[Feature request] Overlays

Firstly good work on Balsamiq Cloud – a subtle but noticeable improvement over Mockups 3 – excited for what the future holds!

I’m often finding myself wanting to draw on top of an existing mockup, for popups, dialogue boxes, tool-tips, etc. and can’t find a very good way to do that. I want to avoid lots of copy-and-pasting, and then having to make the same modification in multiple places as the wireframes go through the review process.

I’m not attempting to prototype every single detail of my software, but there are cases where these bits of UI are crucial to understanding what I’m trying to show in the wireframes.

I realise this has been discussed before, but not for a while as far as I can see. The thread I found suggested making the base mockup a symbol, but that’s no good if the mockup already uses symbols, as you forbid symbols containing symbols. Also, I find symbols to be kinda clunky to work with, and to me feel a bit too far outside the core workflow of creating mockups to suit this use very well, even if you could nest symbols inside symbols.

What I’d love is something similar to the alternate versions feature, but with base+overlays rather than official+alternates.

To be clear, I’m not asking for deeper interaction, the basic linking you have now is fine. I’m just asking for tools to help me sketch without duplicating effort with edits.

Would love to hear if you have any plans that might help with this use case.


@richardl That sounds a lot like the “Master Page” concept in Visio and other such tools - e.g. you create one or more pages that represent the background, exactly like any other wireframe, and then, on any given wireframe you can choose whether to keep the background “plain” or use one of the “master pages” instead.

This could be done in two different ways - one is, have a specific “master pages” area separate from the main design area - much like symbols, except that they are single pages and symbols can be used on them - and those are the only options for backgrounds.

The other is to let the user pick any existing wireframe as the background of another wireframe. If the latter allowed you to use a page with a background as a background you would almost have a “layering” ability. But you’d have to be careful to not allow someone to set a wireframe as a background if that wireframe was already using the current wireframe a background.

You could also combine the two, having a separate area but allowing any one master page to have its own master page. The issue with not allowing circular references would, again, apply.


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Hi @richardl and thanks for sharing your need today.

It sounds like the ability to nest symbols would help this particular use case and since it is one of our most requested features, I’ve added your vote to help to prioritize it.

We’re still mostly focusing on launching our native apps on all platforms but once we’ll be done, we’ll get back to working on new features.

Anything else, we’re here!

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