You can create your own Custom Elements which is great for re-use,

but I need to address this scenario:

You want to use the same custom element through out a plot, and then you make a

change to the master FCE file and want that replicated to all instances of that element in the plot. Right now this would require manually replacing each element.

Instead I’d like the plot to automatically reflect this update on all instances of this FCE in the plot except where I turned off Auto Update (a property) on a particular instance of the element.

Basically, I want a knock off of the Symbols feature in Balsamiq –…, which is actually very nice.

This would require:

* a link to the FCE file instead of embedding it directly in the 4UI file

* a way to track changes (basically the difference between the FCE and what user has changed).

Since I am very intimate with the 4UI file format I know this would require some significant work, so don’t expect it in the next release, but the following one 😉

6 answers

Thanks for the suggestion.

However, tracking the changes on element is very difficult. It seems impossible to automatically merge the user edited revision with externally changed source element.

Disabling the direct editing on referenced element seems feasible. It is actually another new “import” feature: once the element is imported, you can not edit its content directly in the current plot; Double clicking the imported element will open another tab view for editing, and the modifications will be reflected to all references.


After a further thought, I think it is possible to track the change and auto merge the revisions, but it will need a lot of work.

Let’s keep this thread open and get more ideas.


I’ve just spent an afternoon populating a multi-page wireframe with custom elements, only to discover that when I edit the original it does not update the rest of the wireframe.

So I too would appreciate the addition of this functionality.


Actually, as a fellow user. I’m not sure I want an auto-update.

I hope at least a warning will be shown.


Currently our preferred solution is to offer the “plot embedding” feature to cover this scenario. Once the embedded plot is changed, all references will be updated as well.


Updating an .fce is also an issue for me.

As of now, when I update an .fce it is also updated in the Elements Dock, which is already usefull.

But I would really love, when the imported .fce in the plot would also update (automatic or user decision) to the newest version.

I do not know, how much work this will generate since the last comment is 3 years ago.

I would like to hear, if the current development could make this feature possible.

  1. The custom element (.fce) in elements dock is just like a template, when dragging it into the plot, it generates a new instance of the element, and there is no connection between the .fce and the instance any more. So updating the .fce after the instance creation will not affect the instance accordingly.

    It seems the only feasible solution is to support "plot embedding" (.fce is just a plot with single page). Which just keeps an external link to the .fce file. However, doing this will lose the possibility to access the content inside the .fce, that's why we haven't implemented it yet.

This question is now closed