Balsamiq Community Discussion

Parenting controls to window for desktop application mockup


I’m new to balsamic, I want to do a quick and dirty desktop application GUI mockup. I’m struggling with basic things like creating a top toolbar a bit like in Word or LibreOffice:

I am finding that I cannot create a rectangle or other control and have it ‘parent’ to the main window. Or join to other windows… if I place everything then make the toolbar 2px taller, it will overlap everything underneath it, etc.

I’m aware I can group things but this seems very cumbersome compared to basic abilities like locking a control relative to its parent window, etc.

Is this sort of thing just not supported, or am I missing it? I’m a developer not a designer so maybe my way of doing things is not how designers work?


Hi @jdxjohn and thanks for getting in touch.

You’re right, there is no way to lock an element (and its aspect ratio) to another for now but I’ll add your vote for this feature request.

I wanted to point out that our Symbols feature might be useful for you. It allows you to create a custom element and reuse it in different wireframes. Then, when you need to update it, doing it in one place will propagate in all your symbol instances.

Hope this helps! Let us know if you need anything else.


Symbols are certainly a very welcome feature - thanks! Yes this kind of docking/locking/parenting would be so useful IMHO as a new user - coming from a development background I’m so used to tools like Visual Studio and Visio providing it.