I also have an issue with auto-save when I open up a mockup only to view it. Then I play around it and if I accidentally do a change it’s synchronized to Dropbox. I understand that you think it’s a great feature but it’s not working for us.
+1 for that suggestion
I also have some little issues with the auto-save feature. As I’m working on a Balsaiq template for my colleagues, I gave them instructions to save a project under their own name before they start actually working. But for many applications it’s not a standard behaviour, so some people could think that in Balsamiq they could also make some changes and then save them under their own name. So because of that I need to clear the template file from time to time. And I find it a very useful feature to be able to turn the auto-save off.
Auto-save is ruining our lives here. Someone asked me to see some mockups about a specific feature. I opened up a bunch of project just to look and boom!, it saved them and therefore changed the date of the file. Now, I cannot see which projects where last modified because they get saved just by looking at them.
Having an option to turn off autosave and let users save when they want is just common sense to me. Other apps let the users save when they want to (Work, Photoshop, Visual Studio…). I’m wondering why you guys chose a different path.
I just encountered a new problem with the auto-save feature. I needed to copy a single mockup page from one project file into another, so I used drag and drop from one mockup thumbnails pane to the other one. The mockup page arrived fine in the other project, but it brought all the symbols from the other project with it, although most of the symbols used in both projects are identical. Unfortunately, undo is not working for this operation, so I now have a lot of manual work to delete all the unused symbols, and there is no way to just restore a previous version of the file. That is really, really annoying.
I still appreciate the idea of auto-saving, and normally I am a strong advocate of this. But the way it is currently is just not working.
Dealing with auto-save better has been the source of a lot of internal discussion recently.
New to Balsamiq Mockup (just started digging in this week) … fan of the product, but not a fan of the auto-save. I frequently make changes to a design without the intention of saving it. Please provide the ability to undo these saves or “revert to previous” as is present in all Adobe Creative Suite products and can be a life saver.
"more will be revealed"
Sorry that I haven’t been better about giving updates on this!
We currently have two save-related changes in the pipeline:
- The snapshot feature that was discussed earlier in this thread (being able to revert to a previous mockup state.) This should help with folks who like to mess around with a mockup, but don’t want to keep those changes. We are hoping to get that released this fall.
- We are also looking at changing the way Mockups autosaves. Right now, every change is committed to the main project file, and that can cause problems with networked drives and other syncing services. We are playing around with saving to a temporary file and then committing those changes after either a period of inactivity, or when a user actively saves the file.
This has been a big discussion internally, and we’d love to get feedback from you all about the direction we are going. I’ll do my best to give updates as changes are made.
Thanks for poking me about this. I’ll be better about updating in the future
Why not have it work like Word for Windows which auto-saves while you’re working on a document. If your computer crashes, it can recover from the crash the next time Balsamiq is opened. But to save something, you have to click the save button.
Using Word as a template is definitely a route we are considering. We have actually been checking out a lot of different apps to see their behavior. Keynote, for example, waits until you are inactive and then commits a save (which you can roll back with versions.) That’s another route we are looking at.
Really, the 2nd update is still very pliable. As you and I have talked about, @jlehew, navigating cross-platform expectations can be tricky. You sometimes find yourself in a situation where you are accommodating one platform at the expense of the other, or (even worse) finding a middle ground that manages to only minorly annoy both sides. Both of those situations suck, and we are doing what we can to avoid them.
The expectation, across the board (I think,) is that your data is there, and you’re able to change it in a non-destructive way. That’s what we’re shooting for.
Keynote, for example, waits until you are inactive and then commits a save (which you can roll back with versions.)
As long as I don’t need to revert my “changes” when I open a sketch from a shared drive (Dropbox, netshare, etc). No manual work/revert should be needed if I haven’t choose to save
I think I like the Word version better
+1 to disable auto save for the same reasons as already stated above.
Unfortunately this is a breaking feature for us.
We are using a Document management system, every change now asks us if we want to save it back to the database.
Please provide a turn-off autosave option as soon as possible.
Edit: The suggeston from Brendan nr 2. Would be ideal, minus the inactivity=auto-save. It would cause the same pop-up in some scenarios.
