Portable Document Format (.pdf) Import/Export

Portable Document Format (PDF) is an open standard for document exchange.


To open, import, insert, and attach a file as a worksession

  1. From the File menu, click Open, Insert, Import, or Worksession > Attach.

  2. In the dialog box, select a supported file type.
  3. Click Open and configure the settings.
    When you open a non-3dm file and save the model, its filename will be the default 3dm filename.

PDF Import Options


Fit to default screen

Scales the objects to be visible in the default Top viewport.

Preserve units

Sets how to convert the file unit into the Rhino unit.

Import fills as


Imports fills and their boundary curves. Fills are imported differently based on types:

Boundary curves

Ignores all fills and only imports their boundary curves.

Load Text

Imports text strings.

Always use these settings. Do not show this dialog again.

Saves the current settings and turns off the dialog display.

To turn the message back on

See also: ResetMessageBoxes command.

PDF Select Page

When a PDF has multiple pages, you can select to import all pages, a single page or a range of pages. The pages will be imported vertically in the Top viewport.


Enter comma-separated list of page numbers or ranges. For example: 1, 2, 4-8.

All (n pages)

Imports all pages in a PDF. The total page number is displayed.


Exporting a PDF file brings up a dialog similar to the Print dialog. The Rhino PDF printer is used to write the PDF file. If you would like to use a different PDF printer on your system, use the Print command.

To save PDF with layers

  • Raster output does not support saving layers to PDF.

  • PDF readers have to support viewing layers. (Such as Adobe Acrobat Reader)

  • Layers are exported when possible. Set Rhino.Options.Advanced.PDF.OptionalContentGroups=0 in Options > Advanced to disable saving layers.

  • The print order of hatches, annotations, and geometries is decided by some rules.



Paper sizes supported by the printer and paper orientation.


The DPI ("dots" per inch) setting.

Output type

Defines the printing method.

Vector Output

Prints lines, curves, and fill areas.

By default, Rhino prints everything it can using vectors.

Raster Output

Prints a bitmap image.

Output color

Defines how color is printed.

Print color

Uses the layer or property Print Color setting to print point objects, curves, annotations, and wireframes, etc. Mesh faces and surfaces are printed with display colors.

Display color

Print objects with the same wireframe color that displays in viewports.

Black and white

Converts colors to gray scale.

View and Output Scale

View list

List of viewport names and layout pages.

When a layout page is selected, the printer paper size changes to use the layout page size.


Prints the selected viewport or layout page.


Zoom the current viewport to contain all objects in the model.


Prints a selected window area.


Select a new print area. The window grips can be manipulated after the window is drawn.

Multiple layouts

Select the layout pages to print. Printing to PDF results in a single PDF file with multiple pages.

All layouts

Prints all layout pages.

When printing multiple layouts to image file, multiple image files will be created all with an ascending index suffix appended to the file name.


Displays current display magnification as percentage. Select scale from the list or set the scale in paper units=model units.

On paper = In model

Sets the units used on the printed page and the equivalent units used in the model.

Margins and Position (model views only)

Sets or expands the non-print areas around the page.

Each of the options controls the position, margins, width, and height options.


Sets margins for all four sides.

Top, left, width, height

Sets the top and left margins and a width and height for the print area.

Top, right, width, height

Sets the top and right margins and a width and height for the print area.

Bottom, left, width, height

Sets the bottom and left margins and a width and height for the print area.

Bottom, right, width, height

Sets the bottom and right margins and a width and height for the print area.

Centered, width, height

Centers the print area and sets a width and height.

Match viewport aspect ratio

Sets the margins and position to the same aspect ratio as the selected viewport.

Match maximum printable area

Sets the margins to the printer maximums.



Centers the image in the print area.

Offset from

If the Centered box is not checked, choose from offset options.

Lower left

Offsets the image in the print area from the lower left.

Upper left

Offsets the image in the print area from the upper left.

Lower right

Offsets the image in the print area from the lower right.

Upper right

Offsets the image in the print area from the upper right.

X, Y, offset values and unit system

Specifies the offset amount in the x and y directions and sets the offset units.

Linetypes and Line Widths


Match pattern definition

Printed line type pattern matches values in linetype definition file.

Match viewport display

Printed linetype pattern matches the current display properties

Line width

Scale by

Multiplier to globally change printed line widths.

Default line width

Ranges from Hairline through normal drafting widths (in millimeters) through No Print.

To define your own line widths, add line width values to the printwidths.txt file in the Rhino support folder.

In the printwidths.txt file:
  • Lines begin with ; or // will be ignored.
  • Line width values have to be larger than 0.

Non-scaling objects

Point objects

Size for point objects on the printed page.

Arrowhead size

Size for arrowheads on the printed page.

Text dot font size

Size for the text dot font on the printed page.


Optional items to include on the printed page.


Background color
Prints the viewport background color.
Background bitmap

Prints the viewport background bitmap.


Prints the viewport wallpaper.

The wallpaper will always scale to fit the extents of the print window.

To keep the background size constant, use a background bitmap.


Prints light objects.

Clipping Planes

Prints clipping plane objects.

Only selected objects

Prints selected objects only.

Locked objects

Prints locked objects. Clear the check box to hide locked objects on the printed page.


Prints the construction plane grid.

Grid axes

Prints the construction plane grid axes.


Allows printing a dashed line at the margins.



Prints the contents of Notes window.


No notes printed.


Prints the notes at the top of the page.


Prints the notes at the bottom of the pages.

File name

Prints the full file name including path.


No file name printed.


Prints the file name at the top of the page.


Prints the file name at the bottom of the page.

See also

Wikipedia: Portable Document Format




Rhinoceros 7 © 2010-2022 Robert McNeel & Associates. 25-May-2022