PDF Export Quality


#1

Hi everyone,

I’m currently evaluating Mockups 3 and have some trouble with the PDF Export. No matter which options I choose, the output looks blurry and cannot be sent to clients.
“Optimize for viewing on-screen” seems to work best, but even then the result is not acceptable. Lines and text are blurred considerably, as you can see on this screenshot (left: source file, right: PDF).

Is there any way to improve this? I don’t see why the output would be so bad, considering it’s all vector graphics. This would be a no-go when deciding for the purchase of a license of this otherwise excellent tool.

Thanks for any hints on how to resolve this!

Cheers, Michael


#2

Hi, Michael. Sorry for the PDF quality issues. The app exports to bitmap only—the controls are bitmap based and text are exported as images as well. This is a limitation of the Air/Flash platform. The work we’re doing on making the app native for the next generation of Mockups will export to vector shapes, so this won’t be an issue when we’re there. This has been the focus of our work to improve Mockups overall.

If you have to send a file, Optimize for Screen will export at the highest quality. The best quality you can present with client the client is onscreen. You could also send them your file and have them download the free Trial version—they won’t need a license to view.


#3

Hi Mike, thanks for the quick reply.
Can you give a rough estimate on when the next version will be available? I know, software devs hate that question, I’m asking anyway :slight_smile:


#4

Hi @michael, it will be a while. As you can imagine it’s a big project.


#5

Hello,
Any update on this for May 2016?

As Michael mentioned, the output is very fuzzy and not great to share with clients. Yes, the Trial version is an option.


#6

Sorry for the lack of updates on this @Design_SeventyOne.

We are planning on running a beta of our Native Web App this summer, with the release being after that. All native apps will support vector PDFs (with text), and the image quality is much improved.

We will have more details on the beta soon :slight_smile:


#7

I’d like to get in on that beta if possible.

Thanks for the update


#8

Hi guys,

Just to second (or third) the interest. I love Balsamiq, but we are running into the same issue. We unfortunately aren’t comfortable showing potential investors the prototype directly on iPhone due to the resolution issues so we are potentially going to have to re-mock them in another tool. So it’s pretty significant friction. The text on the letters of the keyboard is even hard to read.

I’d love to get involved with the beta too.

Sorry, this isn’t meant as a gripe, just reinforcing that it’s definitely a top interest for us as well.

Thanks, keep up the great work!


#9

For all interested, the built-in PDF export tool renders significantly lower-resolution images, however, I’ve found the “Export to PNG” feature to maintain much higher quality. I’ve been using that feature, then packaging them into a PDF manually. It works for me, but I can see how that would be very inconvenient for projects that are quite large.


#10

Same here. PDF is very low quality. Understanding that you need to convert to raster images, why not just higher-res raster images? Doubling it would help tremendously. Exporting to PNG isn’t going to help because we use the linking feature between pages that is exported to the PDFs.


#11

Wanted to chime in here with the same feedback. The ability to double the resolution of exports would go a long way between now and the new version.


#12

I’ll check with the team to see if this is possible @Alden_Daniels.

I have a feeling that our hands are tied by Adobe Air, even for this… :frowning:


#13

Thanks @Brendan!


#14

Are there any news regarding an improved export to PDF by increasing the resolution? I agree with Michael that the current export quality isn´t acceptable to use the mockups for client presentations.

Thanks for your help.


#15

Hey @Axel, sorry for the radio silence on this. It is something we have been working on.

Our native web-based editor exports PDFs as vector-based SVGs, so things will be getting better soon. I don’t have a firm date as to when we will have that available for general use, but we are hoping to go into closed beta before the end of the summer.

The other non-Air based apps will have this as well; so as those roll out, so will the new exporter.


#16

Obviously you are making this cross platform, as for Windows, iOS and Linux (specially Debian), and this latter, my friend, is the one that most intrigues me. It is very important that my company can actually develop on Balsamiq by means of using Linux, as it is the only authorized OS to use for us.


#17

A Linux app is definitely on the table, @ForegroundApps. We will look into it after we finish the macOS and Windows apps.


#18

Hello
Its well past summer at this point, how do things stand on the improved export (to vector) feature in the new release? Really would like an update. Love simplicity of balsamiq though starting to look seriously at other platforms due to the poor export quality.


#19

Totally understand @Design_SeventyOne.

We are very close to the closed beta of the new editor. We have all been using it internally, so it shouldn’t be too much longer (assuming the beta goes well.)

I’m sorry that this took longer than we anticipated. It turned out to be a bit more work than we thought it would be. But we are close now!


#20

That means your dev team is ‘doing it right’.

Thanks for the update and look forward to trying it.