Organizing your Balsamiq files

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Balsamiq Wireframes Quickstart Guide

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by Scott Faranello | October 2012 | Beginner's Guides Web Development Web Graphics & Video

In this article by Scott Faranello, author of Balsamiq Wireframes Quickstart Guide, we will cover:

  • Naming your files
    • Albhabetically
    • Numbering

There are two important things to note about organizing your files in Balsamiq:

  1. Keep all of your .bmml files together.
  2. The assets folder houses everything else, that is, artwork, logos, PDFs, PSDs, symbols, and so on, as shown in the following screenshot:

Naming your files

Naming your files in Balsamiq is very important. This is because Balsamiq does not automatically remember the order in which you organized your files after you closed them. Balsamiq will reopen them in the order in which they are sitting in a folder. There are, however, two ways you can gain greater control.

Alphabetically

You could alphabetize your files, although this could pose a problem as you add and delete files, requiring you to carefully name the new files so that they open in the same order as before.

While it is a fine solution, the time it takes to ensure proper alphabetization does not seem worth the effort.

Numbering

The second, and more productive way, to name your files is to not name them at all, but instead to number them.

For example, after naming a new .bmml file, add a number to the end of it in sequential order, for example, filename_1, filename_2, filename_3, and so on. Subpages, in turn, become filename_1a, filename_1b, filename_1c, and so on. Keep in mind, however, that if you add, delete, or modify numbered files, you may still have to modify the remaining page numbers accordingly. Nevertheless, I suspect you will find it to be easier than alphabetizing.

Another way to number your files can be found on Balsamiq's website. The link to the exact page is a bit long. Go to http://www.balsamiq.com/ and do a search for Managing Projects in Mockups for Desktop. In the article, they recommend an alternate method of numbering your files by 10s, for example, filename_10, filename_20, filename_30, and so on. The idea being that as you add or remove pages, you can do so incrementally, rather than having to do a complete renumbering each time. In other words, you could add numbers between 11 and 19 and still be fine. Keep in mind that if you choose to use single digits, be sure to add a zero before the filename for consistency and to ensure proper file folder organization, for example, filename_05, filename_06, filename_07, and so on.

How you name or number your files is completely up to you. These tips are simply recommendations to consider. The bottom line is to find a system for naming your files that works for you and to stick with it. You will be glad you did.

Balsamiq Wireframes Quickstart Guide Wireframe like a pro, the easy way with this book and ebook.
Published: September 2012
eBook Price: $14.99
Book Price: $24.99
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