The Rhino window

The image below illustrates some of the major features of the Rhino window.

Title bar

The title bar displays the current model's file name and file size.

To show the full file path...

Menu bar

The menu bar groups Rhino commands by functions. Most usually used commands can be found on the menus.

To see the complete command list...

Command window

The command window is divided into command-line history and command-line prompt.

Text in the command window can be copied and pasted into text dialogs in Rhino or text editing applications.

Command-line history

Displays the previous commands and prompts.

  • Select "Clear" on the context menu to delete all command-line history.
Command-line prompt

Displays prompts for command actions and allows typing command names and options. When the Rhino window is active, what you type will input to the command-line unless you are typing in a value box on a panel.

Command options change how a command acts. For example, when you draw a circle, the circle is drawn on the active construction plane by default. Click an option name, or type the underlined letter of the option, to change the behavior.

To run the Circle command

  1. Type "Circle".

    As soon as you have typed enough letters to uniquely identify the command, the Circle command automatically completes. Press the Enter key or click the command name on the auto-complete list. The autocomplete list filters out the possible commands based on your input. Usually used commands are listed on top.

  2. The options for the Circle command appear.

  3. To draw a circle vertical to the active construction plane, select the Vertical option.

Fuzzy autocomplete

While you are typing a command name, the autocomplete list appears. The autocomplete list uses fuzzy match. It consists of two command lists divided by a blank line. The first list contains the exact matches that start with the string you typed. The second list contains the non-exact matches sorted by how closely they match the typed string.

Toolbar container

A toolbar container is a collection of toolbars. Each toolbar in the container displays as a tab. Click the tabs to switch between toolbars.

Toolbars contain graphical icons for initiating commands. Many icons have a second command that you can access by clicking the right mouse button. The tooltip that appears when you hover over the icon tells you what the left and right mouse button do.

Left-click hides objects and right-click shows objects.

How to use and manage toolbars?


"Sidebar" is a special container that displays an existing container according to the currently active toolbar tab. In the default workspace, if you click on the Curve Tools tab, the Curve drawing sidebar container will display in Sidebar.

To link a container to a tab as a sidebar

  1. Right-click on a toolbar tab and select Properties.
  2. In the Container Properties dialog box, click the button in the Sidebar section.

OSnap panel

Contains object snap toggles.

How to use object snaps...

Right Container

The Right Container has a collection of panels that provide quick access to some global options, document properties, or command dialogs.

Viewport area

A viewport displays the Rhino modeling environment including object display, viewport title, background, construction plane grid, world axis icon.

When no object is selected, the Properties panel displays viewport properties

Viewport title

Each viewport has a viewport title on the upper-left corner.

  • Click the triangle button or right-click on the viewport title to show the menu for view management commands. Most of the commands can be found on the View menu of the menu bar.

  • Click the title of a viewport to activate the viewport without deselecting objects.

  • Double-click a viewport title to maximize the viewport, or restore the multi-viewport layout.

  • Drag a viewport title to move the viewport around.

Viewport tabs

Viewport tabs are located at the bottom of the main viewport frame by default. Each model and layout viewport has a tab. The tabs allow you to switch between viewports especially when a viewport is maximized.

The ViewportTabs command manages the appearance of the tabs.

Context Menus

One of the three context menus appears when you click, hold, and release the right mouse button in a viewport.

Select Add items to this menu... to customize the items on the specific menu in the Options dialog.

Status bar

The status bar is located at the bottom of the Rhino window. It displays the current coordinate system, the current location and delta of the cursor, and the status bar panes.






■ Layer

Grid Snap





Auto CPlane


Record History



Left sidebar visibility toggle

Click the button to expand or collapse the left sidebar.

When collapsed, click an icon to temporarily show the container.

Menu Help

When the mouse hovers over a menu item, a description of that item displays on the status bar.

CPlane / World

The construction plane/world coordinates toggle.


The x/y/z coordinates of the mouse cursor location.

Units / Delta

The current units setting.

During drawing commands, displays the distance from last picked point to the current location.

Layer pane

If objects are selected, the Layer pane displays the layer of the selected objects.

If no objects are selected, the Layer pane displays the current layer.

  • Search for StatusBarLayerPaneWidth in Advanced settings to make the Layer pane wider (shows more layer information) or narrower (takes less space).
Grid Snap pane

Grid Snap options

Grid Snap On/Off

Toggles the grid snap on/off state. This is the same as clicking the Snap pane.

Active Viewport / All Viewports options
Show Grid Lines

Toggles the visibility of the construction plane grid.

Show Grid Axes

Toggles the visibility of the grid x and y axes.

Show World Axes Icon

Toggles the visibility of the world axis icon in the bottom left corner of a viewport.

Set Snap Size <Value>

Specifies the grid snap size and shows the current size.


Opens the Grid Document Properties.

Ortho pane

Ortho options

Ortho On/Off

Toggles the ortho on/off state. This is the same as clicking the Ortho pane.

Set Ortho Angle <Value>

Specifies the ortho angle and shows the current angle.

Hash marks indicate the current ortho angle when Ortho is enabled.

  • Disable ShowOrthoHashMarks in Advanced Settings if you prefer to hide the hash marks.

Snap to CPlane Z

Snaps to the Z direction of the CPlane when the mouse cursor moves above or below the previous picked location in the view.

This menu item toggles the Ortho Snap to CPlane Z checkbox in Rhino Options > Modeling Aids.


Opens the Modeling Aids Options.

Planar pane

Planar option

Planar Mode On/Off

Toggles the planar on/off state. This is the same as clicking the Planar pane.

Osnap pane

Osnap options

Osnap Control On/Off

Toggles the Osnap control on/off state. This is the same as clicking the Osnap pane.

Snap to occluded objects

Turns on snapping to objects hidden behind other objects.

Snap to locked objects

Turns on snapping to locked objects.

Only snap to selected objects

Only selected objects can be snapped.

Snap to apparent intersections

Turns on snapping to apparent intersections.


Opens the Modeling Aids Options.

SmartTrack pane

SmartTrack options

SmartTrack On/Off

Toggles the SmartTrack on/off state. This is the same as clicking the SmartTrack pane.


Opens the SmartTrack Options.

Gumball pane

Gumball menu

Relocate Gumball

Drag to relocate gumball widget away from its default position.

Reset Gumball

Restores the default placement and orientation for the gumball.

AutoReset Gumball

When an object is rotated, resets Gumball to align with CPlane or World axes based on the initial alignment.

Gumball On

Turns the gumball widget on any time objects are selected.

Gumball Off

Disables auto gumball.

Align to CPlane

Gumball widgets align to the construction plane xyz directions. The Gumball origin will be at the CPlane oriented bounding box center of the object.

Align to Object

Gumball widgets align to the object.

The default alignment is different for different object types.

Align to World

Gumball widgets align to world xyz directions. The Gumball origin will be at the World oriented bounding box center of the object.

Align to View

Gumball widgets align to the view plane of the current viewport.

Snappy Dragging

Object snaps are used when dragging.

Smooth Dragging

Object snaps are ignored when dragging.

Merge faces after extrude

Merges the coplanar faces related to the extruding operation when possible.

Rotate View Around Gumball

When the Gumball widget is visible, rotate the view around the Gumball origin. Otherwise, rotate the view around the center.

Drag Strength

Sets the amount of the gumball drag as a percentage of mouse movement to control the speed of the gumball movement. The default 100% moves the gumball consistently with the mouse.

To fine-tune placing objects (such as with control point editing) set the strength lower, so large hand/mouse movements result in smaller gumball changes. When the control is closed, drag strength is reset to 100%.


Opens Gumball options.

Auto CPlane pane

Auto CPlane options

Sticky Auto CPlane

The CPlane stays on the previously selected planar object/sub-object until another one is selected.

When the sticky mode is enabled (top), the CPlane stays on one of the planar surfaces when the cylinder or nothing is selected.
Lock Auto CPIane

Locks the CPlane to the current position and orientation.

Keyboard: Ctrl(CMD)+1

The lock/icon on the Auto CPlane pane indicates the current locking state.

  • Click on the lock icon to toggle the locking state.

Align to Object

Aligns the CPlane with the plane of the selected curve or surface.

Align to World

Attempts to keep the X and Y axes of the CPlane aligned with the closest world axes.

Align to View

Attempts to keep the CPlane Y aligned with the camera up of the view.

  • Pressing Ctrl(CMD)+R changes the alignment mode through Object, World, and View.

Record History pane

Record History options

Always Record History

Turns on History recording for all commands that support History until it is turned off.

Update Children

Automatically updates child objects when the input objects are changed.

Lock Children

Locks the objects created with history.

History Break Warning

Shows warning message when the connection between parent and child objects is broken.

Filter pane

Filter options

Selection Filter Control On/Off

Toggles the Selection Filter control on and off.

Info pane

Info options

Selected object count

Selected object layer

Relative coordinates

Curve parameter/UV coordinates

Annotation style


Absolute tolerance

Angle tolerance

Current layer

Current layer linetype

Number of off layers

Current text font

CPlane name


Parallel view lens length

Minutes from last save

Memory use

Right sidebar visibility toggle

Click the button to expand or collapse the right sidebar.

When collapsed, click a panel icon to temporarily show the panel.

Related commands


Toolbar Menu Status bar

Not on toolbars.

Not on menus.

The ToggleLeftSidebar command shows or hides the left sidebar of the Rhino window.




Toolbar Menu Status bar

Not on toolbars.

Not on menus.

The ToggleRightSidebar command shows or hides the right sidebar of the Rhino window.

See also

Rhino Wiki: Mac User Interface Features




Rhinoceros 8 © 2010-2024 Robert McNeel & Associates. 16-May-2024