Balsamiq Community Discussion

Quality of PDF with BMockups 3


Have others noticed that the quality of exported mockups to PDF appears to be pretty low with the Balsamiq Mockups 3 update? My mockups export to PDF but look a little blurry. I’m using a Mac and Balsamiq version 3.0.5.


Hi @Jorge_Borges, sorry for the trouble. This is not a new problem with version 3. The issue is that our exports are all bitmap-based, so they don’t scale well, and the text can’t be copied. This is on our list for the future, but we don’t have an ETA yet. Thanks!


Thank you for the response @ben. Copying text would be nice but I’m not sure that scaling is my concern. When looking at PDFs at 100% of their actually size the text is still a bit blurry. I don’t recall this being an issue with the 2x versions of Balsamiq. Would you mind double-checking this?


Sorry I confused things with the technical details! I did some tests, and didn’t see any difference in quality from 2.2. I’ll check with our developers, but I don’t think we changed anything in this area with this release. Sorry for the hassle!


OK, thank you @ben !


@ben fixing this is a must! Balsamiq is such an awesome program. However, the rendering issue makes it a bit awkward to share the design with others. Looking forward to the update!


Hi there, has there been an update to this? All PDF exports are very blurry on my macbook pro with Balsamiq 3 and also 2.xx.

An alternative question to this - will the PDF export be sharper if I use a non-retina laptop like macbook air or even an external display?



Hi @kenyansagi,

This is definitely on our list for the future, but we don’t have an ETA yet.

The PDF export will have the same quality but might display better on a non-retina display, at least the blurry effect should be less obvious.

If you need to share your project in high resolution, a great workaround for now is to share the BMPR file instead, please find all related informations here:

Hope this helps! :smile:


Hey there,
So I am in the same boat… (love mockups btw).

I don’t mean to beat a dead horse but it seems there is some weirdness specifically with the pdf export… .it’s not a zooming or bitmap issue. I’ve included a screenshot of the pdf image and a png side by; both at 100%… .I guess I’m curious why this would happen with a pdf, but not the png?


This is strange. I am not experiencing any degradation after exporting mockup to PDF. What size(s) are you using for your mockups in Balsamiq?


I have the trial version of Mockups and this is preventing me from buying it. The PDF is really poor quality. For example, the notes next to a curly brace at default size are 10 pixels high for a capital ‘A’. It’s blurry and strains the eyes when I try to read it. When I zoom in, I can count that the font is 10 pixels high. Increasing the font size makes it more readable, but still blurry.

I love everything about this software except the PDF export quality. This is what many of us present to clients and it would be great if we could somehow adjust the quality, or even better if you offered an SVG option for PDF export.

Please, please, please fix this. High resolution or SVG output for PDF.


you are right… here is another example… i m on windows… using mockups 3.3.3… having same problem… PDFs are blurred or washed out


Same issue here. I am using mockups for Google Drive. I exported my mockups to a pdf and they are so grainy/low res that it’s almost embarrasssing to share them with anyone. Please help @Virgin if there is anything I can do to preserve image quality when exporting?


I’m sorry that this continues to be an issue, guys. It’s a pain for us too.

The main issue is that Adobe Air/Flash only supports bitmap based exports, so we are at the mercy of a lossy format. This will change when we go native, and I’m super sorry for any frustration it causes you until then.

In the interim, exporting as a PNG or borderless PDF may offer better resolution.

The majority of our development team is working on the native version of the app, and we are hoping to talk more about it real soon. We are excited :smile:


Thanks @Brendan. Looking forward to that as it’s hard to share in print where I work with the current export quality.


Using Mac version 3.1.1, I love the program, but today had to do an export for a client to use on a slide show presentation and the poor quality of the exports even as PNG’s just lets the program down. Very disappointing that this is taking such a long time to solve.


I’m really sorry about that @tim. We are at the mercy of Adobe’s image exporter here, unfortunately. :frowning:

That’s one of the many reasons that we have been doing everything we can to move away from Adobe Flash/Air, and move towards a native application. PDFs in that application will be full resolution SVGs, rather than compressed BMPs. We should have more news about that soon!

If you’re able, I would highly recommend that you update your copy of Mockups 3. We have added a lot of great things to make wireframing even easier, as well as implementing a backup system just in case something happens to your file.

We are working hard to make high-res PDFs a reality, friends. We will talk more soon!


Hi Brendan, thanks for getting back to me on that. Are we looking at weeks or months before this is likely to come out? I’ll also upgrade as you suggest. Thanks, Tim


We are hoping to have a closed beta of the web version this fall (fingers crossed) and the Desktop versions should follow that.

That being said, once the web version is available, we will be updating the web demo to use the new native editor. That means that you will be able to upload your project to it and export the high-resolution PDF, even if you don’t have a subscription.

It won’t be the smoothest workaround, for sure, but it will allow you to get those high-res PDFs ahead of the updated desktop apps.


Hi Brendan, OK looking forward to it. By the way I WORKED OUT A SOLUTION to get a considerably higher output prior to your new product release. View the mockup on a retina display (which renders Balsamiq Mockups graphics considerably better, this does not work on a lower resolution monitor) and Hide Navigator (top LHS menu - this information is for anyone else visiting this forum, not for you!) additionally Hide Inspector, Hide Project (top RHS menu). Then using the Zoom Tool (magnifying glass in menu) select “Fit in Window”. Then take a screen shot of this (Shift + Command + 4 on Mac). This gave me a SHARP image as an output file. It obviously only works with what is in the display window, so one would need to take multiple screen shots and stitch them together for a longer page. Hope this might be of benefit to someone else, who is also stuck. Cheers, Tim