Any way to easily find insertion point of a block?

As an old-dog AutoCAD user, I used to need to redefine blocks with some frequency, and knowing the exact insertion point was critical to updating the instances in the drawing without moving things around. Curiously, this doesn’t seem to exist in Rhino, unless I’ve overlooked it (I’m a new user). If I want to redefine a block that was perhaps created by someone else, I can explode the existing block and alter its constituents, but when redefining it, how do I know where the original insert point is???


Hi Snowbird- use BlockEdiit for this rather than exploding the block - you can edit the insertion point within the edit process. Also, turning on points for blocks shows a point at the insertion point.


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As I understand it, the capabilities of BlockEdit are rather limited. Yes, you can add and subtract elements, but if you want to move things around I have found no other way than exploding the block, then making the modifications and redefining it. If there is a better way I’m all ears!

I didn’t know that turning on points shows the insertion point…is there any way of snapping to it (ala AutoCAD’s “Insert” snap point)? This is also an important aid if you’re working with someone else’s block that may not have a well-defined insert point.

And by the way, those points displayed are so tiny, at least on my high-res screen. I’d like to suggest that in the future there’s an option to adjust the display size.

Okay, so now that I know that turning points on shows the insert point, I think that’s the key. Apparently it is possible to snap to that point itself using the point object snap. So my old AutoCAD trick of drawing a temporary line to the point just to mark it still works. That way with a block redefinition it’s possible to locate the point precisely, even if it’s not on a logical location for the objects.

Still, Rhino could really use a real block editor like in AutoCAD. The trick described above is one I used 20 years ago before there really was a good block editor in AutoCAD. [Gasp! 20 years!!]

Hmm- that is just not the case- you can do anything inside BlockEdit than you can in regular Rhino pretty much- make new geometry, build things, move, scale objects etc. Can you post an example of the limitations you are seeing?


Hmmm, okay…excuse my ignorance! I am new to Rhino and I just didn’t understand the interface of this routine. I asked a colleague who is very experienced in Rhino about this and I was told otherwise (that editing elements inside the block) was not possible, and I took it at his word…although I’m gathering this is a new feature to Rhino 5 and not in Rhino 4, so maybe that’s the difference. In any case, I do think I now understand how this works. What is a little confusing is that there is no visual cue when the block editor is activated…everything looks just the same. When you’re in the AutoCAD block editor there is not mistaking that you are editing the block!

Thanks for your help!

I stand by my previous comment, though, that points really could be larger…unless there’s a setting there that I don’t know about!

Oh, and by the way, the help file says nothing about being able to modify the objects with ordinary Rhino commands when the block editor is active…it merely describes adding, removing and changing the base point and gives no hint that modification of objects is possible. That’s another reason I overlooked this rather simple but important fact.

Hi Snowbird- you can set control point and point object sizes per display mode- I agree the default is pretty small on high res monitors- I set mine to 4 pixels. See Options > View > Display modes > Mode name - piles of controls there.


Oh THANK YOU! That’s just what I was looking for! So many options! Being able to actually see the insert point is half the challenge! Think I’m finally getting this now. :smiley:

I am necromancing this thread because no matter what, it would be handy if we had both a way to visually see the block insertion point, and once more, to snap to it.

(Thank you for your consideration)

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Sometimes I turn on control points for the block (then spend a while looking for the solitary point that appears… :confused:), put a point object on it, then CP off and group the block with the point and name it all with the same name as the block. A bit clunky, but it allows me to keep track of where insertion points are. The grouping also remains after any BlockEdit fun and can also allow you to explode the block, edit and redefine it if necessary.

I do agree though that something about the Rhino interface for editing blocks makes me feel like I’m on the ragged edge the whole time. It’s not very confidence inspiring.

But - I’m not sure if that helps the OP.