Feature Request: Setting another mockup as a background


Hi Balsamiq,

I’m wandering how easy / hard it would be for you guys to add a feature where you can specify a mockup as a static background. I’m doing a lot of stuff with popups and menus and find myself creating a mockup as a template, then duplicate, lock everything then overlay. After four or five of these, I hesitate to change the original.

The main thing would be at least show the original. It would be extra great if links in the original were still clickable. This helps when demonstrating navigation and so forth. (side note, if I put something with partial opacity over an existing link, the link highlights with the hint (pink) but is not clickable).

Maybe there’s another way that I’ve missed. As I think about it, maybe a better way would be to template a group (so long as links can be preserved).

It “sounds” simple, but maybe it’s not.




Hi @gary.thompson,

Thanks for reaching out about this.

It sounds like our Symbols feature might help to achieve this. :slight_smile:

It will allow you to create some “template” mockup elements and you can always edit them along the way if needed.

Hope this helps! Please let me know if you that doesn’t fully achieve your need or if you need anything else.


Well, I missed that altogether.

As my wife would say, I did a “husband search” of the documentation.



I would suggest this feature even though I know about symbols.
There is no “symbol-ception” yet and even then you would end up with a lot of wireframes as symbols just because you want to add a modal or popup.

My workflow: I would rather copy the wireframe, but then I need to do changes in (at least) two wireframes when something changed. This is one of the most annoying tasks I experienced when working with Balsamiq.
But I like to create as less symbols as possible to keep an overview.

imho the “background wireframe” do not need any links or markups, it should just be updated when the source changes.


Hey @heringsfilet!

Thanks for the detailed use case, we definitely see the pain point here. No ETA for it yet but one of our most requested features (nested symbols) should help with this but we’ll be happy to discuss it more if not.

Enjoy the rest of your week, my friend!


The biggest pain point with symbols is that by the time you realise you should have made one, you have about 15 individual copies of something. :disappointed:


It’s something we have all run into, Ryan. And you’re right; it’s a pain in the butt.

That’s one of the reasons we added the transform feature last year. While it doesn’t completely mitigate the problem, it does make it easier to convert things to symbols quickly.