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Wireframes for Desktop Release Notes


Here are all the release notes for Balsamiq Wireframes for Desktop, ordered by release date (most recent first).

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08 July 2020

Direct download links:


We have a new little release with a bunch of improvements.

Here is what's new:

  • Windows and Mac: Adjusted the fullscreen dialog a little.
  • Windows and Mac: Fixed an issue with unicode chars that do not have a width during the PDF export.
  • Windows and Mac: Fixed an issue that could lead to selecting controls in different groups, which lead to an error.
  • Windows and Mac: Some UI tweaks to the dialog to handle conflicts when you import resources that already exist in the project.
  • Windows and Mac: Improved the detection if resources are already present in the project.
  • Windows: The app will use the system language for spellchecking.
  • Windows: Fixed an issue with a huge number of nested groups.
  • Windows: Fixed an error that could trigger while closing a window.
  • Windows: The link hints get correctly hidden in the fullscreen mode. Thanks Ralf for reporting it.
  • Windows: Imporing an image caused an error if it had no DPI information.
  • Windows: If the app tries to open a native save dialog with a file path that no longer exists, we will fall back to the default path.
  • Mac: We fixed a crash caused by the Icon inspector. Thanks Mario for reporting it!
  • Mac: We fixed an issue with the snaplines appearing thicker than they should.
  • Mac: Long wireframe names get now properly handled in the thumbnail view.
  • Mac: Fixed an error when you tried to connect to Balsamiq Cloud and a user avatar could not be retrieved.
  • Mac: Fixed an error when in a copy paste scenario with a Balsamiq Cloud project and a new unsaved project. Thanks Daniel for reporting it!

June 2020 Releases Summary

Hello, friends of Balsamiq! We hope this post finds you doing well.

As has become a tradition for our chats, it’s been a while since we spoke last. And, as it was the last time, that is not an indicator of us standing still. In fact, since the release of Balsamiq Wireframes for Desktop, we have been squashing bugs at a fever pitch.

Now that it has slowed a bit, we have been able to slide back into feature development. Over the next few months, there will be a couple of big (and highly-requested) features coming to our apps. Today, we are going to talk about the first one of those.

Image Links are a feature we introduced in our (now) vintage web-app, myBalsamiq - and they got a ton of use. Image Links were a safe way to embed your wireframes in places so folks could view them without having to sign up for myBalsamiq. Users used them in their Confluence Pages, their Jira Issues, and even their websites.

When we launched Balsamiq Cloud in 2016, we didn’t yet have a way to do Image Links in the new app. We knew we had to get started on re-writing our desktop apps, so we put Image Links on the backburner, knowing that folks who still needed them could stick with myBalsamiq for the time being.

This was immediately complicated by Adobe’s 2017 announcement regarding Flash’s end of life, which put a date on myBalsamiq’s demise (December of 2020). We were knee-deep into Desktop development at that point and didn’t have the bandwidth to support two large-scale development projects. We knew time was of the essence, though, and that Image Links had to be our first priority once we came out of Desktop development.

And so here we are, 6 months out from myBalsamiq's EOL, and Image Links are finally ready! As of this posting, they are live on Balsamiq Cloud, Balsamiq for Google Drive, Balsamiq for Confluence Cloud, and Balsamiq for Jira Cloud. If you’re accessing your Balsamiq Cloud projects through Balsamiq Wireframes for Desktop, you can generate your Image Links there too.

I don’t want to parrot the documentation for them too much, so you should go check them out. It’s a really nice implementation, and I think you’ll dig it. 🙂

Wireframes for Desktop Release Notes

So this next item isn’t a feature per se. It’s more of a…preview(?) of an upcoming feature. 🙂

In preparation for an upcoming desktop app feature, we have published all the release notes that we had been posting to our Community Slack. You can find the release notes page here.

More information on the feature they are tied to next time…

Balsamiq Wireframes for Linux (via Wine)

As it turned out, a lot of folks were using Mockups 3 for Desktop on Linux (using Wine), and we sort of left them hanging with Balsamiq Wireframes for Desktop as it didn't work nicely with Wine.

Today, we are correcting that. 🙂

Our latest Windows release of Balsamiq Wireframes for Desktop now works with Wine. If you’re looking to get started, check out our Github repo to find the installation instructions. There are a couple of bugs we are working on (for instance, it won’t connect to Balsamiq Cloud), but it should be very usable.

While we don’t officially support it, we’re happy to try to answer any questions or address issues you run into. Just drop us an email.

That’s all for this update, friends. We have a lot of things in various stages of cooking, and we will be sharing them with you real soon. Stay safe, and we will chat again soon.

Brendan for the Balsamiq Team


17 June 2020

Direct download links:


We have a nice update for our desktop versions packed with lots of bug fixes.

Here is what's new:

  • Windows and Mac: Compress new png assets to jpg, if the png does not use the alpha channel.
  • Windows and Mac: In Balsamiq Cloud projects you can now add an image sharing link.
  • Windows and Mac: Fixed a PDF export issue where the mime type of an image was wrong.
  • Windows and Mac: We fixed several issues with comments, when you never set the user information.
  • Windows and Mac: Preserve color when transforming a "Label" to an "Icon and Label" and back. Thanks Cory and Pluwen for reporting it.
  • Windows and Mac: Added a context menu for assets in the UI Library to delete the asset like we have in Balsamiq Mockups 3. Thanks Alex and Benedetto for reporting it.
  • Windows and Mac: The Checkbox control and the Radio Button control correctly apply the chosen color to the text. Thanks Klaus for reporting it.
  • Windows and Mac: Fixed an edge case where the color markup got displayed as text in Checkbox Group and Radio Button Group control.
  • Windows and Mac: Fixed a rendering issue in the Tree Pane control when you only had the symbol characters in the line. Thanks Karsten for reporting it.
  • Windows and Mac: We addressed a potential race condition that could cause errors.
  • Windows: Fixed an error that could occur during closing a project.
  • Windows: Fixed an error that could occur when dismissing a dialog.
  • Windows: Fixed an error when you disconnected your desktop version from Balsamiq Cloud.
  • Windows: Fixed that Balsamiq Wireframes correctly opens, when you connected your desktop version to Balsamiq Cloud and the application is closed.
  • Windows: You can now use Flickr to import an image when you use a proxy.
  • Windows: When emptying the trash the file size did not get correctly reduced.
  • Windows: Quick Add no longer stops working via remote control. Thanks Tomas for reporting it.
  • Windows: Fixed that the big arrow pointer got partially hidden in the presentation mode. Thanks Farzam for reporting it.
  • Mac: Clicking on a weblink in a comment gets correctly opened in the browser.
  • Mac: The mouse cursor changes now to a hand pointer when you hover over a link in the comments.

26 May 2020

Direct download links:


We have a nice update for our desktop versions packed with lots of bug fixes.

Here's what's new:

  • Windows and Mac: We fixed the issue when you could not paste after leaving the overwrite mode of a Symbol control. Thanks Paul and Chris for reporting it.
  • Windows and Mac: We fixed an error when the hierarchy information got corrupted.
  • Windows and Mac: Some control changes got communicated via real time collaboration, but the view was not updated in the other sessions.
  • Windows and Mac: When you had only two spaces in a Data Grid cell, we no longer write undefined into the cell. Thanks Jakob and Craig for reporting it.
  • Windows and Mac: The mouse pointer did not always display the correct state when you pressed the ALT key.
  • Windows and Mac: When you resized a group, with a link assigned to the group, we now update the link hint position. Thanks Benedetto for reporting it.
  • Windows and Mac: We fixed a potential error when iterating over symbols.
  • Windows and Mac: Pasting a control after switching to a wireframe correctly sets the focus to the canvas. Thanks Ingolf for reporting it.
  • Windows: Now supports system proxy, including the command line registration.
  • Windows: We fixed an error when you could not reload a project from Balsamiq Cloud due to e.g. network issues.
  • Windows: Fixed crashes while exporting to PDF or PNG due to font woes
  • Windows: Fixed a problem with incorrect cursor sizes depending on screen resolution. Thanks Danni for reporting it
  • Windows: Fixed group breadcrumb sometimes not showing up un multiple monitors.
  • Windows: Fixed canvas thick grey borders on small models.
  • Windows: Fixed an error cancelling a download request from cloud.
  • Windows: Fixed a problem in the scrolling of the navigator right after load. Thanks Hamilton for reporting it.
  • Windows: We fixed the "Transform to" dialog, which could sometimes not be dismissed.
  • Windows: Fixed opening projects in SharePoint. Thanks Michael for reporting it.
  • Windows: Fixed an offset in mouse pointer when selecting controls in the canvas.
  • Windows: Fixed blurry application moving it between monitors.
  • Mac: We fixed an error when you edited the wireframe notes and project notes.
  • Mac: When you start to edit the notes we set the focus now correctly, so you do not need a second click to set the focus yourself.
  • Mac: Editing the wireframe notes has now the same font size as when the text is saved and displayed.
  • Mac: The floating breadcrumb menu can no longer be partially hidden behind the UI Library.
  • Mac: When you opened a project that caused an error on open, we will restore the other projects you had open in the previous session. The open process used to stop after attempting to open the failing project.
  • Mac: Fixed an error with importing a renamed image. Thanks Sabine for reporting it.
  • Mac: Improved the scrolling of the navigator.
  • Mac: We fixed the preview of the drag and drop operation.
  • Mac: We fixed several UI issues with the Transform control panel.
  • Mac: We added some Cancel buttons to dialogs that you could dismiss with ESC but could not dismiss by pressing a button.
  • Mac: We fixed a crash when you tried to move a displayed element that shouldn't have been displayed anymore.

29 April 2020

Direct download links:


Here are the changes for todays release:

  • Windows and Mac: Data grid: Tabs no longer get replaced with a comma when you assign a text link.
  • Windows and Mac: Data grid: Spaces after a separator will be maintained when you assign a text link.
  • Windows and Mac: Data grid: Text links directly after a separator will be handled correctly.
  • Windows and Mac: Checkbox group and Radio button group support the color markup better and apply them properly to the checkboxes, radio buttons and text.
  • Windows and Mac: Fixed an issue where an image could be added via drag&drop but not via import from disk.
  • Windows and Mac: Some projects caused a crash on open, cause was the wireframe order combined with the hierarchy.
  • Windows and Mac: Fixed a potential crash when handling comments.
  • Mac: Improved the handling of dialogs. You can use Enter to confirm the button in focus.
  • Mac: Fixed an issue which caused that the link hints in PDFs where missing.
  • Mac: The characters ` and ´ get rendered correctly. They were swapped.
  • Mac: The single line text editor now scrolls again.
  • Mac: Fixed an issue that CTRL+Click did not get handled as right click.
  • Mac: Fixed a crash in the context of groups with the floating breadcrumb.
  • Mac: Corrected the mime/type for the bmpr files.
  • Windows: We use now .NET Core 3.1. This should give some performance improvements.
  • Windows: The installer displays now our application name in the msi installer dialog.
  • Windows: Reduced the min value for the application * Windowsdow size.
  • Windows: Fixed a crash when you dragged an Asset in the Asset view with the grid navigator.
  • Windows: We improved the styling of some error dialogs, to match the general feel of the application.

08 April 2020

Direct download links:


Now that the product is more stable, we are switching to a 3-week release cycle, which has worked well for us for years.

Today's release is primarily focused on fixing occasional crashes:

  • Windows and Mac: Fixed a crash in the list inspector, when switching between changing row hight and opening the icon inspector quickly.
  • Windows and Mac: Fixed a potential crash in the list inspector when you managed to trigger both increase row height and decrease at the same time.
  • Windows and Mac: Fixed a potential crash with duplicating alternates when the target alternate no longer exists.
  • Windows and Mac: Fixed a crash on redo of importing a project.
  • Windows and Mac: Fixed a crash in WireframesToGo. When you double clicked on a block of text or line of text we no longer try to transform the control to a text control.
  • Windows and Mac: Fixed a crash when pasting a control in an empty asset view. Thanks Benedetto for reporting it.
  • Windows and Mac: When you exit the overwrite mode of a symbol, the paste option now gets correctly enabled. Thanks Paul and Alex for reporting it.
  • Windows and Mac: When you drag and drop a text control from the UI Library onto the canvas, we now open the text editor right away, like we did in Mockups 3.
  • Windows and Mac: We updated the icons for Layering.
  • Mac: We fixed the border inspector not displaying all the options.
  • Mac: Renaming a wireframe, project or similar resource now correctly selects the existing name.
  • Mac: Scrollbars get displayed based on your system preferences.
  • Windows: We replaced the "Quit" label with the more common Windows term "Exit".
  • Windows: You can now use diacritical / special keyboard combination involving ALTGR when entering text.
  • Windows: We improved the error handling when an antivirus app blocks saving the registration file.
  • Windows: Fixed a potential crash when copying something.
  • Windows: Improved the sensitivity of the zoom with mouse wheel to respect the system settings.
  • Windows: Fixed an issue in the msi installer that you could not uninstall via command line.

18 March 2020

Direct download links:


Here's what's in today's release:

  • Windows and Mac: The UI Library stopped to update all elements when you changed the skin.
  • Windows and Mac: The About Dialog can now be closed with ENTER and ESC.
  • Windows and Mac: When you transform and Icon to an image we now maintain the rotation values. This also applies to Icon and Label control and the reverse directions. Thanks Benedetto for reporting it.
  • Windows and Mac: In PDFs the link hot areas were not above the linked element, when the wireframe was bigger than the PDF page size.
  • Windows and Mac: Fixed a crash when you saved a project the first time or to a new location while editing text.
  • Windows and Mac: Improved the hit area for double-clicking the separator between canvas and navigator to resize the navigator back to default width.
  • Mac: When import assets from the file system you may now select multiple files at once.
  • Mac: We fixed the colouring of the hierarchy triangle in multi-selects.
  • Mac: The canvas has now a shadow at the max coordinates, so you can recognise that you reached the edge.
  • Mac: On Sierra the inspector buttons should all be rendered correctly.
  • Mac: Replaced a misleading error message in the log with useful information about the registration state of the application.
  • Windows: The polish character ć can now be typed with AltGr+C on polish keyboards.
  • Windows: Addressed an issue when the license key contains a line break.
  • Windows: Fixed a potential crash in import from Flickr. Thanks Benedetto for reporting it.
  • Windows: Fixed a potential crash when data needs to be written to the LocalStorage
  • Windows: Addressed a crash when the access permission to Balsamiq Cloud change.

04 March 2020

Direct download links:


Our focus is still on addressing issues you have been reporting.

Here's what's in today's release:

  • Windows and Mac: We now add a space between the wireframe name and the alternate name, when exporting to PNG and PDF.
  • Windows and Mac: The transform control option in the Edit menu did not always get updated correctly.
  • Windows and Mac: Sometimes the Import JSON did not work on a new Wireframe. We fixed this. Thanks Benedetto for reporting it.
  • Windows and Mac: We improved the undo for Group resize.
  • Windows and Mac: Fixed a crash when transforming a control with specific text to a button.
  • Windows and Mac: Importing images with double resolution, will maintain their dimensions.
  • Windows and Mac: If you had unsaved changes for a file, and you reopen the application, we check now if the file had been updated from another source before restoring the unsaved changes.
  • Windows and Mac: We fixed a potential crash during quit.
  • Windows and Mac: The Button Bar control supports leading and trailing spaces again, like in Balsamiq Mockups 3.
  • Windows: We fixed the input of diacritical marks.
  • Windows: We fixed a crash during registration.
  • Windows: We fixed the copyright year in the executable properties.
  • Windows: Fixed a crash when an event was send to a closed view.
  • Windows: Fixed a crash during PDF export.
  • Windows: When closing all projects and autosave is turned off, we will ask how to handle unsaved changes.
  • Mac: Fixed the copyright date in the About Dialog
  • Mac: Improved the performance for rendering coloured icons.
  • Mac: Improved the performance for resizing and moving groups.
  • Mac: Fixed a rendering issue with a cropped image in a cropped group. Thanks heringsfilet for reporting it.
  • Mac: Double-clicking the "Official Version" in the alternate menu will no longer open the rename branch dialog.
  • Mac: Improved the PDF export dialog to make it clearer what is currently enabled and what disabled.
  • Mac: You can now dismiss dialogs with ESC even if they have no cancel button.
  • Mac: We improved the text measuring on the mac desktop version to be closer to the web versions. Thanks Cristopher for reporting it.
  • Mac: You can now use "--" in the sitemap control. It will no longer be transformed to a long dash. Thanks Philipp for reporting it.
  • Mac: Changing zoom should no longer make the controls on the canvas blurry. Thanks Cristopher and George for reporting it.

19 February 2020

Direct download links:


We spent the last two weeks responding to your feedback on our new versions, and fixing as many little bugs as we could.

Here's what's in today's release:

  • Windows and Mac: Changed the order of the "ON" and "OFF" buttons in the Switch control inspector, to reflect the order in the control itself.
  • Windows and Mac: fixed a crash when cropping something and moving it very close to the top-left of the canvas.
  • Windows and Mac: The "Used in X wireframes" note was showing up for Symbol Libraries and not just Symbols - we fixed it.
  • Windows and Mac: When exporting an alternate to PNG, the alternate name wasn't being included in the file name. We fixed it.
  • Windows and Mac: we now properly show a "User Settings" link in the avatar menu when you're connected to Cloud
  • Windows and Mac: Added a bunch more automated tests, so we can all sleep better at night. (smile)
  • Windows and Mac: the "Import image from Web" dialog now properly remembers the last tab you had selected.
  • Windows and Mac: we now resize retina images to 1x when importing them
  • Windows and Mac: we now properly strip spaces from license keys before checking them against our database.
  • Windows: fixed a weird behavior of the "Rename Alternate" dialog.
  • Windows: fixed a bunch of blurry icons in the property inspectors
  • Windows: fixed a color in the navigator when selecting multiple resources
  • Windows: fixed a crash when using \ to escape text in some cases
  • Windows: fixed a crash when using a date as text
  • Windows: fixed an issue with the thumbnails being created at the wrong resolution. Fixed now.
  • Windows: we now fail more gracefully when the application has troubles starting
  • Windows: corrected CTRL-Z/Y (undo/redo) when working with quick add control
  • Windows: fixed a weird behavior of edit text window showing an incorrect control text
  • Windows: fixed the application not opening all the BMPR files dragged over its desktop icon
  • Windows: fixed a crash occurring when creating a new project
  • Mac: we slowed down the scrolling of the navigator when re-arranging wireframes! It's actually usable now! (smile)
  • Mac: fixed a crash report when working on files stored in a Google Drive sync folder.
  • Mac: spell-check was not enabled by default. We fixed that.
  • Mac: the link hint wasn't showing up in some edge cases. Fixed.
  • Mac: CMD+Enter now properly converts labels to text.
  • Mac: fixed a cosmetic issue in the Symbols navigator

February 2020 Releases Summary

Hello again, friends of Balsamiq - I'm back with the first Dev Blog post of 2020. Before I jump into what's happened over the past 8 months, I feel like I owe you an explanation.

I closed the May 2019 Dev Update by saying "The next time we talk, we will be talking all about the new Balsamiq Wireframes for Desktop app. We're so excited to finally share it with you. We need only to wait a little while longer.." That, as it turned out, was not how things played out.