I prefer to save manually so I know at which point my file is being saved. I found the auto-save confused me when I was trying to save slightly different versions of my project; I ended up working on the wrong one a few times before I realised I could only do a ‘Save as’ type action by leaving Balsamiq and copying/renaming the files in Windows.
With auto-save present, I like the message being displayed when I press Ctrl-S - I do this because I have no idea how frequently the auto save happens, so I want to be sure my very latest change is saved at times.
For me the perfect solution would be to auto save to a generic location just for backup, but only save to the ‘real’ one when manually requested. Then I am in control of my saving but have a backup in case of sudden coffee-laptop-death.
After about three weeks working with the trial version (plan to purchase license this week), regarding the auto-save feature I would suggest the following (item number one has a bit more than just auto-save):
Create a Preferences (⌘,) option under the Balsamics Mockups 3 (as with majority of Mac applications) and mechanism to turn auto-save on/off, so as not to require for each Project created (move other options here, as well … font name, font size, default container sizes, default text within containers, and many other application wide settings);
Create a Revert (similar to feature in all Adobe Creative Suite apps, or “Revert to” if versioning is used (similar to Apple suite of office apps–Pages, Numbers, Keynote);
Create a recovery file where auto-save writes changes, and this file can be discarded for “Revert” or applied if “Save” is selected.
As I stated above, I am a Balsamiq rookie, and I believe these features would improve the functionality of this app immensely when experimenting with changes and/or saving files (Projects).
Thank you for your time and consideration … Mock On!
Thanks @Wynnefield, your feedback is awesome . I think we will be addressing almost all of those things with the changes we will be rolling out over the next few months.
Speaking of that, I think I owe you all an update on this!
We are planning to have a release in the next week (or thereabouts) that addresses the first leg of our auto-save revamp: Mockups not getting along with networked drives. Similar to Wynne’s 3rd suggestion, we are going to be auto-saving every change to a local backup file (similar to what we do with the main file now) and then committing those changes after a period of inactivity.
The 2nd leg of the revamp will come later this fall with our versioning system. Again, using Wynne’s example, this will allow you to revert to a previous version of the Project, undoing any changes you’ve made. We are committed to delivering this one before the end of fall.
If you would like to give our networked drive solution a test run, head over to https://balsamiq.com/download/next and grab the latest Mockups beta. For those of you who want to stick with official releases, we will be posting here when this version is released!
Thanks again, everyone. We are working hard to get this right for all of our users, and we think this upcoming release gets us closer to that goal
Glad to see a thread where you’re actively seeking feedback on this. Great work.
I’ve just updated to the new version of Balsamiq and found the autosave function very difficult to come to terms with.
It’s not the feature itself - it’s just the way you’ve implemented it.
If there is an established convention regarding how something works it’s usually best to just go with that instead of coming up with a new way that is unique to your system. That way people don’t have to stop and think about what system they are in and what rules apply.
Programs like MS Office and others don’t autosave to the project file, they autosave to a temporary file and only lock the changes in when the user actively saves the file. If the user chooses ‘Save As’ and enters a new file name (different to the file they are editing) the changes are locked in against that new file and the original file is left unchanged. I instinctively expected this to happen in Balsamiq and I’ve been getting myself tied in knots because you guys are doing things differently.
I keep loosing my ‘starting template’ file because any change is saved over the top immediately.
I also have the constant dropbox notification problem.
Anything you can do to bring Balsamiq’s autosave function more in line with established conventions will get my vote.
Just a quick question on the ‘committing to the project file after a period of inactivity’ bit.
Isn’t that kind of just creating the same problem but now it’s just happening a bit less less frequently?
then committing those changes after a period of inactivity
Or commiting when I tell BM to save the mockup. I recently was hit by a bug in BM that screwed up my project and
ctrl-z didn’t work. Then the sketch was already saved…
this will allow you to revert to a previous version of the Project, undoing any changes you’ve made
Considering the number of saves BM is doing (on every change) there will be quite many revisions, no?
I agree with above comment. Why change something that works for other applications?
Disclaimer. I haven’t tested the new version. This is only my concern from reading this thread.