[Feature Request] Multiple element selection Improvement


Hi Balsamiq!

I’m working on desktop version of a site (1366 px wide) and have faced usability issue during selection.
The physical efforts for wide elements selection is too high. Please look at the GIF, where I need to select dividers in the list:

The issues:

  1. I need to travel too long with the mouse to enclose the elements into selection (multiple clicking on elements to select them requires much efforts)
  2. The other elements are occur in my selection, so I need to exclude these

Possible solution is to implement a mode, where elements become selected on touching the selection rectangle, see the image below:

The frame is locked, so it doesn’t become selected.

In some tools this mode is activated while CTRL or ALT is pressed.

I hope, I’m not the only one who struggles with the issue.

OR may be I missed something and there is some trick to solve my problem?

Thank you.


Hey @Alexey_Kolchenko,

Thanks for the question - it’s always great to see your name in the forums.

I understand that the selection rectangle approach isn’t always ideal as it grabs all elements in the selected region, including some you may wish to exclude…

Let me dig into this a bit and discuss with the team here to see if we can come up with an approach which might work better for you, ok?


Hi @alasdair,

The main issue is:
I need to travel too long with the mouse to enclose the wide elements into selection (multiple clicking on elements to select them requires much efforts)


This is an interesting solution, Alexey. I’ll pass it along to the dev team for sure.

I think we are in line with how most design tools deal with multiple selection, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of room for improvement. :slight_smile:

One thing you could do, in the interim, is zoom way out before doing the multi select. That may help make the large elements more manageable.


Sorry to continue to bombard your inbox, Alexey, but I spoke with Peldi about this because I wanted to make sure we weren’t missing out on a common feature.

He mentioned that the reason we don’t do this is that we want the app to be friendly to designer and non-designers alike. Introducing a selection mode like yours might be confusing to someone who has never seen it in an app before (for instance, someone in this very thread who may or may not be named “Brendan”).

I think we can still make this better for you, though. Here is what we came up with:

If you zoom out to make the drag selection more manageable, you can do a multi-select grab on all the elements (like in your gif above). Then, hold SHIFT, and do another multi-select for just the labels. This will deselect them and leave you with just the H Rules selected.


Let me know if that helps at all, Alexey. Thanks again for taking the time to walk us through this.


Brendan, thank you for reply and the proposed solution. It’s defenitely helpful.

Also I have discovered the special selection mode which is activated by pressing ALT. It saves me A LOT of time today ). So, I can say, Balsamic already has selection modes.

As for my suggestion, I think advanced users could use a mode, while beginners will use default mode without any surprise.

I’ll show you a bit later how some guys implemented advanced selection in their tools. I’m not forcing, just want to share an idea ).


Hi @Brendan and @peldi ,

Just want to demonstrate the quick selection modes which are exist in different editors and I’d glad to have in Balsamiq, as these speed up the work:

  1. Draw a line across an object to select it (activated with ALT):
  2. Touch an object with selection rectangle to select it (activated with ALT):


I have used other software (although I can’t think of an example off the top of my head) where the selection occurs on touching rather than encompassing.

I think both have their merits. I have definitely both benefitted and struggled (depending upon the situation) from Balsamiq’s use of encompassing selection.

I most struggle when the mock-up elements are wider than the view window.

We design at 1280x800 as a sensible desktop minimum. This fits nicely on my screen when I am connected to an external 1080p monitor but I struggle when on the Laptop’s lower resolution.

Zooming is an option but my design habit is to prefer designing at actual size.

A keyboard modifier to toggle between selection modes would be a great compromise.


Hi Paul @paulshoughton,

I have similar process and the same issues with laptop.
That’s why implementing selection mode on touch will improve Balsamiq’s usability.
I hope Balsamiq 4 will have it.

Concerning the desktop screen size, my minimum is 1366×768 or 800, which is based on some stats.

PS. Both Figma and Gravit Designer have selection on touch feature )