Balsamiq Community Discussion

Not possible to link external images


I started to convert a more complex project to beta 3. But I had to stop after 5 minutes. Currently, we have the following setup (in 90% of all our projects):

  • we create mockups for individual screens
  • we export these screens as .png
  • we link these .pngs in different other mockups to add descriptions and more details


  • we have to export the initial mockups as png and all the subsequent mockups are updated automatically

With B3, I can’t use the concept anymore. Symbols won’t do:

  • most of these mockups are used only once and I don’t want to create that many symbols
  • lots of these mockups are nested, and it’s not possible to nest symbols

Possible solution:

a) (simple)

  • re-introduce the possibility to link images again

b) (fancy)

  • copy the png into the project file
  • keep a checksum and the link information
  • if the linked file is updated, import the new linked file

c) (unknown)

  • you might have other ideas

d) (killer)

  • ignore the old feature


I also have an issue where I go to place an external image. Once I click to add it to the Assets, the image disappears. I want to keep everything managed in a project, but I can’t do that, so I’m back to Mockups 2 for this project.


@andi, your workflow is nothing like I’ve heard before!

Could you please expand on this? Why not add the markup on top of the mockup directly?

@Nathan_Snelgrove I don’t understand your bug report, sorry. Does this happen with all images you import? How are you importing them? Menu or dragging?


Does the following mockup makes sense?

Mockups of subprojects are used in mockups of the some or other subprojects. Might be, there are other solutions for our current work environment, but that’s the one that we use and it works pretty good. But we have to link images (with relative paths).

Might be, that we can use symbols within one workflow of a subproject, but not across workflows or even subprojects. And we would have to create too many (nested) symbols.


Any news on how you’ll handle linked image files?


Hi Andi, at this point, we don’t have plans to re-introduce external linked images. Let’s keep this thread open to see if others vote for it.


That’s a pity, as I don’t see a way to solve our workflow without. This way, we are stuck to Mockups V2.


This is, I think, related to the discussion around the removal of shared account assets in general.


Partly. Yes for the auto update of external resource. No for the “assets” location.

We heavily work with external resources, but only a few of them are in the assets folder. And we could live happily without the later.


I guess that’s it. I have to look for another solution. Please let me know, as soon as this topic shows up on your radar again.



We’ll do Andi. We tried a design to solve this internally but it had some flaws. We’ll let you know once we attack it again.

Also, 2.2 is still supported for another year or so (though we don’t plan on new releases for it), so we have some time…


Thanks for the reply. I’d love to go for Mockups 3! There are some very nice features I’d like to use. I’ll draw some mockup to explain my use case. Perhaps you can show me a new workflow with Mockups 3?


OK, here the setup we use in (more or less) all our specifications:

I hope you can see the benefit of linking external images. Andi


Andi! The solution for this use-case is to let you add comments from within the app, and let you specify areas (optionally) for each comment!

This is very much planned, give us a few months.


Just to make sure: the individual mockups have cropped parts of the original image exported in step 1.


Right. So our solution would be to eliminate the need for the extra individual mockups with cropped parts of the image. Instead, you could add some comments and indicate which section of the mockup they pertain to. We’re really excited about this. Hopefully you will be too! :smile:


Stupid me. I should always tell the whole story: I copy the cropped and documented mockups to word.

If you can do this and group them in a folder within a Mockups project, your my man! :wink:


Any progress here, ideas to share, release plan to publish?


Nothing yet @andi, the idea I had didn’t work out. We’re still thinking about it and assessing how big of a pain point this is for our customer base as a whole.


I understand your position. But my position is: what available feature I rely on will you drop with the next release?

Our company is in software development, and supporting existing data and workflow is key. It stands against the so called “golden features”, at least “golden feature” is our internal term for features, that turned out very expensive to implement but end up unused. How hard is this feature to implement with your current architecture? You have to decide. The sooner the better.