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The 10 Best Wireframe Tools To Make Wireframes, Mockups & Prototypes

By 25/09/2019 No Comments

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This will help you quickly compare and evaluate the best wireframe tools and mockup tools.

Before you have settled on a logo, sitemap, fleshed-out content or branded font, you are going to need to design a wireframe. Having a wireframe is essential to mapping out what your UX will be like for your end user.

Where will the UX essentials be positioned on the screen and in relation to one another? What will the user see first and how will the design carry their eyes across the page? Where will they expect to see common elements like help/contact buttons or an options menu? These are the kinds of questions you will answer for yourself while building a wireframe mockup for your product.

Quickly Compare & Evaluate The 10 Best Wireframe Tools

Wireframe Tools Logo Soup

Some people may prefer the good old fashioned method of pencil and paper for coming up with a quick wireframe design. Personally, I like to save a few trees and use a dedicated wireframing app instead. I’ve picked out a few of my favorites to share with you today.

In this post I’ll share with you the best prototyping tools to include on your wireframe software shortlist and explain how UX software can help you create an app mockup that will impress any client. I will tell you what you should look for in web wireframe tools and our evaluation criteria for assessing any mockup software and provide a simple UI mockup tools comparison.

And don’t forget to check out my FAQs about website wireframes tools lower on the page! Without further ado, let’s begin:

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The Best Wireframe Tools Software List

Prototyping software isn’t hard to come by but that doesn’t mean that just anything will sport the UX tools that you need. Here’s my hand-picked list of the best wireframe tools:

  1. Cacoo
  2. Omnigraffle
  3. Axure
  4. Adobe XD
  5. Mockplus
  6. Balsamiq
  7. Lucidchart
  8. Justinmind
  9. Microsoft Visio
  10. Miro

Below you’ll find an overview of these wireframe tools, with screenshots, feature overview, pricing and our score.

Jump to wireframe tools reviews

Wireframe Design FAQ

These are a few frequently asked questions that I wanted to touch on. However, if you have a question that isn’t addressed here, feel free to leave it in the comments below. Chances are, someone within the community may be able to help you.

What is wireframe UX?

Wireframe UX is the building blocks of software design. It visually plots where different blocks of data will appear on a screen. It will not include branding or design at this point and is only meant to convey a basic arrangement of elements.

What is wireframe software?

Wireframe software is software that is designed to help you mock up a wireframe layout as quickly and easily as possible. Many web wireframing tools will let you drag and drop placeholder elements for images, text, banners and logos to help you get a feel for your first draft design.

What software do UX designers use?

UX designers may need prototyping software, wireframing software, graphic design software, tools for research and testing, Information Architecture (IA) planning software, bug report and tracking software, and more. Many tools will handle two or more of these needs, like Sketch, which can do vector editing, prototyping, code export and collaborative feedback work.

Not looking for a UI design software at the moment? Check out our other lists of top software to manage teams, resources, and projects:

  1. Where are you in your UX project journey? If you’re already way deep into the design process, you might benefit from the best bug tracking tools on the market.
  2. If you’re struggling with just getting started at all, then some productivity help will be your biggest alley. Before you get started, you have to get motivated.
  3. If you’re looking for some Project Portfolio Management tools that are currently creating a buzz in the industry, we have that too! PPM tools are essential to any project, UX design included.

Wireframe App Comparison Criteria

What do we even look for in a mockup generator? What qualities make certain wire frame apps stand out from the rest? We have a robust set of criteria that we use when analyzing any new tool. Here is a quick breakdown of our current evaluation process.

