Balsamiq Community Discussion

Feature Request: Move "Quick Add" back to the left


I use the Quick Add feature all the time - it’s a huge timesaver. I know that I just need to click, type a few letters, then hit return and grab my asset from the top left area of the canvas.

Having the Quick Add field moved to the top right of the screen is messing with my Balsamiq muscle memory. It feels weird to have to go to the top right of the screen to use Quick Add, then go to the top left of the canvas to grab the asset. Could the Quick Add field be moved back to the top left?


I suggest you use the keyboard shortcut. It’s much faster, so it doesn’t matter where the box is. Putting it on the right side was obviously to be near the UI library.

In an ideal world, hitting enter from the quick add box would create the new component directly where the mouse is, instead of the top left of the canvas. Therefore, no unnecessary mouse travel.


And in fact, we just added a slightly hidden feature. If you hit SHIFT+ENTER in the Quick Add, the control you are adding will be placed where your cursor is. Give it a try! :smiley:


OMG, this is heaven … you just made my day!


I wish that I didn’t actually have to click on the Quick Add input box. I’d love it if i could just start typing and if nothing had the focus my typing would automatically populate the Quick Add box.


Just use the / key and start typing. No mouse operation needed.


@James I agree 100%

@Mathieu_Brault Good point, but for me, this isn’t just about avoiding the mouse. The / key adds friction. If am thinking “asterisk”, I would love to just type “asterisk”, without having to think “wait, what is the key for Quick Add ?” Plus, I am generally a touch typist, but for the / or + keys I have to look at the keyboard, which bugs me.

Another possible advantage: the Quick Add is not easily discoverable for novice users. Adding the feature James suggests may help make it discoverable?


@ben So cool! I would never have known this!!!


Yes overall I do feel the app is very, very heavily weighted to people who like lots of keyboard shortcuts. Nothing against that as a lot of people do like that. But for those of us who are not that way disposed the app does feel somewhat convoluted at times.

I’m 100% positive there is a super nifty keyboard shortcut that will instantly open the import new asset dialog. But the way my brain works I find myself looking for a + button in the assets panel that would allow me to do that from there.


These are great thoughts. Thanks all! :smiley:

The problem that I see with sending typing to the Quick Add with nothing selected is all future-based. If we did that, it would completely cut off our ability to add keyboard shortcuts that don’t need a modifier key. As James mentioned, we like our keyboard shortcuts. :slight_smile: Our goal is to make the app as simple as possible for new users so that they don’t need any training—they can just start dragging and dropping controls to make a wireframe. At the same time, we want it to be fast and efficient for those who spend more time using it, hence the keyboard shortcuts.

We have some fun ideas for things that we could do in the future, but are not locked into anything yet. However, I feel like it would be a mistake to give up all of those possibilities. I definitely hear what MikeH is saying about adding friction with /, but I have found personally, and have heard from many customers, that after you start using it more, it becomes muscle memory and automatic.

All of that said, I don’t want to shut down this thriving conversation. :slight_smile: So if you have more to add, please pipe in!


It’s just lots of little things. It’s really, really clear that the app is very keyboard shortcut centric. There are some mouse centric elements there but they just don’t seem to have the same attention to detail that other aspects of the UI do.

I don’t find the use of icons in the app very satisfying at all. The icons in the toolbar are all a similar size, colour and boxy shape and all crammed in together. I literally have to stop what I’m doing and pay attention to deciphering them every time I want to use them.

It feels like every other program I use has zoom controls somewhere near the bottom corners of the window, so despite the fact that use the program all the time I instinctively want them to be somewhere down there and not buried in amongst all the other icons up the top.

None of them are showstoppers, I do feel like they all add up though.


Ahhh, okay, I was trying to think of the reason why you would not do it. BUT… I will be waiting for those keyboard shortcuts :smile: And I guess I am still waiting for my muscle memory to kick in on that / key :laughing:


any hints how to use this on windows?
Nothing happens when I press “7” or “SHIFT+7” (which would lead to a / )


That’s strange…you can also use + instead. We’ll take a look!

  • works fine. Thanks :smile: