A More Obvious "ON" Lightbulb in Layers?

@marlin: Unfortunately, the “lightbulb” in Layers is more obvious in the OFF state, than in the ON state (try squinting at the enclosed image).

Because of this, when working one has to scan the Layer list for the “absence” of a color, rather than a more obvious color. I seem to recall some discussion about this (indicating Apple prefs?), but if there is any way to make the lightbulb color of the ON state more obvious than the OFF state, that would be quite nice.



those icons are in rhinoceros.app (Applications/ Rhinoceros/ Contents/ Resources) …lighton.png & lightoff.png as well as the lock/unlock icons.

you could make your own for experimentation purposes… (they’ll be overwritten when you install an update though… fwiw, i have an automator app which runs when i install a new beta which places my custom templates into the template folder… the same could be done with these icons)…

idk, maybe not the best thing for me to be suggesting changing an app’s icons but regardless, the possibility is there for someone if they’re of that type of mindset.

Very interesting idea, Jeff. Might you share your automator app so I can use it as a reference to set up something similar?


Hi Jeff, i have done some AppleScript, not much Automator. I stopped moving templates years ago, after realising each update deleted them. I have a few python scripts to create layers & basic guides depending on the piece I am making.

I would be interested in your app, if you are willing to share.

Cheers … randy

it’s a super basic app. (2 steps)

I don’t know if I can share the app since it’s tied to my specific names/paths but I’ll upload a screenshot of the Automator workflow so you can make your own.

there’s a problem using Automator for this as it doesn’t let you navigate to .app contents for move operations but I came up with a way around that limitation… I’ll post that too.

(on a phone now-- will upload the screenshot in a few hours)

(edit) also, in mavericks, I think you can choose smothering like ‘replace newer’ or ‘merge’ when installing rhino… in which case, the custom template files should remain in place… that said, I haven’t experimented with it before and I always assume it’s best to just ‘replace all’ when updating to a new beta

Thanks, basically moving files from one folder tho another, right? Yes getting into app contents would be the kicker.

Thanks, whenever you have time.

May be off tomorrow, the weather prophets are predicting blizzard for us tomorrow. Hope today is fine in NYC.

maybe some snow today but so far, looks like it’s not going to happen. I think winter may be done here- finally!

the workaround for app contents is:

in finder, navigate to the template folder in rhinoceros.app (I can’t remember the exact path but I think you already know where it is.)… drag the template folder to the finder’s sidebar… when you’re in automator’s copy/move dialogs now, that folder will appear in the sidebar and you can just click it to define the path.

(it’s ok to remove the template folder from the sidebar once you’re finished)

Wanna see if these replacements help any?

Modeled/rendered bulb got canted to fill out more of the 18x18 pixel space. Bulb edge got darkened a bit more. Overall a larger target to spot and click on.

here’s the automator workflow i use to add my templates upon updating rhino:

type of document is Application

i use Get Specified Finder Items for the two files which i keep in my documents folder (i save the .3dm with ‘A’ as the first characters so they appear at the top of the templates list when using ‘New Using Template’ in rhino

then Copy Finder Items to place them in the rhino templates folder.

(the path to the template folder is Applications/ Rhinoceros.app/ Contents/ Resources/ en.lproj/ Template Files --in which you’ll have to do as i described a couple of posts ago in order to use this path in Automator)

i then use a notification alert which pops up after i run the app so i have some feedback that it worked.

i’ve been doing this for a couple of years now and it’s worked out fine… that said, i’ll be happy when we can just save a custom template in rhino itself and a new launch or cmmd-N will automatically start off with our saved template.

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hey @CarterTG
those do seem pretty good now that i tried them out… (i don’t really have a problem with the current icons but i can now see there’s room for improvement… i guess something similar could happen with lock/unlock)

Thanks for these CarterTG!

From a “squint” perspective, it’s still a bit hard to read the yellow while the grey jumps out. What if the yellow were brighter (and/or darker) and the grey a bit lighter?


Thanks Jeff!


Thanks Jeff,

@CarterTG thanks, not much for customising my workspace, but may give them a try.


experimenting with doing away with the lightbulb skeuomorph and just using a color dot…
(green -on : red -off)

i guess that could be confusing to some if it were the standard… probably the main problem with the light bulb is that it’s yellow on white… the red&green pop better against the white background.

I think the yellow and blue work OK in Windows. It could also be a nice saturated yellow and dark gray…


using OSX checkboxes:
(i don’t know how to get to these particular icons in the system files so i just used screenshot icons for experimenting… they could be sharper if i knew how to get to the real icons)

@mitch-- can you upload a screenshot of how the layer visibility icons look in windows?

Direction of this thread suggests an 18-pixel Lava Lamp isn’t gonna fly…

ha. i like :smile:

(upon re-looking looking at the checkbox version i posted, i realize it probably should be a lightbulb… or definitely something that clearly suggests ‘visibility’ because the columns don’t have a heading/written description… the checkboxes next to the radio buttons could get confusing i imagine (whereas the lock is pretty obvious as to what it does))

Here’s the requested revisement with a less gothy off-bulb. As for the on-bulb, at the previous brightness, it was already at max saturation. The only way to get more “yellow” out of it is to bump brightness down a bit. Either way, I think the mere task of filling out the 18-pixel square does wonders for the “legibility” of the icon over the standard isometric approach. The darker edge outline of the on-bulb already does a better job of delineating the target than the stock icon.

remember apple switched to the low-watt lightbulb in lion(?) :smile:

(at least for the energy saver system prefs… i can’t think of another place where they use a light bulb… ? )