We rolled into May with the intention of releasing in late June. As the month progressed, however, we started wondering if we needed to release in June. Our existing Balsamiq Wireframes-based apps were all very stable, and Mockups 3 for Desktop was the same reliable workhorse it had been for the previous 4 years. Balsamiq Wireframes for Desktop (the new desktop app) was in pretty good shape, but it would definitely benefit from a little more time in the oven. So, we decided to push it back a little.

Between holidays and vacations, that "little" became another 6 months - but it was so incredibly worth it. The Desktop app we ended up shipping was in such good shape that we had almost no new or non-known bugs come in during that launch week (a sign that it was really well tested by our QA team and beta testers). We also were able to squeeze in some features (like pinch-to-zoom) that wouldn't have made the June release.

If you haven't given the new Desktop app a spin (or if this is the first you're hearing about it), check out our release blog post, and then download it for yourself. We think you're really going to dig it!

With that out of the way, let's talk about everything else that happened since the last time we were here.

Balsamiq Cloud

While the majority of our development might was focused on getting Balsamiq Wireframes for Desktop out the door, our Cloud team was busy adding some highly requested features.

Copy and Paste Controls Between Projects

This was harder than it sounds, especially on the web. There was a menu-driven way of doing this by exporting and importing Wireframe JSON, but imagine remembering to do that, let alone explaining it to someone else. We needed a better (read: easier) way.

Everyone knows CMD/CTRL + C copies and CMD/CTRL + V pastes, so Balsamiq Cloud should work the same way. And now, it does!

Pinch-to-zoom Support

Every year, more and more people buy laptops. That means that, every year, more and more people have trackpads. If you're using a trackpad, you probably expect to be able to use the pinch gesture to zoom in and out on elements.

In our Flash-based apps, pinch-to-zoom was nearly impossible but, now that we control the stack, it is much more doable. This was one of the features we snuck into Desktop during that 6-month "delay". It's hard to imagine not having it, now.

Behind the Scenes Features

We also did a lot of work in the nooks and crannies of the app that you don't always see or interact with.

  • We left Auth0 for our homegrown authentication system. This gives us control of the whole system and, more importantly, lets us avoid sending sensitive information to a 3rd party.
  • We made a lot of enhancements to our internal Balsamiq Cloud administration system. As a member of the support team, I can tell this was very exciting for us.

And, most importantly, we made it work with Balsamiq Wireframes for Desktop. If you didn't already know, anyone with an active Balsamiq Cloud subscription can use Balsamiq Wireframes for Desktop to edit their Cloud projects for free. You don't need to buy a license - you're already paying for Balsamiq Cloud, after all.

Our Integrations (Plugins)

The Integrations team has been stretched pretty thin between testing desktop releases, but they still somehow managed to tackle some big projects in the last 8 months.

@-mentions in Comments

When you can control the entire platform (like we do with Balsamiq Cloud), doing mentions and notifications is easy. When you're piggy-backing on someone else's platform, they become much harder. However, the Integrations team has managed to implement @-mentioning in both our Google Drive and Atlassian integrations.

We're really proud of this one because a lot of folks have been asking for it. Our Atlassian Cloud (Server coming soon) integrations can now generate hosted image links. You can use these links to display your project on multiple Confluence pages, or share directly with someone who has access to your Confluence or Jira instance.

What's better is that you can use the image link to share a Wireframe project on multiple Confluence pages, making it editable from all of them.

Not to be outdone by its Atlassian cousin, our Google Drive integration also got a really awesome sharing feature: a public link to Full Screen Presentation Mode.

Now, as long as your project is publicly shared on Google Drive, you can link people directly to the Full Screen presentation mode of your project. The coolest part is that your collaborators don't have to have Balsamiq Wireframes for Google Drive installed to view, it just works!

Finally, the team was able to add a BMML to BMPR converter for our Atlassian Cloud Integrations. If those words don't mean anything to you, don't worry about it. The people they do mean something to will appreciate the feature enough for all of us. 🙂

More Detailed Release Notes

Another thing we thought a lot about in the last 8 months were release notes.

