Balsamiq Community Discussion

Guide lines aren't very intelligent


There are a few situations which make the automatic guides unusable.

This is unfortunate since they’re the only guides we can use in Mockups!

I captured the follow behaviour:

(Hopefully this forum supports animated gifs - I’ll find out once I hit submit!)

Either way, the lowest field does not automatically line up with the field above it - it’s actually aligning with either a field 7 fields above, or another one 11 fields above.

I might be alone in this, but I would assume that automatic guides would prioritise those objects closer to the one being moved, rather than apparently random objects half way across the screen, but this hasn’t been my experience.

Edit: Forgot to mention: This is important to me because if I’m able to align the field correctly with just the mouse then I can take advantage of the very handy feature which lets me Duplicate a recently moved item and “repeat” that shift in position - perfect for placing many fields.

If I let go of the mouse and move this field manually with the keyboard, I can no longer take advantage of that feature.


Ugh, I’m sorry about that @ahobday.

Would it be possible to share the project with us at We’d love to figure out what it is trying to snap to.

Totally understand if that doesn’t work for you. We can also troubleshoot it here, just let me know. :slight_smile:


No problem - I’ve sent the BMPR file to with the subject ‘File for “Guide lines aren’t very intelligent”’

I’ve recreated the issue and added red labels as notes.

It appears that if there are other labels with X values which are slightly to the left and right of the label I’m trying to snap to, those will be preferred. I suspect the guideline/snapping code has a minimum amount it “jumps” by to the next guide point, or something.


Got it @ahobday!

We are looking at it right meow. :slight_smile:


I emailed Anthony back but realized I should update folks here in case this comes up in a search.

This problem has to do with the “gravity” of our snap lines not being low enough to match beyond a certain threshold. We are going to look into what we can do to improve that. :slight_smile:


Thanks a lot Brendan. Excellent support as always!

I have stated in forum posts here before that I think there’s a general problem with the user not knowing what object they’re aligning with, for sure.

It could be that the solution to that problem and the solution to this problem are the same!