Balsamiq Community Discussion

How to create new symbols in existing library


Hi All,

I’ve created a symbol library. I created one symbol in it and added it to a mockup. I can edit it by selecting an instance of it in a mockup and using the Edit Source button to get to the library. I can’t figure out how to do the following:

  • Create a second symbol in the library. If I open the library and add more elements and group and name them, the one symbol already in the library is updated. If I create he symbol as a group in a mockup and use Convert to Symbol, the symbol is added to a generic library I don’t want it in instead of my being able to choose one of the project libraries.
  • Move a symbol to another library. If I cut and paste out of the generic symbol library symbols are put in using Convert to Symbol, it is added as a group and again becomes part of the one symbol already in the target library.

Any help on this would be much appreciated. I like the idea of the symbols but the proper use patterns are escaping me.


Hey @drk!

Sorry for the trouble here. Symbols in myBalsamiq are more complicated than we would like, and we are working on make that better.

I wonder if scheduling a time to do a screensharing session, over Skype, Google Hangouts, or whatever software you prefer, would help here. If you want to shoot us an email at, we can get something scheduled ASAP.

Let me know if you would like to do that :slight_smile:


Hi Brendan,

I’d like to know if I could set up something too.

I am able to create more than one symbol library, but I can’t create a symbol into anything but the default “symbols” library. If I cut and paste into the new library, the mockup says it can’t be found.




Hey Phillip!

Why don’t you shoot me an email at, and we will see if we can figure out what’s happening. I have a pretty good idea, but it might be easier to hop into your account to demonstrate.

Virgin and I are here most of the day, so no rush on that email. Whenever you have a moment :slight_smile:


Brendan was helpful in explaining the basics:

  • If you open the library directly, you can select an existing symbol, which will show as a group. To actually edit the existing symbol you need to double-click it to give focus to only that group/symbol, and take any other symbols in the library out of the equation.
  • If you want to close a symbol you are editing, there is a breadcrumb trail in the lower right that shows a house icon (“Home”) and the name of the current symbol. Click the house icon.
  • To add a new symbol, create a new item in the library. Immediately make it a group (weird because it is just one element) and name it; this makes it a symbol automatically. Then double-click it to open the new symbol in edit mode and add new elements.


To add on this, you can make a symbol if you are in the symbol library as well.

Think of the symbol library as just another mockup. But now, when you make and name a group, it will be a symbol in all your other mockups (you don’t need to convert it to a symbol in the symbol library.)

Thanks for the assist @drk. You are better at explaining this than I am :stuck_out_tongue: