, but other aspects do not.

I would love the ability to delete or hide controls within a symbol instance as well. Seems a natural extension of the vast editing capabilities within a symbol. In my course card scenario there are sometimes indicators that show up for one course and not another. I’d prefer to create a symbol with every possible component then delete the ones I don’t need, rather than add components that have to be updated manually. Thanks!