Balsamiq Community Discussion

Master Mockup Layer?


Love your product. I was hoping to see this function in the new version, but since it doesn’t seem to be there, I thought I would suggest it:

I would love to be able to use on mockup as a “Master Slide” base layer for other mockups. (Think of the matser slide function in PowerPoint.)

As I demo things changing in one part of the screen, I use multiple mockups. If we decide something that is common to all of those mockups needs to change, I have to change it in all mockups (which can run into the many dozens of files in some cases.)

Instead, I would love to be able to pick one mockup to be the Master Mockup (“MM”) for my one or more other mockups. For any mockup with a MM selected, that MM would be displayed as the “deepest” layer in the mockup. We could then add other controls above that MM layer. Thus, as thing change during the development process, we can just change the MM and it changes it everywhere it is used.

Each mockup would be able to pick a different MM, if needed, and you would not be able to select a mockup that references a MM to be a MM for another mockup due toi circularity issues.

Just being able to do one master mockup and use it as the base layer for multiple other mockups would save me a tremendous amount of time.



Hi Graham,

Thanks so much for your post and for your kind words. We actually have a feature that does exactly what you are describing. It’s even been in the product since version 2. We call it “Symbols” in our app. You can read all about it here:

One nice thing is that B3, the version that you are testing, makes the management of symbols so much easier than before. You can start going to the symbols section of the app (the View menu makes this easy). From there, you can create a new symbol library, and even get some guidance right there.

You could also start by creating the background that you want to use as a “Master” and then selecting it all, and making it a group (⌘G) and then use the Inspector panel to give it a name and click Convert to Symbol.

Let us know if you have any trouble with it. Hopefully this blows your mind and does exactly what you need! We’ll work on making it more obvious in the product that you can do this. Thanks again!


A few points:

  1. YAY!

  2. Yaaaaay!

  3. “We’ll work on making it more obvious in the product that you can do this.” Please do. I have used this product for over ayear and never foudn this. I serached for phrases like “master mockup” and “master object” etc and ever found it. I never would have thought that “symbols” meant anything other than the following:



Hi Ben ,

after I used the symbol in the inner pages then doing some changes in the symbol, the inner pages is not reflecting the changes in the symbol. is there any way to automatically updates to all the inner pages with the new symbol ? or i need to replace it manually ?


sorry dude ,
I just found it I dont know if it is a bug or what ,but when go to the symbol and change there directly the mockups screen does not updated, but if i clicked edit symbol (from the mockups screen) and do the change all the mockups screens reflect the change.



Hi @Mohammed_Al-bakri and sorry for the confusion.

When you Editing a Symbol’s source, the changes will be propagated to all the instances (uses) of that Symbol.

On the other hand, Overriding a Symbol’s properties will allow you to make a change that will be specific to that mockup, and won’t reflect on other instances of the Symbol.

Hope this helps! Anything else, we’re here. :slight_smile: