Balsamiq Community Discussion

Symbols vanished from Mockup



I do a lot of copying and pasting from one bmpr file to another – its how I sort-of version my work.

This time, after a lot of work, I went into the list of symbols, and discovered 3 or 4 categories called “Project Symbols”. I went over all the symbols I had, and deleted those that had no uses. Sometimes I deleted the whole “Project Symbols” folder, sometimes just the unused symbols. When I was done, I had 2 Project Symbol folders. I dragged the symbols into the same “Project Symbols” folder, and continued my work.

Everything went fine until it came time to create a PDF. The process of creating a PDF hung. I had to force-quit Balsamiq. When I re-opened Balsamiq, MOST instances of the two symbols that I dragged from one “Project Symbols” folder into the other had vanished from my mock ups. Several pages still had the symbols, but most didn’t.

I’m now in the process of going from one to another of the 55 or so mockups I have, and using the “Transform to” feature (thank you! thank you!) to restore the remaining placeholders.
Here’s a screen shot of the missing symbols:

I can’t upload the bmpr (3.6 megs), and I couldn’t upload a zipped version either – sorry.


PS: I’m using Mockups Version 3.5.5 – 10/13/2016 07:11
Adobe Air Player Version: WIN 24,0,0,174


I’m very sorry for the trouble and the extra work this causing you @bdubrovsky.

One thing we can try is to see if the missing symbols are in the backup.

If you don’t mind, try sending the BMPR with the missing symbols in an email to so we can dig deeper. I’ll be on the lookout for your email.

Sorry again for the hassle and thanks for your help!


Hi Phil,

No worries – I redid the work. I mostly wanted to report the behavior to you so you guys could track it down and fix it. Again, the problem isn’t that the symbols were deleted – I moved the symbols from one folder to another – the problem is that the instantiation of the symbols on the individual mockups didn’t seem to follow the transfer from one folder to another.

Thanks again,



Hi Ben,
I reread your original post and did some testing and here is what I’m thinking. If you had 3 or 4 symbol folders (libraries) called “Project Symbols” I’m guessing you duplicated the library at some point. Does that ring a bell? This would create multiple copies of the same symbols with the same names. I’m guessing some of the missing symbols came from one of the “Project Symbols” libraries that you deleted. You would still have symbols with the same names in the remaining library, but the ones referenced in your mockup are gone. Does that make sense? I think the symbol library deletion is the root of the problem rather than moving symbols from one library to another, but I could be wrong. :slight_smile: Let me know what you think.

Regardless of the cause, I’m sorry this happened and I’m bummed that it caused you extra work.


Hi Phil,

I did duplicate - but I didn’t explicitly duplicate libraries. I duplicated the entire .BMPR file in Windows, and changed its name.

Then, I did delete symbols - but I was very careful to only delete Symbols that had no usages reported. When I was done, I was left with all but 2 symbols under one “Project Symbols” folder, and the other 2 in the separate one.

After dragging the 2 symbols over, I was able to continue working for hours. The problem only manifested after I had to force-quit (stuck in an export-to-pdf), and then only with the 2 symbols in question.

This leads me to believe that some internal reference that accounted for dragging the symbols from one library to another wasn’t properly saved when I force-quit.

Thanks for the interest - you guys seem to be on top of things!



Well, there goes my theory!

Thanks for additional details and you’re probably right about it not saving properly at the force-quit. I tried to reproduce, but so far no luck.

Hopefully this won’t happen again, but if it does, please shoot your BMPR to if you don’t mind and we’ll take a look.

Thanks again for reporting this Ben!


I have a copy of the BMPR before I fixed everything back up. Would that be useful? I can email you that (if you don’t make it public and delete it when done).


Sure thing, Ben. We take your privacy seriously and will never publicly share your files. I’ll be on the lookout for your BMPR. Thanks!