Materials panel tools menu

These settings also appear on right-click context menus for the thumbnail previews and the thumbnail background.

Assign to Objects

Assigns the current material to selected objects.

Assign to Layers of Objects

Assigns the current material to the layers of selected objects.

Assign to Layers...

Assigns the current material to selected layers.


Select Object(s)

Select objects that use the current material.

Create New Material

Creates a new material from a template.

Import from Material Library...

Import Material from the Render Content folder, Internet connection is required to download online.

Create Physically Based material from texture files

Creates a physically based material from image files, or a PBR texture set (.zip).


  1. Select one or more image files, or a PBR texture set (.zip).

    Free or paid PBR texture sets can be downloaded from the Internet.

  2. In the Texture Selection dialog, set the material name, texture assignment, texture mapping, and units.

Save to File...

Saves a material to a Rhino .rmtl file.

When more than one material is selected, you will be asked to select a folder to save multiple .rmtl files at once.


Copies the selected item to the Clipboard.


Creates a new item based on the contents of the Clipboard.

Paste as Instance

Creates a new item based on the contents of the Clipboard. The new item will be linked to the original item.


Deletes the selected item.

Select All

Select all items in the list.

So you can change the common settings and thumbnail properties of all items.

Reset to Defaults

Changes all of the item settings to the default.


Creates a new item from the selected item.


Pops up the Render Content Tag dialog to manage tags. Tags group or categorize items to make searching easier.

Filter By Tags

Hides the items that don't have the selected tags.

Sort Alphabetically

Lists the items with their names in ascending (A to Z) order.

Remove Instancing

Removes the connection between instanced items.

Update Preview Now

Updates the preview of the selected item when auto-update is disabled.

Floating Preview

Floats the preview image in a resizable window.

Floating Editor

Edits the selected item in a separate dialog.


Displays the previews as a grid of thumbnails.


Displays the previews as a list of thumbnails.


Displays the previews as a tree showing nesting.

Show All Materials

Displays used and unused materials.

Show Only Used Materials

Hides unused materials.

Show Only Unused Materials

Hides used materials.

Horizontal Layout

Displays the previews to the left of the controls.

Show Preview Pane

Displays the selected item in a large preview section.


Sets the thumbnail size to the smallest size.


Sets the thumbnail size to the smaller size.


Sets the thumbnail size to medium size.


Sets the thumbnail size to large size.

Show Labels

Displays thumbnail name labels when in Grid mode.

List mode always displays labels.

Show Units

Displays the dimension of the object in the preview.

The object dimension can be changed in Preview Properties.

Auto-Update Preview

Automatically updates all previews as settings change.

Update All Previews

Update previews manually when Auto-Update Preview is off.


Opens the Preview Properties dialog box.

Preview thumbnail images and the background area between thumbnail images both have context menus.

Preview Properties

The preview properties settings control the appearance of the thumbnail images.


Specifies the shape of the object that displays the material in the preview thumbnail.


Sets the dimension of the preview object in meters. 


Controls the appearance of the thumbnail background.


The default gray environment is used.


A gray checkered backdrop is used.



Uses an environment as the background.

Click to assign environment

Select an existing environment or create a new one.

Select Environment

The list of existing environments.


Create a new environment.


Controls the right-mouse drag object or camera rotation.

Rotate object

Right-mouse drag rotates the object.

Rotate camera

Right-mouse drag rotates the camera.

X angle

Sets the horizontal rotation angle for the object or camera.

Y angle

Sets the vertical rotation angle for the object or camera.


Simple lighting

Uses the default lighting.


Uses the current skylighting settings.

Save as Defaults

Saves the thumbnail properties as the default settings.

Load from Defaults

Uses the default settings.