It used to be that we would have a blog post that listed all the fixes and changes that we had made to our apps, regardless as to how big, so that we could people informed. As we moved from our Flash-based apps to our new Native-based ones, release notes became harder. We were iterating more quickly, and the iterations weren't always big, tentpole features. While upgrading Cloud's servers to Node 12 was a big release internally (I promise that that collection of nouns makes sense to someone - even if it's not you or me), the event is hardly release-note worthy.

So we decided to move to the dev update model where we'd collect some of the bigger features & changes from the past month, and write about them in a blog post. Some months we would just skip if we hadn't released anything noteworthy. That has worked out great for a lot of folks, but there are some of you who want more granularity (and, more importantly, want to know about bug fixes, which we rarely talk about here). We hear you, and we think we have a solution for both worlds.

Going forward, I will continue to write Dev Update Blog Posts for the folks who just want the highlights, and Florian will post more in-depth release notes in our Slack Community channels (#desktop_win and #desktop_mac). We have been doing this for a couple of weeks, and the reception has been great. They are limited to our desktop release notes for right now, but we are talking about sharing Cloud release notes as well (for the Node-Heads in the room). Feel free to join us on Slack for more up-to-the-minute news and updates. 🙂

I think that is about it this month. It's been a wild ride since last May, and I hope you now feel caught up with all the goings on here. Of course, if you have any questions or comments, don't hesitate to leave them below, or get in touch.

Until next month, friends.

Brendan for the Balsamiq Team


Balsamiq Wireframes Launch Announcement

Hello again, friends of Balsamiq!

It's been a while since we spoke, but we promised you then that the next time we did speak, it would be about the new desktop apps we have been working on. So it's my incredible pleasure to introduce you to Balsamiq Wireframes for Desktop.

Balsamiq Wireframes for Desktop is the culmination of everything we have learned in the 10 years we have been making desktop apps. It's been re-written, from the ground up, to be native and fast, while staying comfortable and familiar. Over 1000 people have tested it during a year-long private beta, and we finally think it's ready to launch. We really think you're going to like it. Let's talk about why!

What's New In Balsamiq Wireframes for Desktop

This is a fun topic because, technically, everything is new. We have spent the last few years completely rewriting our editor and app code because we wanted a completely native application. Gone are the Adobe underpinnings, replaced with a completely native framework of our own creation. If you've used any of our modern web apps, you have already experienced the core of this new editor. We simply took the work we had done for the web apps, and wrapped it in a thin - and homemade - code layer. And while everything underneath is new, you should feel right at home when you use it.

"Balsamiq Wireframes is now a native macOS app and one can really "feel" it: It’s fast, responsive, and also looks sharper. It’s even more fun to work with now!" - Rene Rosendahl, beta tester

"The good old flavor of Balsamiq in a new fresh and friendly interface!" - Benedetto, Windows beta tester superstar

Of course, there are new features as well, and I'd like to call out a couple of them specifically.

A New Review and Commenting System

When we released Balsamiq Cloud, we added a review and comment system that made collaboration super easy - and now, we have brought that same system to Balsamiq Wireframes for Desktop. Stakeholders can comment too (as long as they have a license or active trial), all you need to do is send them the project (.bmpr) file. You no longer need to have a separate app/system to take notes on projects - it's all built in! You can read more in our documentation.

Wireframes to Go Built In

When we redesigned our Wireframes to Go website (formally Mockups to Go), our desktop users got the short end of the stick. Importing controls was much harder than it needed to be, and we kept telling folks "Hang tight, I promise this will get better." Today, it gets better.

In Balsamiq Wireframes for Desktop, you'll find a "More Controls..." button in the upper-right-hand corner of the UI Library. Clicking that loads Wireframes to Go inside of the app. From there you can search and import controls directly into your project without having to leave the app. Read more about Wireframes to Go here.

