Balsamiq Community Discussion

[IMPLEMENTED] Feature Request: Keyboard Access to Inspector's Icon Library

Balsamiq Edit: This has been implemented in version 3.4.2

When using the inspector with an icon selected I would like to be able to use the keyboard to select from the mini list that opens as I type.

Once I type in ‘down’, I’d like to use the arrows on my keyboard to interact with and select which of the (many) arrows and would expect and then use enter to apply that choice to the selected icon.

PS. All my recent thoughts have been on how to speed up my work - so very minor improvements!

When I read the bit about keyboard arrows, I realized I was just nodding my head. Mike felt the same way, and we will see what we can do about it :).

When it comes to icon searching, I may have a good compromise for you: we have been tossing around the idea of making the quick add field more powerful.

For instance, if you searched for “icon down”, it would bring up the same icons that would be that you would see if you searched the icon library for “down”. Eventually, we may make it so you can specify properties of a control in the quick add itself (but that’s a little more down the road.)

Would that be a good compromise? May I add your vote to that feature?

As much as I’d like to say YES! Add my vote to the feature, at least in the case of “down” I’m not sure it’ll be as much help as I initially thought.

I did a quick check to see what appears in quick add with +down and it’s already only icons (plus a few symbols I created - hidden here).

As you can see the list is rather…spacious even when it’s just “down icons.” And I’d have to scroll a bit down to find the down I might want. Only 12 of the 20 icons show at one time in that drop down while all 20 show up in the inspector view. (Don’t ask me why it has a scrollbar in the inspector! They’re all showing)

Unless I see the icon I’m looking for, I probably won’t go down through this list. It’s just too much fussing. Icon #13 might as well be not displayed - I’m never going there. (At least not with my keyboard). Example: Let’s say the icon I want is the angle-down - in the inspector I type down and then need to hit the down-arrow three times to select it. (Even for the very far “volume down” icon it’s only 7 keys to get there and I can see it right away). In the quick add scenario to get the angle-down I have to hit down 15 times to reach it and I can’t see it at all to know where it is.

So yes, you can add my vote to improving the quick add, but I don’t know how much it will help since a lot of the icons words I’d be using (down (20), arrow(25), circle(34) - are already mainly icons showing in the quick add and there are a lot in each category. I use those in the inspector all the time and I can always see all of them (although the scroll bar shows up every time even through it’s not needed).

I will say if I used less generic words it would probably be more useful icon caret(8), level(2). But if I knew I wanted the down caret I wouldn’t type in down… Then again - caret and level are already only showing icons in the quick add. But also I only have a handful of symbols that I’ve made. If I had more it might be more useful as well.

This topic generated a lot of discussions this morning. :slight_smile:

The idea we are leaning towards is to add CTRL (CMD) + / to bring the search field into focus if you have an icon selected.

Would doing that, and adding keyboard control to the search results/icon library, be a good solution for this? Let me know what you think, Rae!

So if select and Icon on the screen and click “ctrl/” it brings up the search field in the inspector into focus? (Would that also work with the “ctrl+” combo like the quick add only with a ctrl in front? I know both the / and + keys work for the quick add.

Oooh - that’s even shinier. Yes, that would make changing the icon even faster - you wouldn’t need to use enter or something to bring up the full library or anything like that. That and adding keyboard controls to the search results would make changing icons a lot let mouse-heavy. You’ll have to let me know when it’s in the Beta product and I’ll test it out.

I most definitely will! :slight_smile:

Hi @RaeHanley,

We just released our latest official version (3.4.2) and it includes the ability to navigate the icon inspector pulldown with arrow keys. :slight_smile:

Thanks again for the request!

The new version (3.4.2) is available here.
And the complete release notes are here if needed.

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I saw that! Thanks so much!

I wish every program I used had such a responsive team. Even when you can’t get to features for years and years some response is better than none - or in the case of these a few months and you had added it in.

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