Balsamiq Community Discussion

Feature Request Keyboard shortcut to "Symbols"

Love the keyboard shorcut to the “Mockups” view! Though there does not seem to be a keyboard shortcut to jump to the “Symbol” view.

It would be great to be able switch between the Mockup and the Symbol while modifying a symbol without the need to move and click twice with the mouse.


Hey @andidev, glad you enjoy that—so do we! We’ve thought about a shortcut for jumping to Symbols, but the problem is figuring out what to use. If you have ideas, we’re all ears. :slight_smile: Here’s our list of current shortcuts: Thanks!

The keyboard shortcut list you referenced does not seem to be updated. The keyboard shortcut for changing the view to the mockups view seems to be ⌘+1 and not the one in the new version og balsamiq (⌘+⇧ + M).

However these are my thoughs on how it could be solved. Not sure which one is the best solution.

Alternative 1
I have no good suggestion for the symbol view since since ⌘+⇧ + S seems to be taken obviously by “Save as”. Though one could argue if there is a need for a keyboard shortcut for “Saving as” since it is not so frequently used. At least it is not as important and heavily used as switching to symbols view.

Also if ⌘+⇧ + S would be used as shortcut to switch to the symbols view then also the ⌘+⇧ + A should be used for switching to the Assets view. This keyboard shortcut seems to be taken by “Deselect All” command. An option here is to change the ⌘+A keyboard shortcut from “Select All” to “Select All/Deselect All”. If not all is selected the shortcut runs the “Select All” command or if all is selected the shortcut will “Deselect All”. But maybe this is not the most perfect soultion.

Alternative 2
Another thought would be to use the ⌘+1, ⌘+2, ⌘+3 for “Switch view to Mockups”, “Switch view to Assets”, “Switch view to Symbols”. But then the current shortcuts for ⌘+2, ⌘+3 would have to be moved (which are “Lock the selected controls” and “Unlock all locked controls”).

Alternative 3
A third alternative would be to make the ⌘+M a toggle command which would switch to Mockups view when the user is not in the Mockups view and when the user is in the Mockups view it would switch back to whatever view was used before switching to Mockups view. This would acually be pretty nice since it allows you to work with two views and switch back and forward between them very fast just tho check the looks (at least very useful when editing a symbol and checking the result the changes in the whole picture).

Alternative 4
The fourth alternative would I guess to be setting the keyboard shortcut to ⌘+ B which is the first available keyboard shortcut letter from the word Symbols. However this is not the most obvious shortcut name for a new user to remember.

Great catch! Sorry for the confusion there. I updated the article to show the correct shortcut.

As for the keyboard shortcut for switching between symbols and assets, thanks for giving it so much thought! As I read through your ideas, the thought that came to my mind is that what we should really support is just going back and forward to different areas in the app. That could mean from one mockup to another, or from a mockup back to a symbol you were working on, or something like that. We’d have to figure out the shortcuts for that, but it might be a better direction. What do you think? Thanks again for your help!

That sounds like a great feature and solves the problem I am having. Not sure how this would be implemented though.

One way would be to implement something similiar to what IntelliJ Idea has done. They have a great way of switching between recent files, files and other types. Pressing pressing ⇧ twice will birng up the following popup search:

The picture is self explanatory I hope. This search possibility in combination with changing the current opened Mockup/Symbol to the last opened Mockup/symbol with Ctrl + Tab shortcut would be great.

Not sure what you had in mind, maybe there is a simpler solution to the problem.

By the way I saw that the keyboard shortcut “Treat/do not treat selection as markup” is the same as the new “Switch to Mockups” shorcut according to the keyboard shortcut page you mentioned. Is this correct or is it also wrong?

I really miss a shortcut to go to symbols. I’m constantly wishing for it, and would gladly trade any one of dozens of other keybindings for it. Here are my thoughts:

To solve the shortcut problem “right”, give us a user mechanism for defining our own shortcuts. Many programs do this. I remember text editors from the 70s that did this. It’s easier for everyone, because people can tune the shortcuts to their work habits.

Failing that, I’d rather have a shortcut for going to symbols than for going back to mockups. You already give us a pop-up menu for going back to mockups, so at least a way exists.

I thought the idea of toggling to-from mockups-to-symbols was an interesting and workable idea. Because that’s what we all do when we’re in symbols – we “always” go back to mockups. So why not toggle the action on one keystroke. Thanks


I’m constantly slipping between symbols and mockups. A keyboard shortcut would be greatly appreciated. As far as what letter to use, you could use L for symboLs. I would make the shortcut similar to the mockups shortcut (i.e. CTRL+SHIFT+L). Just for good measure, a shortcut for Assets would be useful as well, though I don’t visit that section much.

Thanks for a great product!


p.s. Is there a way to vote for feature requests like this? I seem to remember that users could do that back in the day.


Hey @breon,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts about this one! Here’s a great place to share your vote for a feature, I’m adding your vote for this one right now. :slight_smile:

You can also reach us via if you prefer this way. Please keep the ideas coming!


It is 2021. I still don’t see this. Why? I mean, not being sure what to map is a terrible reason for not providing the feature… talk about the enemy of the good!

Please tell me I am just missing something

Hi @Dilapidus and thanks for reviving this topic. Let me take this one to the team so we can talk about it again.

If you need anything else, we’re here!

Hello! New to Balsamiq, but not to wireframing. Loving the tool so far!

I went in search of a keyboard shortcut to get to Symbols (because I keep alternating between Symbols and Wireframes) and was surprised not to see one. It would make navigation significantly easier. One could argue that you KINDA have one (Alt+V [pause] S), but I’m not sure that qualifies. :slight_smile: In any case, I wanted to give a thumbs-up to the idea of adding a shortcut for this.

As for mapping, I think the suggestions above are all solid. I might add CTRL+SHIFT+Y to the list of contenders, but in reality, I would be happy with any of them so long as something were added. It would definitely help my workflow (and it sounds like the workflow of others) as I move back-and-forth.

An alternative suggestion (probably worthy of its own thread) would be to be able to have TWO Balsamiq windows open to the same file/site. I could then have one window open to Wireframes and the other open to Symbols, each on its own monitor. Again - just looking for workflow improvements to my (fairly insular) world.

Thank you for the conversation and consideration!

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