Using Desktop and Plugin versions together effectively

This document is for people who use Mockups for Desktop and a plugin version of Mockups (i.e., Mockups for Google Drive, Confluence or JIRA) and want to learn more about how to use the two apps together. It is meant to address some common questions that arise about transferring mockups between Mockups for Desktop and a plugin version.

(If you are a desktop user thinking about purchasing a plugin version or a plugin user considering buying the desktop version, note that we offer substantial discounts when you buy an additional product version.)

Note: this article assumes basic knowledge of importing and exporting mockup XML in both the desktop and plugin versions. If you are unsure how to to this, please consult this article first. You might also be interested in our user guides for Mockups for Google Drive, Confluence or JIRA.

My plugin version of Mockups doesn't support symbols, does that mean that I can't import mockups that use symbols?#

Mockups for Confluence and Mockups for JIRA don't yet support symbols, but that doesn't mean that you can't import mockups that use symbols.

In Balsamiq Mockups for Desktop, when you export a mockup that contains symbols ("File > Export Mockup XML" in the menu), you will see the following dialog:


There are two options: "Export As-Is" and "Export with Symbols 'Broken Apart'". Choosing the first option will not include symbols in the exported XML. This is appropriate for exporting and importing between versions that support symbols (such as Mockups for Desktop and myBalsamiq).

Choosing the second option, on the other hand, will merge the XML from the symbols that are used in the mockup with the XML from the mockup itself, resulting in a single file with all the controls that are shown in the mockup that is being exported. Note that the file you're working on won't be affected either way, this merging is only done for the BMML code that's placed in your clipboard. This is the option that we recommend for plugin users as an easy way to import a mockup and its symbols all at once.

Note: To learn about an alternative to Symbols in Mockups for Confluence see our tutorial on Creating a Mockups Design Library in Confluence.

Can I copy and paste between the desktop and plugin version?#

Yes! Er, well, something like that...

Let's say that you have both Mockups for Desktop and a plugin version open and you want to copy a specific control or set of controls from Mockups for Desktop into a plugin version.

It would be great to just copy and paste, right? Well, there is a limitation in Adobe Flash that prevents copying from outside the browser into a Flash application (it's a security thing), however, you can do essentially the same thing by performing the following steps:

  1. Select the control(s) you want to copy in Mockups for Desktop and copy them (using CTRL/CMD + C or "Edit > Copy" in the menu)
  2. Switch to the plugin version (Confluence, JIRA, etc.) and go to "Import Mockup XML…" from the Mockup menu
  3. Use CTRL/CMD + V or "Paste" from the right-click menu to paste in the mockup XML that was copied from Mockups for Desktop
  4. Click the "Import" button in the dialog.

You should now see the control(s) from Mockups for Desktop in your plugin version.

Can I download mockups created in my plugin version for use with Mockups for Desktop?#

Most of the products we integrate with make it clear where to find the mockup (.bmml) files. To download these files, just right-click on the link to the .bmml file and select "save link as…" (or whatever terminology your browser uses).

However, Confluence users might find it a little tricky to locate the mockup files to download. To find them, go to the page attachments by clicking "Tools > Attachments". Here, you will see two files for each mockup, one PNG image and one .bmml file. You can download the .bmml file from this list.

For Google Drive, follow these instructions.

Last Updated: Jun 30, 2014 12:25PM PDT