Balsamiq Community Discussion

[Enhancement] Make the default shape be a rectangle

When I add a new shape, 99.9% of the time I need it to be a rectangle, but the default shape is a circle, so I always have to change it. It would make it so much more efficient if the default shape was a rectangle.

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Hi there @TanyaG ,

Thanks for the suggestion - it is a good one. We’ve had a request or two to be able to just set the default properties for all controls and this is a good example of that. I have gone ahead and added your feedback to our tracking.

You can add a Rectangle directly from the Quick Add Tool so maybe that’s a workaround you can use?

Rectangles won’t let me type inside of them, so I don’t use that a lot.

Ah, fair enough @TanyaG . I did not realise you were adding text.

It’s a bit of a ‘hammer to crack a nut’ but you could create a Symbol to do the same job. That would allow you to even go further and define a default size and default text if you wished?

Yea, a bit of a hammer solution, especially since I can’t have global symbols, I probably won’t do that for each project. But, if you have stats on people using Shape/Rectangle - I feel most users are creating rectangles… might be wrong…

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I think I have a 50/50 split between the rectangle and rounded rectangle shapes. But I don’t think I have ever needed a circle in a UX design. The rectangle would make a more useful default.

Another solution might be the ability for quick add to deep link into the 10 shape variants. E.g. typing “rec” gives “Shape / Rectangle” as an option.

It would also be quite nice to unify the rectangle and shape tools to give a superset of abilities.

  • With Shapes, you can set text.
  • With Rectangle, you can not show a border.

It would be great for a single control to have all of those combined capabilities.


Shapes also let you set icons which you cannot do in rectangles. I have to constantly flip between shape and rectangle depending on whether I want a rectangular shape without a border or with icon and text.

While we’re talking about icons in shapes, it would be nice to have a macro to set the color of the icon lik you have for text. Would save having to group rectangles or shapes with icons and/or labels.

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On the subject of Shave vs Rectangle. Rectangle is a Shape, of course - when I first started using Balsamiq I could not figure out why I should add one vs. the other. I’d combine the two into one component, cal it whatever, and make it so that people can add border, text, icon, type in it. I don’t see an advantage from UX prospective to have 2 separate components…

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, @TanyaG.

The reason for making the rectangle a separate UI control is that many people use it a lot in their projects so we wanted to give folks quick access to it without having to use the Shape and define the needed properties each time.

That being said, we’re monitoring the different ideas and requests made in this thread so thanks again!