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Weekly Release: Zoom Zoom!

I forget who told me that you should always hire people who are smarter than you, but boy am I thankful for the advice!

I knew Marco was smarter than me pretty soon after I met him. His work on the Zoom feature, which we're releasing today, proved it once again.

So let's get to it!

Zoom, or how did we ever live without it for so long?

As all good UIs should be, zoom is nearly invisible. There are a few new menu items in the View menu, there's a new zoom icon on the toolbar (with a special hover effect we came up with - try it!) and most importantly there are new keyboard shortcuts to zoom in and out.
Other than that, the feature should "just work", allowing you to work at "the right zoom level to get the job done".

The keyboard shortcuts to remember are (as always, substitute CTRL with APPLE on the mac):

  • CTRL + +, zoom in
  • CTRL + -, zoom out
  • CTRL + 0, zoom to fit (this is good to get a bird's-eye view of your mockup)
  • CTRL + 1, zoom to Actual size (100%, 1:1)

We are VERY pleased with the feature, and would love to hear your thoughts on it. As with all new features, there is room for improvement and some rough edges, but with your help we'll make it better every week. Stay with us! 🙂

For example, we'll add the "pan" feature soon, as the two go hand-in-hand.

One thing we had to do was to change the keyboard shortcuts for growing and shrinking text because they were conflicting (and zoom is more important). You now have to also hold ALT down together with the shortcuts above to change the font size. We don't like to change things like this but we hope you'll agree that it's worth it in this case.

Many many thanks go out to everyone who contributed to the GetSatisfaction thread about the feature and helped us test it: tomr, Michael, Laszlo, Adam, Gareth, Justin, Luke, Jeff, Rob, Dan, Milhaus, Regis, Jim, Jenni, Chris, Steve, Andi, lewen7er9, Jon, Luc, Ben, Aaron, this one's for you. 😉

Canvas Border Styles and Color

We added two more border styles to the Canvas / Rectangle control, as well as support for border color.
Many thanks to Jenni Merrifield for the eloquent and very convincing feature request, and to Duke and Laurent for pushing us to make it as good as it could be.

Other Improvements

Added linking support for Trees, Menus and List controls. One link per line, simple as that.

UI Library Filters: Thanks to feedback from Justin Vincent of TechZing and now TweetMiner fame, and to fschaap, we realized that the way we had changed the behavior of the UI Library filters last week was not optimal. We made a change to fix it: now clicking on a button will switch the filter to that button, but holding SHIFT while clicking will add to the current filter. It's easier to try than explain, and don't worry about remembering this since it's in the tooltip as well. 🙂

PDF Export: Fixed a bug in PDF export that had to do with BMML files with dots in their names. Sorry it took a while, this was a 5-minute fix! Thanks to Chris Mears and others for reporting it.

During the week we also fixed a bug with going full-screen when the inspector was docked, which would pretty much break everything. Thanks to essepi and others for reporting it, we fixed it in 1.6.50.

Improved the looks of the Geometric Shape controls and of the Image placeholder a bit more. Sorry it's taking me so many iterations to get it right, it's not that hard but I guess I was going too fast before.

How do I upgrade?

  • Mockups for Desktop: here (you might hit this one-time error if you haven’t updated in a while)
  • Mockups for Confluence: here
  • Mockups for JIRA: here
  • Mockups for XWiki: here
  • Mockups for FogBugz: here (onDemand customers: this will go live for you automatically in a few days)
  • Web Demo: here

On a personal note, I'm starting to really like the app, it's getting there... 😉

What's next?

Here's what's cooking right now:

  • sortable tabs for the Desktop version
  • a way to take a snapshot of a web page from within the app (only in the Desktop version for now)
  • a new cleaner but still sketchy skin: designer friends, we'll need your help with this one, it's gotta be GOOD, "Andy-Budd good". 😉
  • web app private beta members: we plan to push a new build with RTC and tons of other improvements before Christmas.


Peldi for the Balsamiq Team

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Comments (5)

  1. Peldi,
    Thankyou for fixing the UI Library Filter usability so quickly. You have created an amazing product.

    All our Business Analysts use Balsamiq now, and they love it. Having used other products, I am convinced it is your attention to usability that makes such a significant difference.

    Keep up the great work. 🙂


  2. Pingback: Balsamiq Company Blog

  3. Oh my god this is THE feature I needed as I do very very large mockups that sometimes goes to the limit of the allowed space. This is absolutely awesome. Now if adobe could add the right-left scrolling that would be even better ^^

  4. Huge update! Free? =)

    Peldi – what’s the fastest version of AIR for Mockups? I just switched computers and forgot what the latest thinking was…

    [Air 2.0 beta is really fast:

  5. Thank you for the zoom! I’ve needed this many times and will definitely put it to good use.