Balsamiq Community Discussion

Naming new symbols and revealing their name later on


Here’s a couple of things I’ve noticed while working with symbols in Mockups 3, which I find unnecessarily complex. This is with 3.1.8 on OS X 10.10.4.

I’m wondering why the Inspector doesn’t show a text input field with a symbol’s name, when I’ve selected a symbol. This would fix a number of issues:

  1. Cumbersome naming of new symbols
    When I build a new symbol in the Symbols view, it gets added as “New Symbol” in the list, but it is not selected there. So to name the symbol - a mandatory operation, if you work with larger symbol libraries - I have to find that entry in the list, right-click on it, choose “rename…”, then pick a name.

A possible solution would be to add a text field for a symbol’s name in the inspector view contained. For new symbols, it would show “New Symbol”, and I could initially name it and later rename it there right away.

Another solution would be to add all or some actions to the right-click menu shown above a symbol.

  1. Unclear selection behavior in list of symbols
    I find selection in the list of symbols to behave quite unexpectedly:
  • I select a particular symbol library. All its symbols are shown on the right. I then pick a particular symbol, but the selection in the list of symbols remains with the library. I would expect the list selection to reflect what’s actually picked from the set of symbols.
  • If I add a new symbol, the selection remains with the library. Typically for such an operation, the selection should move to the newly created or duplicated item.

I realize this behavior is probably due to your UI’s option to hide all other symbols but the currently selected one: you wanted to avoid confusion caused by the shift of selection there, if all other symbols have to be hidden. But I start to wonder if that option is necessary at all. If the UI would still always show but only “dim” the other symbols, as it did in Mockups 2.x, those selection problems could be properly solved.

If you’d add a focus state to the list, you might be able to at least partially solved this problem as well.

  1. Name not shown for currently selected symbol
    This is related to point 1 and 2.

I select a particular symbol library. All its symbols are shown on the right. If I now pick a particular symbol, I can’t see its name anywhere in the Symbols view: zhe selection in the list doesn’t move to the picked item, so I can’t see it there; the inspector doesn’t reveal the symbol’s name either.

Again, to me, this points to a somewhat unsolved problem with that “Show/hide other symbols” option of your UI and/or a missing text input field for a symbol’s name in the inspector.



Hi again,

Thanks for all the great feedback provided. That is something we are looking for to always try to improve your experience using our little tool.

  1. That is an interesting request which could improve the naming process of a symbol.
    I’ve added this request to our internal tracker so we can review and consider it for the future.

  2. I understand that a focus by simple clicking a symbol could be useful (and I added that to your previous forum request). Meanwhile you can double click any item to put the focus on it, which can be convenient for the duplicate process you mentioned below.

BTW since our last releases, the selection should move to the newly created item if you add one.

  1. I agree on this related to the previous points you mentioned and a text field for a symbol’s name or a better focus in the symbols list would answer this one.

Again if others would like to see these improvements, please let us know (or add your Like/Heart vote above) to help us prioritize this request.

Thanks for your input @weder, we truly appreciate it. :wink: