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10 Useful Tips We Bet You Didn’t Know Existed in Rhino

Check out these 10 cool tips and tricks in Rhino to ensure you are in the know of all the extra hidden functions that Rhino can offer you to make designing just that little bit easier.
10 Useful Tips (+1)
  1. One-Shot Object Snaps
  2. The ‘TAB’ Direction Lock Key
  3. Schemes
  4. Advanced Selection Methods
  5. Selection Filter
  6. Home and End Keys
  7. Dot Command
  8. Using ‘PictureFrames’ as Background Bitmaps
  9. FullScreen Mode
  10. Blocks
  11. BONUS TIP! Capture an Image to File

Tip 1 One-Shot Object Snaps

One-shot object snaps are active for one ‘pick’ of a point only and override all current object snaps for that pick.
To set a one-shot object snap, press ‘Shift’ and click and object snap check box to select the Object Snap that you require only.
After the point is picked, the original object snaps selected will reactivate.

Tip 2 The ‘TAB’ Direction Lock Key

The TAB Key constrains a Vector in any direction.
Once you have made the first click within a command such as Line or Scale, press the TAB key before the second click to constrain the direction of the command to an axis between the first clicked point and the current position of the mouse cursor.
This tip works with any Rhino command requiring two points for direction input.

Tip 3 Schemes

Save and Restore Rhino Workspace settings as a Shortcut to your Desktop using a Scheme.
Schemes include and save the following settings:
  • Command defaults
  • Dialogue box positions
  • All Rhino Options settings including Aliases, Appearance and Colour, Mouse and Render settings and Shortcut Keys
  • List of Recently-used files
  • The Workspace toolbar and layout
For further details on how to create a scheme, check out the McNeel Website

Tip 4 Advanced Selection Methods

Dragging from right to left creates a Crossing Box (Dashed Lines) that selects all objects hovered over, regardless if the entire object has been enclosed by the selection square or not.
Dragging from left to right creates a Window Box (Solid Lines) that only selects objects that are completely enclosed within the selection square.
Other Selection Methods include:
  • Select Objects by Type (Edit Menu > Select Objects)
  • Select Objects by Layer (Right click on the Layer and choose the option ‘Select Objects’)

Tip 5 Selection Filter

Click the Selection Filter tool (Edit Menu > Selection Filter) to select only particular elements in your model.

Tip 6 Home and End Keys

Click the Selection Filter tool (Edit Menu > Selection Filter) to select only particular elements in your model.

Tip 7 Dot Command

Use the ‘Dot’ command to attach visible labels to your objects.

You can use either the pre-numbered dots (0-9) or the type in the ‘Dot’ command which allows you to type your own text into the Dot.

This function can be found in the ‘Annotate’ toolbar.

Dots are always parallel to the View Plane and are the same size regardless of which direction the model is Rotated or Zoomed.

Unfortunately, Dots cannot be changed in Size or Text Style and are internal to Rhino only (unable to be exported).

NOTE: To type strings of text with spaces, enclose the phrase in quotes.

You can change the colour of the Dot by assigning it to a different layer and changing the Layer Colour in the Properties panel.

Tip 8 Using ‘PictureFrames’ as Background Bitmaps

PictureFrames can be a more flexible and powerful version of Rhino's BackgroundBitmap tool.

Images are attached as Texture Maps to planes in 3D space and are displayed in Rendered Mode rather than being placed in the background of the viewport independent of geometry as with the Background Bitmap command.

Advantages of the ‘PictureFrames’ tool as opposed to ‘BackgroundBitmaps’:
  • An unlimited number of Images can be placed in the model as opposed to only one with BackgroundBitmaps.
  • PictureFrames can be viewed in all viewports rather than only one.
  • You can Scale and Rotate PictureFrame Images as required as opposed to BackgroundBitmaps which align to only the Cplanes ‘X’ and ‘Y’.
  • PictureFrame Images can be dimmed and altered to be more or less transparent.

Tip 9 FullScreen Mode

Use the ‘FullScreen’ tool to present a design.

‘FullScreen’ fills the monitor screen with the active viewport and hides all menus, the status bar, toolbar, command prompt and Windows Title Bar.

Press ESC to return to normal view.

Tip 10 Blocks

The ‘Block’ command provides a method to manage and alter repeated objects in a file.

One geometry is selected to define the block which can then be copied multiple times across the entire project.

To alter all of the repeated Block Instances at one time, only the one original Block definition has to be altered.

BONUS TIP!Capture an Image to File

The Rhino command ‘ViewCaptureToFile’ saves an image of the current view to a file.

Depending on the File Type, the Image can be saved with a Transparent background.

To access the command-line options, type a hyphen in front of the command name: ‘-ViewCaptureToFile’.
Now you know some of those hidden tricks in Rhino. Add these into your workflow to boost your productivity today!

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Posted on 09 Oct 2023

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