  1. User Interface (UI): How well-designed is it? Does it offer clear displays and intuitive navigation?
  2. Usability: Is this easy to learn and master? Are there tutorials and training? Does the company offer good tech and user support?
  3. Features & Functionality: How many of the key website and app design software features and functions does it provide, and how powerful are they? Specifically, I looked for:
    1. Drag & Drop: easily add and move elements with drag and drop simplicity, allowing you to quickly create and modify wireframes.
    2. Feedback & Collaboration Tools: it’s important to be able to easily manage feedback on wireframes, with the ability to leave comments, mark up wireframes, attach files, and collaboratively build wireframes.
    3. Interactive Elements: Allows you to make an interactive wireframe (sometimes called a  “clickable prototype”, “interactive mockup”, “interactive prototype”, etc) which lets you create a clickable version of the wireframes to prototype the interactive elements.
    4. Presentation Tools: wireframes are usually presented in the initial phases of a project, either internally or to clients, so the ability to quickly convert wireframes into visually beautiful presentations is important.
    5. Revision History: Can you access previous versions to see changes and revert back to them—this saves your work so you don’t have to re-do it in the event of changes.
  4. Integrations: Does the wire frame app connect with other tools? Any pre-built integrations?
  5. Value for $: How appropriate is the price for its features, capabilities, and use case? Is pricing clear, transparent and flexible?

The Best Wireframe Tools Overviews

You could take a deep dive into dozens of web design tools until you find the best mockup software…but luckily, you don’t have to. I’ve done the heavy lifting for you and collected some of the best wireframing tools around.

  • freemium version
  • 14 days free trial.
  • from $6/user/month.

User Interface (UI)

100%

Usability

90%

Integrations

90%

Value for $

100%

Features & Function

100%

Overall Score

96%

1. Cacoo – User-friendly diagramming tool with real-time collaboration and abundant templates for wireframes and mockups

Cacoo is an easy-to-use online diagramming, mockup and wireframe tool with a powerful editor, user-friendly interface, and templates. It helps users visualize their ideas in wireframes, flowcharts, mind maps, and more. It’s for more than just developers and designers; Cacoo helps all teams brainstorm ideas, present and gather feedback, simplify workflows, and enhance effortless collaboration.

Cacoo screenshot - Wireframe tools

With real-time collaborative editing, on-diagram comments, and automatic history tracking, working in Cacoo feels like having your entire team right by your side. Other key features include multiple importing and exporting options, presentation tools, in-app notifications, and AWS importer.

With a well-designed interface and an extensive library of templates and shapes, it is easy to bring your ideas to life. There are video tutorials, an online support center with in-depth “how-to” guides, and interactive live chat support during business hours.

With its versatile platform, Cacoo provides great value in a wide range of use cases including network architecture diagrams, marketing flowcharts and business process flows. A setback for some users is that Cacoo is unable to support offline work and there are limitations on the number of sheets and collaborators in the freemium version.

Cacoo integrates with Google Drive and Docs, Visio, AWS, Atlassian Confluence, Adobe Creative Cloud, Dropbox, Box, Slack, and Typetalk. Besides pre-built integrations, Cacoo offers a developer API to support users to build their custom integrations too. It’s worth noting that this tool is part of Nulab’s suite of collaborative products which include the project management tool Backlog and the team chat app Typetalk, both offered as Cacoo integrations.

Cacoo costs $6/user/month for the cloud-hosted version, and they offer a 14-day free trial and freemium account option. Cacoo also has a self-hosted version and supports educators and students by offering a 50% discount on its Education Plan.

Overall Score: 9.6
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  • 14 days free trial.
  • 30-day return policy.
  • $149.99 for a Standard license.

User Interface (UI)

100%

Usability

100%

Integrations

50%

Value for $

90%

Features & Function

90%

Overall Score

86%

2. Omnigraffle – Powerful and easy to use app with a noteworthy selection of stencils to create beautiful diagrams and save time

Artboard presentation mode, keyboard shortcuts for import/export, interactive actions, mouseless editing, non-destructive shape combinations, conversion of text into shapes, diagramming subgraphs, and more combine to make this intuitive wireframing software a robust choice for any sized team.

Omnigraffle screenshot ALT - Wireframe tools

Omnigraffle provides many template resources to quickly begin a wireframe.

Omnigraffle truly excels in the usability category of our evaluation criteria. They have a whole section of their site dedicated to manuals and each document is offered in different formats to cater to users’ needs. They also have tutorial videos available, prominent support contacts displayed generously across the website (email, phone, and social media), and dedicated Slack channel.

