Hello everyone!

Today’s release brings full support for HiDPI monitors on Windows, Linux and macOS. Read on for more details.

Full HiDPI support

I’m happy to announce the addition of the long-overdue support for HiDPI monitors. Although partial support for HiDPI was already there for some time, the new version adds full HiDPI support on all platforms: Windows, macOS and Linux.

To achieve this we had to migrate WireframeSketcher to a new version of Eclipse platform: Eclipse 4.7 Oxygen. This upgrade in itself brings various other improvements and bug fixes to WireframeSketcher, including better support for latest OS versions.

To enable HiDPI support we’ve had to redesign most of application icons in order to provide a high-resolution version. So WireframeSketcher now comes with an improved look:

New Icons

And here what the UI looks like on a HiDPI retina display:

High DPI look

We hope you’ll enjoy this update! Please don’t hesitate to provide your feedback to us.

Known issues

There are still several minor aesthetic issues related to HiDPI that we’ll look into solving in next updates. These issues need to be resolved in the Eclipse platform, and although this is not ideal, we chose not to wait for their resolution and release support for HiDPI as is, since it’s still a net improvement over the previous version. Known HiDPI issues are as following:

  • Vertical ruler is not rendered at high-resolution when using View > Show Rulers option – all platforms
  • Integrated help accessed with Help > Help Contents has some rendering artifacts – all platforms
  • Integrated browser, which is used for Welcome screen and Stencils installation, is not scaled – Linux
  • Small controls (tree, check-boxes, radios) in some UI parts – Linux

macOS High Sierra support

Apple has released version 10.13 of macOS on 25th of September 2017. Unfortunately WireframeSketcher has an issue when running under this version of macOS, making it almost unusable. This issue manifests itself as missing text in some components, more specifically in components that use embedded icons wiki syntax.

Here’s a screenshot that shows what the problem looks like for Tree widget:

macOS 10.13 text issues

We’ve tracked down this issue to a low level problem in Eclipse platform that needs to be investigated and fixed. The progress on this issue is tracked as Bug 525465.

Note that this issue is unrelated to our migration to the latest version of Eclipse and all versions of WireframeSketcher are affected by it.

If this issue affects you directly then please take your time to create an Eclipse account and add your vote to Bug 525465, to bring more attention to it.

Our recommendation is, if possible, to stick with macOS 10.12 Sierra until we find a solution for this issue. If you’ve already upgraded, then consider using an older version of macOS in a virtual machine.

Updating

Since this version is a large update it won’t be available from the application itself. The recommended way to update is to download the latest version of WireframeSketcher from our website and install it manually.

Windows users should note that this version uses a renewed code-signing certificate issued to WIRESKETCH SRL publisher. Since it’s a recent change, you might see a Windows SmartScreen warning, which you can safely dismiss by clicking More info link and then Run anyway button.

The version number of this release is 5.0.0

Enjoy!

Hello everyone!

Today’s release brings a new Modal widget, that lets you disable content underneath, and other smaller improvements and bug fixes. Read on for more details.

Modal widget

Modal widget is a quick way to add a modal screen that lets you show the content underneath as disabled. This effect was already easily achievable using a Panel, but this possibility wasn’t obvious. Several stencils also provide a custom component for modals, but now it’s part of the standard library too:

Modal Screen

The Modal widget is simple a pre-configured Panel with some transparency applied. This means that you can adjust those settings to achieve different visual effects. For example simply changing the background from black to white will give you a more grayed out effect:

Modal White Screen

Eclipse Oxygen 4.7

The new version of Eclipse is just around the corner and we are making sure that WireframeSketcher works correctly with it. This release contains several bug fixes that ensure this.

Other changes

  • Improved SVG rendering to support icons from simpleicons.org
  • Fixed the issue with text editing in certain types of user components

What’s next

We’ll slow down new developments during the summer so please be patient with us. For the next fall and winter development cycles we are planning some major features, most notable being the migration to new Eclipse 4.7 platform for full HiDPI support, and improved diagramming.

Please don’t hesitate to suggest other improvements and features that you’d like to see added. We are listening!

Updating

To update to the latest version of WireframeSketcher use Help > Check for Updates, or just download it from our website. Mac OS X users that experience update issues should re-install the latest version manually from our website.

The version number of this release is 4.7.6

Enjoy!

Hello everyone!

Today’s release brings support for back links, that let you create more complete user stories. It also includes and enhancement to Combo widget links. Read on for more details.

Back links

One of the long requested features on our roadmap was the ability to specify back links, links that would work the same way as the back button in a browser does, and allow users to navigate to the previous screen in navigation history. We’ve long hesitated to add them, as this feature is not supported by all the export types provided by WireframeSketcher. Most notably, PDF viewers mostly don’t support back links, with the exception of Acrobat Reader software.

