Basic Object Properties? Where?

I’m new to Rhino, and in my basic search haven’t seen anything in last couple years or related to latest version of Rhino 7.

I’m just looking everywhere for a basic properties panel for selected object that most CAD software has showing an elements X/Y dims, measurements. I have a simple circle curve selected…but I see nothing about the radius / diameter and other basic information about this curve in any panel.

I would assume it’s in the Properties:Object panel, but I see only the Details… submenu, and sure, in that is the radius, but is this really the standard way of getting object info displayed in Rhino?



Bummer. I guess to each their own.

I bet I could guess there’s a better way of having very basic information like this readily available in some dockable Info side panel. If there were only examples of other software packages that had something similar.


The other hugely helpful thing that’s missing from Rhino (but have been requested multiple times over the years) is a proper docked panel that shows a vertical three with a full list of the objects in the scene; and the ability to show the selected ones. Such panel is used in Zanoza modeler and Keyshot and is extremely useful, because it lets the user to:

  • Select objects (in a more convenient way than Rhino’s selection by object name);
  • See the selected objects marked in the list all the time (as long as that panel is docked);
  • See the number of selected objects;
  • Hide/show objects (kind of what Rhino’s layers do, but on an object level instead of layers);
  • Right-click on parts on the list for executing some extra functions.
  • Arrange by name, date of creation, type of object, object colour, layer, size of bounding box etc.

On top of that, Keyshot also has a very nice quick preview of each 3d model by hovering the mouse pointer above its name. This activates a small pop-up window that shows the object rotating along its Z-axis), even if the part is currently hidden.


Isn’t it all in BoxEdit?

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This is the closest thing I’ve seen so far–thanks for this.
It’s still a clunkier version of much more polished executions of this in other software.
But thanks for the reply! Hadn’t seen this yet.

The really discouraging thing about your request and Bobi’s is that while it would certainly take some effort to develop these features for Rhino it would be fairly minimal compared to some of the more specialized and thus not as widely used things that McNeel HAS developed for Rhino.

IMHO the details window from the properties panel would be infinitely more useful if it was a separate dockable panel that showed the details of the currently selected object at all times without requiring opening and closing for each new object selection.

The object listing as the final sublayer of the layer list has been requested by many users since Rhino 1 and has been a standard feature of professional CAD systems for just as long. Why McNeel refuses to include it has been a mystery for just as long.

Bobi’s feature list is a great start on the capabilities the feature should include. Perhaps this would be a good topic in which other users could add their suggestions for what such a feature should do and how it should do it.


Yeah I agree. Again I’m literally only 2 weeks into learning Rhino with a trial license, and I’m coming from entertainment and set design using AutoCAD, SketchUp, Vectorworks, and others–Rhino is being described to me as a must-have now for film and tv work, but not having a basic Object Info panel with general dimensional information (like an object’s overall size) just like any other design package seems like a glaring oversight, especially since Rhino does have some basic dimensioning / annotating / sheet layout tools. They have the Properties panel already, just incorporate some other standard functionality in it that the other CAD programs have done forever.

Just remember that a Rhino object does not know it’s ‘size’. There is nothing about the dimensional attributes that are stored on an object - much of the dimensional info you see in properties is Rhino analyzing certain aspects of the selected object(s) at the time you select them. What dimensional info is stored with a curve object is for example its start and end points, domain, point count, degree etc. ; however not its bounding box, actual curve length, area or anything like that.


You may also find the “Bounding box” command quite useful in some scenarios, especially if you look at the command line and change the settings of the output to be:
CoordinateSystem=CPlane; Cumulative=No; Output=Curves

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I get what you’re saying–NURBS vs Polys–but it feels like the program obviously does know sizes and can still make dimensional calculations given that it does have dimensioning tools. It can find me the length and height and depth in mm of a car wheel object if I click and drag a dimension line from edge to edge. So it’s not that it’s impossible for Rhino to show me dimensional information, and it certainly can tell me it when I ask for it with a dimension line. That’s just what it seems from my pov.

Yeah thanks to @Piotr for showing me that too. That’s at the moment the best working thing. It’s far from perfect, but for the purposes of just being able to get a quick understanding of the overall sizes of objects in my model, it’s working for now.

On my machine this panel though is a bit clunky–there’s some slow-to-calculate lag that I’m experiencing.

You can resize the Command line according to your liking.

Rhino lets you do some basic math directly in the command line. For example, if you want to move by the half of 1,7 mm, you can simply write “1.7/2” (without the commas) and hit the “Enter” key. This is move the selected object(s) by 0,85 mm. :slight_smile: The same goes to angle values using the “<” character to define angle, and many others.

If you work in millimeters, you can move objects or create them in inches by adding the " character after the number.

Another cool trick is to activate “Move”, select an object, pick a starting point and then set an angle direction of movement in the command line by writing something like “<30” and hit Enter. This will let you move the object in increments divided by 30 degrees. If you then press the “Tab” key, Rhino will lock the direction (locking the direction could be used even if you didn’t specify an exact angle).

Also, instead of writing numbers such like “0.25” you can simply write “.25” and Rhino is smart enough to understand it properly.

Yes, that’s what I tried to explain, but I was obviously not clear enough. There are all the tools you need to measure virtually anything in Rhino, but they are not object properties - i.e. data that is stored with the object. Measuring tools are only run at the time when you ask them.


Gotcha-- thanks for the clarity.

this is the problem… why shouldn’t rhino add basic object properties/parameters to their programmatic objects? this exists in every other domain of design software. why doesn’t rhino have basic primitive objects that you can easily manipulate?

Because it’s not designed to be parametric?

things can improve, just maybe?

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Sure, why not? Adding a degree of parametricity to objects - to the the point where you can edit them by simply changing a dimension number somewhere - would seem to me to require a major core re-write. But I’m not a programmer.

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Why don’t you use another software?