Omnigraffle does not support any integrations that we are aware of, which is a major con of the software.

Like Sketch, Omnigraffle is only available for Apple OS, which is a con for any Windows-dedicated user. Furthermore, the collaboration and communication functions in-app could be expanded, as real time feedback and engaged group work is essential to any planning/design project.

Omnigraffle starts at $149.99 for a Standard license and has a free 14 day trial as well as a 30-day return policy.

Overall Score: 8.6
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  • 30 days free trial.
  • from $29/user/month.

User Interface (UI)

90%

Usability

80%

Integrations

60%

Value for $

90%

Features & Function

100%

Overall Score

84%

3. Axure (Axure RP 9) – robust app that lets you plan, prototype and hand off wireframes to developers, all without code

At the center of the Axure RP interface is the canvas, where you create your diagrams by arranging widgets. Used by companies like Amazon, BBC, Target and Microsoft, Axure provides tools to create diagrams, customer journeys, and wireframes. Additional features include conditional logic, adaptive product views, animation effects, code export functionality, easy cloud storage and sharing, and more.

AxureRP screenshot - Wireframe tools

Use widgets to add design elements to your wireframe like blocks of text, images, or links.

Axure is a favorite contender in the features and function evaluation criteria column, most notably because it has so much to offer that users often report a steep or deterring learning curve. For experienced UX designers, though, this will be a blessing. Although it may cost you, Axure doesn’t pull punches when it comes to feature availability.

Axure lacks integrations with third-party apps in the traditional sense. The best they have to offer is their “widget library”, which at least provides you with assets and icons from popular software (Apple products, Google products) so that you can design accurate wireframes with those platforms in mind. These all have an additional cost.

Other than the lack of integration options, come cons include the fact that team and cloud functionality is rather bare-bones compared to other software on the market. Additionally, the way they handle, design and format images could be smoother—it was often a challenge to implement our vision.

Axure starts at $29/user/month and has a free 30 day trial. They also offer discounts for accredited grad schools, post secondary facilities, government organizations and not-for-profit groups.

Overall Score: 8.4
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  • freemium version.
  • from $9.99/user/month.

User Interface (UI)

100%

Usability

90%

Integrations

100%

Value for $

100%

Features & Function

100%

Overall Score

98%

4. Adobe XD – App for wireframing, designing, prototyping, and sharing experiences for web, mobile, voice and more

Creative teams can design at scale with the Adobe XD toolkit, which includes a unified assets panel for brand consistency, features for easy replication of lists and other elements, responsive resizing of content, collaborative presentation and chat features, tooling and APIs to enable custom integrations, and more.

AdobeXD screenshot - Wireframe tools

Add components, linked assets, and other design elements to ensure brand consistency.

As for our evaluation criteria specifics, it doesn’t get much more well designed and functional than Adobe software. While Adobe tends to have a steep learning curve, they are also top notch at providing training videos and written tutorials so you will never feel left in the dust.

App integrations and/or plugins include Airtable, Trello, UserTesting, Google Sheets, CloudApp, Overflow, Stark, Angle, UI Faces, and dozens more.

As for some minor critiques, the animations and auto-animations features are not as fully-functional as they could be. Also, there is no way to include micro-interactions and link between prototypes, which leaves users piling artboards into a single file, significantly slowing down the program as it grows.

Adobe XD starts at $9.99/user/month but also has a freemium version.

Overall Score: 9.8
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  • free trial.
  • $199/year.

User Interface (UI)

100%

Usability

80%

Integrations

50%

Value for $

90%

Features & Function

90%

Overall Score

82%

5. Mockplus – Desktop-based tool for prototyping mobile, web and desktop apps easily and quickly

Mockplus comes with nearly 200 components and more than 3,000 icons to save you much time and effort on design. Drag-and-drop elements in order to build interactive prototypes on an intuitive working canvas with a clean, spacious interface. Simply scanning a QR code lets you test your prototypes on actual device or you can publish the project to cloud and receive a shareable web link.

Mockplus screenshot - Wireframe tools

Modern-looking UI and plenty of space to work makes Mockplus a stand-out wireframe tool.

Our evaluation criteria has a sharp focus on collaboration, which Mockplus does well in a variety of ways. It supports multi users working on the same project, easy markup/reviewing, and sophisticated page editing organization.

There was no third party software integration available that we saw during our foray into the offerings of Mockplus, which is always a disappointment for an otherwise promising application.

Other than the above con, we also noticed that multiple people cannot work on the same project simultaneously, which would be a huge asset to a program that already offers a host of collaborative and social capabilities.

Mockplus starts at $199/year and has a free trial.

Overall Score: 8.2
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  • 30 days free trial.
  • from $9/month.

User Interface (UI)

90%

Usability

100%

Integrations

80%

Value for $

80%

Features & Function

80%

Overall Score

86%

6. Balsamiq – Low-fidelity wireframing tool for designing great web apps, desktop software, websites and user interfaces

Balsamiq is a rapid low-fidelity UI wireframing tool that reproduces the experience of sketching on a notepad or whiteboard, but using a computer. Their focus on structure and content lets you get the foundational ideas sketched out before narrowing in on the specifics. Balsamiq also open source parts of their code and tools for users to modify as needed.

Balsamiq screenshot - Wireframe tools

Drag and drop items, icons and symbols for a quick design mockup with Balsamiq.

Our evaluation criteria almost always highlights collaborative functions and in this category Balsamiq is somewhat lacking. However, they partially make up for this by nailing the usability category, as we found that it is an intuitive program that even wireframing beginners will be able to pick up on.

Balsamiq integrates with Google Drive, Confluence and Jira. Also, as mentioned before, they have opened parts of their code so that you can manipulate it as needed, which isn’t an integration per-se but definitely adds a certain level of functional flexibility.

While Balsamiq covers all the basics, it’s not as in-depth as its competitors as far as features and functionality goes. Wireframes export as static files rather than dynamic ones, which might be inadequate for many projects.

Balsamiq starts at $9/month and has a 30-day-free trial.

Overall Score: 8.6
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  • freemium version.
  • from $4.95/month.

User Interface (UI)

90%

Usability

100%

Integrations

100%

Value for $

90%

Features & Function

80%

Overall Score

92%

7. Lucidchart – App configured to pull data from Google Sheets to create professional flowcharts and automate your work

Used by BP, L’Oréal and BMW, Lucidchart simplifies app making software with a large template library, drag-and-drop functionality, real-time collaboration, in-app chat, automatic sync and save, and more. Being a web-based app, there are no downloads or installations needed and it works on any device, browser or operating system.

Lucidchart screenshot - Wireframe tools

Easily build simple mind maps and flowcharts to upscale any planning process with Lucidchart.

When diving into our specific evaluation criteria, usability and value for cost are definitely strengths of Lucidchart. The low per-month cost combined with the use-anywhere, browser hosted app makes this one of the easiest wireframing tools to get started with.

Lucidchart integrates with Microsoft Office apps; has free add-ons for Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides; and integrates with the likes of Atlassian, Salesforce, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Slack, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Jive, GitHub, BambooHR, Quip, and more, including many through Zaqpier.

Although we love the ease of a browser-hosted tool, if you want a desktop app you’re out of luck. That means that no data/wifi means no work, which might not work for certain workplaces. The exact limitations of the freemium version are also a little difficult to suss out, meaning that some users might bump up against a paywall when they are not expecting it.

Lucidchart starts at $4.95/month and has a freemium version of the software.

Overall Score: 9.2
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  • 15 days free trial.
  • freemium version.
  • from $19/user/month.

User Interface (UI)

90%

Usability

80%

Integrations

90%

Value for $

90%

Features & Function

90%

Overall Score

88%

8. Justinmind – All-in-one prototyping tool for web and mobile apps with an assortment of free wireframing tools to get started right away

Design the style, size and layout distribution of any UI element to fit the look and feel of any screen. Justinmind lets you create lifelike iOS and Android prototypes, integrate with apps like Sketch and JIRA, access UI kits with over 4000 elements, and more. They also offer free UI kits and free wireframing tools so that you can try before you buy.