A Brand New Full Screen Presentation Mode

We spent a lot of time rethinking our Fullscreen Presentation mode for our modern apps. This redesigned mode allows for easy user testing, review, and presentation of projects you're working on (and it's super easy to swap between those functions). You can read more about the new Full Screen Presentation Mode in our documentation.

Opening Balsamiq Cloud Projects

One constant in the world of software is that if you have a web app and a desktop app, someone will want them to talk to each other. We have wanted to do this for years, and with Balsamiq Wireframes for Desktop, we were finally able to.

If you have a Balsamiq Cloud account, you can authorize Wireframes for Desktop to use that account, and open any projects you have access to. Then, as long as you have an internet connection (offline syncing is coming later), you can edit your Balsamiq Cloud projects in Wireframes for Desktop. Working in a native app is almost always going to be faster than a browser (and you don't have to worry about keyboard shortcut conflicts!).

"The fact that Balsamiq Wireframes opens Cloud projects is huge. Now I can take advantage of the collaborative features of Cloud without having to wireframe in a browser!" - Cori Watilo, beta tester

And More...
  • A Larger Canvas (six times as large!)
  • Spell Check (macOS only for now)
  • Android Controls

Beyond that, there are purely technical updates that weren't possible in Balsamiq Mockups 3 for Desktop because of the underlying frameworks. Things like:

  • High-Quality, Vector-based PDF exports with selectable text
  • Better trackpad and mouse support
  • Native features (like editing in Full Screen on macOS)

We really think that you'll enjoy using Balsamiq Wireframes for Desktop.

The year-long private beta has been an awesome experience - so many people who have helped us make the app better and better with every release. Now it's ready for you. We hope you'll feel the same way. 🙂

Buying or Updating to Balsamiq Wireframes for Desktop

As with everything we do, we tried to keep pricing as simple and fair as possible.

For new users, Balsamiq Wireframes for Desktop will cost $89/user.

Same price as it has been for a while, and we don't see a reason to change it. For folks coming from Balsamiq Cloud: you can use the Desktop app to edit your Balsamiq Cloud projects for free (as long as you have an internet connection).

For users with an existing Balsamiq Mockups for Desktop license, Balsamiq Wireframes for Desktop will cost $44.50/user.

Even though this is a completely new app, we wanted to thank the folks who have purchased our apps in the past. It's the first time in 10 years we have charged for an update.

For more details on how to use your key to get the discount, or how it works for volume license customers, please take a look at this FAQ.

If you have purchased Balsamiq Mockups 3 for Desktop in the last 90 days, you will get to update to Balsamiq Wireframes for Desktop for free.

What about Mockups 3 for Desktop?

While we are no longer selling Mockups 3 for Desktop, existing customers should feel free to keep using it (in fact, if you're on the fence about upgrading, we encourage you to stay with Mockups 3 until you're sure).

We will maintain compatibility with Balsamiq Wireframes for Desktop and Balsamiq Cloud until at least the end of 2020. It gets a little tricky after 2020 (when Adobe retires and sells off the technology we used to build the app), but we will support our apps for as long as we possibly can (we still get Mockups 1 tickets from time to time).

We totally think you will find the upgrade worthwhile, but if not, don't worry about Mockups 3 for Desktop. It will still be around for a while!

The Next Chapter...

I cannot tell you how long I have been writing this blog post in my head, waiting for the app to be ready for you. It's a really exciting time for us as all of our current generation apps are based on the same technology. We plan to spend the next few months bugfixing and optimizing our apps, while sprinkling in new features here and there. It's an exciting time, and we hope you'll come along for it!

Alright, go get the new version and try it out! Here are the build numbers of today's release:

  • Balsamiq Wireframes for Desktop (Windows): 4.0.17
  • Balsamiq Wireframes for Desktop (Mac OS): 4.0.14

If you notice anything funny with it, get in touch!

Happy wireframing! 🙂

Brendan for the Balsamiq Team


Previous Notes

Older release notes can be found on our blog.