We’ve finally decided that it’s an acceptable limitation and today’s release adds support for back links. When specifying a link in the Links view you now have the Go Back option:

Back Link

Back links work as expected in Presentation mode, in offline and online HTML, and partially in PDF if Acrobat Reader software is used to view the document.

Combo widget links

In the same spirit of improving how links work, Nick Weathers has pointed out on our forums that items in the dropdown of the Combo widget cannot be linked individually. The Combo widget worked this way in order to preserve backward compatibility. However we could reuse the approach we already use for components to expose both drop-down items in the Links view, and the global link that allows the entire widget to be linked, in the way that it worked previously.

Here’s what the Links view looks like for Combo:

Combo Links

Note the Link property at the bottom which lets you link the entire widget. Once you specify a link, either global or per item, the other options will disappear, as global link and item links are mutually exclusive.

Updating

To update to the latest version of WireframeSketcher use Help > Check for Updates, or just download it from our website. Mac OS X users that experience update issues should re-install the latest version manually from our website.

The version number of this release is 4.7.5

Enjoy!

Hello everyone!

Today’s release brings improved behavior for links, the option to hide annotations in edit mode and a few other improvements. Read on for more details.

Hide links behind containers

Screen links let you quickly create simple click-through prototypes. Exporting or presenting the storyboard also exports linked areas that can be clicked to navigate the prototype.

One recurrent complaint about how links work in this scenario is that links show up through other components that are placed over them. A common use case is to clone a base screen to display a dialog window over it. If the base screen has some links behind the dialog then those links will show through it. The only solution to this problem is to remove links manually.

Today’s release adds an automatic occluding and hiding for links that are behind certain components. This works in presentation mode as well as in PDF and HTML exports. Below is an example that demonstrates this behavior. Note how the second button is partially obscured by the dialog:

Link Hiding

Note that not all components will hide links behind them. The following is the complete list of widgets with this behavior:

  • Widgets in Containers category: Accordion, Alert, Browser, Group, Panel, Tabbed Pane, Window
  • List, Tree and Table widgets with a non-transparent background
  • Popup, Button Bar, Vertical Button Bar

If you create a custom component that you wish to have this behavior then make sure that you use one of the above widgets as its background, Panel widget being the most design neutral for this purpose.

Hide annotations in editing mode

Another improvement in this version is the option to hide annotation widgets while editing screens, something that until now was only possible in presentation mode and in exported documents. This option makes it easier to edit annotated screens without annotations getting in the way.

Annotations can be hidden by unchecking the View > Show Annotations toggle menu entry:

Show/Hide Annotations Option

Hiding annotations also hides note overlay icons:

Show/Hide Annotations Effect

Note that annotation widgets remain always visible in the Outline View.

Other changes

  • We’ve updated our website to a more modern design!
  • Added embedded JRE to Linux packages to avoid issues with incompatible system JRE versions

Updating

To update to the latest version of WireframeSketcher use Help > Check for Updates, or just download it from our website. Mac OS X users that experience update issues should re-install the latest version manually from our website.

The version number of this release is 4.7.4

Enjoy!

Hello everyone!

Today’s release brings improved export with support for high-resolution retina displays. Wireframes that are shared online, or are exported to HTML or PDF, will now include high-resolution images to support viewing them on high-density displays. Read on for more details.

High-resolution export

Retina displays and high-resolution monitors are getting more and more widespread and we are trying to keep up with this evolution. WireframeSketcher already uses vector graphics for wireframes which makes it work well on such displays. However export results were not always up to par.

Today’s release brings high-resolution display support to all export types. Online sharing, local HTML and image-based PDFs (see below), now include high-quality images required for optimal viewing on high-resolution displays.

Here’s an example of the difference between before and after results on a high-resolution display. Sharper text, sharper lines and overall a more pleasingly looking output:

High-Resolution Export

Image-based PDF export

WireframeSketcher exports PDF documents in vector based format most of the time. This makes PDF documents look good at any resolution and zoom level. Also all texts are selectable and can be easily copied from the document.

However, in a particular case, when screens contain characters that are not supported by document’s font, the PDF export switches to image-based format. This means that each page will contain an exported image of the screen, instead of a vector version.

For some languages this automatic switch is unavoidable, although changing screen’s font may help. However if you suddenly see this behavior to due to some change you’ve made to your screens – then you’ve probably included a special character that is not directly supported by the screen’s font. In this case see if you can make it without this character to avoid the unwanted effect.

From the technical point of view, operating systems handle this case automatically by transparently switching to a different font for special characters. We are currently exploring the possibility to implement this type of solution in PDF export too.

Meantime we’ve improved image-based PDF documents to include high-quality images too. This way image-based PDFs can still look acceptably sharp on high-resolution displays.

Other changes

  • Fixed the issue with notes not being numbered in visual order when widget groups are used

Updating

To update to the latest version of WireframeSketcher use Help > Check for Updates, or just download it from our website. Mac OS X users that experience update issues should re-install the latest version manually from our website.

The version number of this release is 4.7.3

Enjoy!

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