Justinmind screenshot - Wireframe tools

In our evaluation criteria we always consider usability in so much as we want to know that there is a wealth of tutorials and “How Tos” available for the average user to self-teach. Justinmind has plenty of interactive walkthroughs complete with text and video instruction, Q&A forums available to the public, as well as further support options for paid plan customers.

Justinmind integrates with Sketch, Adobe Suite, and JIRA.

The integrations work best when you make changes and import into external software rather than vice versa. For example, if you make changes to a design in Sketch and reupload it into Justinmind, you might have to make some adjustments after-the-fact. This isn’t ideal but is pretty easy to work around, however may still be a deterrent for some.

Justinmind starts at $19/user/month and has a 15 day free trial as well as a freemium version of the software.

Overall Score: 8.8
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  • 30 days free trial.
  • from $6.40/user/month.

User Interface (UI)

100%

Usability

90%

Integrations

60%

Value for $

90%

Features & Function

90%

Overall Score

86%

9. Microsoft Visio – Software for creating flowcharts, diagrams, org charts, floor plans, engineering designs within the familiar Office system

Microsoft Visio connects your flowcharts and diagrams to real-time data, meaning that changes made to data present in Microsoft 360 or Vision will automatically be reflected in your design. They have a browser-based version so that you can access your charts remotely. You can also share your work as a secure web-based link, attachment, image, or PDF.

MSVisio screenshot - Wireframe tools

Being that it comes from such a large, well-known brand, the evaluation criteria segments in which Visio excels are UI and usability. It’s very well designed and laid out with many familiar elements of Office software built in. There are tutorials and online support aplenty so it really does work for any team without the resources for additional training.

As you would expect, MS Visio integrates with Microsoft 360. However, there seem to be no other third-party integrations to speak of.

The fact that Visio doesn’t offer real-time collaboration functionality is a huge negative for an otherwise robust app. It also seems to be missing custom stencil support, which is a key tool offered with many competitors software. Unless you love the Microsoft/Windows landscape, you will want to look elsewhere for wireframing tools, as Vision performs best amidst that family of software.

Microsoft Visio starts at $6.40/user/month and has a 30 day free trial.

Overall Score: 8.6
Visit Website
  • freemium version.
  • from $8/user/month.

User Interface (UI)

90%

Usability

90%

Integrations

100%

Value for $

100%

Features & Function

90%

Overall Score

94%

10. Miro – Visual collaboration platform to collaborate and centralize communication as your teams design app wireframes, websites, and more

Miro offers an infinite brainstorming canvas, robust set of widgets, prebuilt templates, toolkits for user story or customer journey maps, wireframing, roadmap or sprint planning, retros, and more. This app helps you engage remote teams across formats, tools and channels with digital workspaces that enable asynchronous and synchronous collaboration.

Miro screenshot - Wireframe tools

Ideate, organize insights, design flows, and collect feedback in real time with Miro.

Miro excels in the way it touches upon our evaluation criteria for value for price (after all, the freemium version is quite handy) and the features and functionality section. For relatively little (or no) cost, you can experiment with decent presentational tools with minimal learning curve.

Integrations listed on their site include Dropbox, Box, Google Suite, JIRA, Slack, Sketch, OneDrive, Zapier, and more.

Though favorable in its offerings, Miro could benefit from a vaster color and typography selection. Furthermore, the addition of UML diagramming templates and other various shapes would help to elevate the platform.

Miro starts at $8/user/month and has a freemium version of the software.

Overall Score: 9.4
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The Best Wireframe Tools Comparison Chart

SoftwareOverviewTrial/DemoPriceScoreSite
CacooCacoo logo - Wireframe toolsRead Cacoo features & functionalityfreemium version.

14 days free trial.

from $6/user/month.9.6Check out Cacoo
OmnigraffleOmnigraffle logoRead Omnigraffle features & functionality14 days free trial.

30-day return policy.

