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_italic_, [links] and *bold*!

Hi there. I just finished coding a new feature which I think you may like.

You can now use the following notation to format only certain parts of your control's text:

  • for italic, use _this notation_
  • for a link, use [this notation]
  • for bold, use *this notation*

Here's a screenshot of what the above text looks like in a Paragraph control, for instance:


The shortcuts will work almost everywhere, where it makes sense.

You can escape *, _, [ and ] characters with \*, \_, \[ and \], so if you want to write "this [is] some text" and don't want the "is" to become a link, just type "this \[is\] some text".

This is a big change so before I push it live I'd love it if some of you could help me test it by installing the pre-release build and playing with it for a few days (as always, no guarantees). If everything goes well, I'll put the change in this Sunday's weekly 1.5 release, update the help page and all that good stuff.

For feedback, post it here or on GetSatisfaction (there are a number of threads about this feature already).


Peldi for the Balsamiq Team

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Comments (20)

  1. @Zuber, text linked using bracket syntax [like this] has been implemented for some time now.

  2. Did Steve’s request go live? The one with connecting a page to a linked text feature you guys were working on.

  3. Samantha L: for underlined, use &this notation&

    More info here:

  4. Hi – any plans to add an underline text feature?

    Samantha L
  5. Hi. When I have put a [link] into some text, how do I then link that to the page i want it to go to? Thanks for your help.

    • Hi Steve, we’re working on that feature RIGHT NOW! In the next release, you’ll be able to assign links to [bracketed text] as well. Hang in there and stay tuned on this blog for updates!

      Peldi Guilizzoni
  6. @mystrdat. That *should* work, but it looks like you’ve found a bug. We’ll file it for the dev team to fix in an upcoming release. Sorry about that, and thanks for reporting it!

  7. A paragraph with something like “author:@o*pr*ah” doesn’t bold the text, but displays the stars for me. Bug/feature?

  8. Italics is not working for me, neither _word_ markup nor the Italics selection in the properties layer.

    I am using:
    Version: 2.1.6 – 10/05/2011 11:30 (Air)
    Adobe AIR Player Version: MAC 11,0,1,152

    I’ll download 2.1.7 and see if that helps.

    Melody Shores
  9. I need to be able to make individual headings and words different font sizes, all caps, etc. Is that possible?

    [Peldi: you mean within the same paragraph control? That’s not possible right now.]

  10. Any chance of being able to do a similar thing with colour for letters and words within a paragraph or table?

    Nick Ingham
  11. I spoke too soon–[____] works for links, but *____* isn’t bolding for me in paragraph text. Italicizing is working, too.

    Jenn Sturm
  12. This works great. Thanks!!

    Jenn Sturm
  13. Hi Jenn, most of the text in the controls of Mockups is bold by default, so bolding some text within it won’t make a difference, like you noticed. Some controls like Paragraph or Label allow you to “unbold” the text via the properties panel. If you do so, the words you *bolded* will stay bold.

    Jerry, I know this is not consistent everywhere, but I think simplicity (i.e. less options) trumps consistency in some cases.

    As for what you’d like to do, you can now achieve it with a label control, just type this: “[link1] | [link2] | active link | [link4]”

    Thanks for the feedback everyone, I’m pushing this live tomorrow!

    Peldi Guilizzoni
  14. Thanks Peldi. I did try it out on the Paragraph of Text control and it works perfectly. Here’s a bit more…
    – The List control: I noticed that the property panel doesn’t allow for character styling (bold, etc.). It seems that any control that includes text ought to (should? but now that I review the controls, maybe not?) allow for character styling. For example, the Link Bar control. A common usage of this control (for me) is to show the link (in the link bar) corresponding to the current page as ‘normal’ or ‘deselected’ (not a link). Even with the new funtionality, I can’t make that happen.

    I’ll keep playing and send along any other comments you might find helpful.
    Thanks again,
    – Jerry

  15. A couple of days ago I was telling my coworker I was going to request this very feature. I was grouping links with tables to simulate clickable links in a table. You read my mind. I have used a lot of mockup tools, and by far, Balsamiq is the best of the breed. I will test more later. Keep up the great work!

  16. Works for me with linking — also ensured that checkbox functionality was still working..

  17. This is a great addition, especially the hyperlink.

    I downloaded and did a quick test with a Text Link. The bold doesn’t seem to be working. Here’s some screen shots.

    Btw, with Firefox on Mac, this comment window is broken on your blog…

    [Peldi: thanks Patrick! The bold doesn’t work on that control because it’s already bold. Try it on a Paragraph control and “unbold” it in the property inspector. I know, not 100% consistent everwhere, but I think it works well enough…thanks for the screenshot about the commenting window, I just fixed it]

  18. That works well. My only additional feedback is that it’d be nice to be able to highlight selected text and apply the formats through the Property Inspector.

    [Peldi: I was thinking of adding 3 buttons to the top of the editing text area…but let’s start with this and see how it feels for a while…]

  19. That’s nice and simple. Works for me escaping as necessary.