$149.99 for a Standard license8.6Check out Omnigraffle
AxureAxure logoRead Axure features & functionality30 days free trial.from $29/user/month.8.4Check out Axure
Adobe XDAdobe XD logoRead Adobe XD features & functionalityfreemium version.from $9.99/user/month.9.8Check out Adobe XD
MockplusMockplus logoRead Mockplus features & functionalityfree trial.$199/year.8.2Check out Mockplus
BalsamiqBalsamiq logoRead Balsamiq features & functionality30 days free trial.from $9/user/month.8.6Check out Balsamiq
LucidchartLucidchart logoRead Lucidchart features & functionalityfreemium version.from $4.95/month.9.2Check out Lucidchart
JustinmindJustinmind logoRead Justinmind features & functionalityfreemium version.

15 days free trial.

from $19/user/month.8.8Check out Justinmind
Microsoft VisioMicrosoft Visio logoRead Microsoft Visio features & functionality30 days free trial.from $6.40/user/month.8.6Check out Microsoft Visio
Miro
Miro logo
Read Miro features & functionalityfreemium version.from $8/user/month.9.4Check out Miro

Other Wireframe Design Tools

No need to stress if you haven’t found the best wireframe software for you yet. There’s something out there for everyone and you just need to keep experimenting until you find something that sticks.

  1. ProtoPie – Piece interactions together to create realistic prototypes for any digital product in the most familiar way to you.
  2. Moqups – A streamlined web app that helps you create and collaborate in real-time on wireframes, mockups, diagrams and prototypes.
  3. HotGloo – HotGloo is a UX, wireframe and prototyping tool designed to build wireframes for web, mobile and wearables.
  4. Draw.io – Draw.io is free online diagram software for making flowcharts, process diagrams, org charts, UML, ER and network diagrams.
  5. Figma – Make your prototypes come to life by defining interactions on click, while hovering, while pressing, and more.
  6. FluidUI – With Fluid UI, ideas can be prototyped in minutes and shared instantly. Sharing, feedback and collaboration are all built in.
  7. Pidoco – Pidoco is software that lets you quickly create click-through wireframes and fully interactive UX prototypes.
  8. Marvel – Marvel has everything you need to bring ideas to life and transform how you create digital products. Placing the power of design in everyone’s hands.
  9. Gliffy – Drag and drop shapes to create stunning visuals in a few clicks. Even large diagrams come together quickly with their speedy HTML5 editor.
  10. Edraw Max – Creating flow chart, mind map, org charts, network diagrams and floor plans with rich gallery of examples and templates.
  11. Diagramo – Diagramo is an online flowchart software based ONLY on HTML5. No Flash, no Java or other plugins needed.
  12. Flinto – Flinto is a Mac app used by top designers around the world to create interactive and animated prototypes of their app designs.
  13. Antetype – All the tools you need for your daily business. Create truly responsive designs with their engine based on Flexbox.
  14. Draftium – Template based prototyping tool to quickly produce a high fidelity, testable prototype.

Want Help Narrowing Down the Options?

This tool is pretty useful. We’ve partnered with Crozdesk to give you access to their “Software Finder”.

If you input some of the details about your project and the features you’re looking for in a project management tool, it will generate a list of tools that match your preferences. You provide your email, and they send over a nice PDF guide with a summary of your best matches.

What Do You Think About Our Best Wireframing Tools Lists?

Every good idea starts with a good wireframe—making wireframing an important step in web design. Before you can get specific, you have to plot out the larger elements of any UI project. The tools above will help you do that.

What website mockup tool would you recommend? What do you currently use now? What do you look for in a website prototyping tool? We would love to hear from you in the comments below.

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Ben Aston

About Ben Aston

I’m Ben Aston, a digital project manager and founder of thedigitalprojectmanager.com. I've been in the industry for more than 15 years working in the UK at London’s top digital agencies including Dare, Wunderman, Lowe and DDB. I’ve delivered everything from film to CMS', games to advertising and eCRM to eCommerce sites. I’ve been fortunate enough to work across a wide range of great clients; automotive brands including Land Rover, Volkswagen and Honda; Utility brands including BT, British Gas and Exxon, FMCG brands such as Unilever, and consumer electronics brands including Sony.

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