Build Rhinocero with a modern look that fits Windows 10 style and introduce dark mode to Rhinocero for Windows

I’m glad to see that Rhinocero For Mac has introduced dark mode, and I think it’s time to introduce it to the Windows version.

Rhino’s window uses Win32 controls, but it doesn’t matter, we don’t expect Rhino to rebuild the entire application using UWP, which is neither realistic nor necessary.

But Microsoft has provided a way for Win32 programs to use common controls:
Windows 10 now enables you to use UWP controls in non-UWP desktop applications so that you can enhance the look, feel, and functionality of your existing desktop applications with the latest Windows 10 UI features that are only available via UWP controls. This means that you can use UWP features such as Windows Ink and controls that support the Fluent Design System in your existing WPF, Windows Forms, and C ++ Win32 applications. This developer scenario is sometimes called XAML islands.

Announced at Build 2018 during the keynote:
XAML Islands Demo:
Documentation here:

We want at least window borders, dialogs, file selectors, etc. to use common controls, and if possible, use common controls in the right panel. This will build a unified look and experience.

Creating custom controls is great, so you can use dark mode for self-built controls, because it depends on Mcneel, not Microsoft. You can easily turn the entire interface into dark without worrying about whether Microsoft is willing to bring Win32 Comes with native dark mode functionality-even so, rhinos with custom controls may not be able to enjoy it.

We already know that you are in the progress of (re) writing sizeable portions of the UI using Eto.Forms so that we can have features working on both Windows and Mac. The current Rhino Mac WIP already hosts a lot of that. On Windows we still use mostly MFC, but the work done by @maxsoder brings a lot into Eto.Forms. I’d imagine that sometimes after the Rhino Mac v6 version is released we’ll see more of an effort of actually switching the UI to the Eto versions that already exist.

So all we need is a shell and a dark title bar. In addition, all custom controls can be turned dark. Maybe this is the fastest way to achieve the goal. Of course, if you are willing to rebuild the toolbar on the left and the right panel with modern controls, we will be happy to do so.


So… you prefer buggy unstable Rhino just to have pretty pictures, no thanks!


As some said already:

so that is what I want


That is a tricky word.
In a couple of years the trends will change, and you’re going to start complain about the outdated dark theme.
Don’t get me wrong I prefer dark themes, I use dark themes everywhere, but there’s nothing wrong with the controls. They just have to re-create each icon to make the background and foreground (picture) changed by the user. They already have the option to change the colors in Rhino. Icons is the only issue, because the foreground on most of them is black and if you make the background black you can’t see what’s there.

1 Like

Considering that Blender has a more modern UI as a free software, and Rhino as a paid software, its UI looks like it inherited from Windows 2000, which is really unbearable. If we need a complete, harmonious dark mode of the system, the best way is of course to rebuild the rhino look using XAML and common controls, otherwise we will have a dark mode with a white title bar, just like Photoshop now And Keyshot, but considering Rhino as a long-established professional software with countless plugins, and the convenience of cross-platform development, this huge change will undoubtedly bring huge workload and uncertainty. So the best way is to modify it partially.

Considering Microsoft’s current plan, the roadmap for dark mode has not been incorporated into the Win32 interface, so the best way is to rebuild the window border using common controls, which does not affect its cross-platform part. As for its custom controls, you only need to provide a dark theme. This is not too difficult. As for the icons in dark mode, Rhino for Mac has been completely redrawn. Although it is not perfect, it can be used. To use.

Another point is that you can modify only some colors. In fact, you can’t get a complete dark appearance through the settings. Unless you are willing to try

Also, I don’t think the dark mode will be obsolete. Adobe has provided the dark mode for ten years, and it is the default color for drawing and photography editing software. I’ve been using dark looks since Lumia, and the dark look has never been a novelty-it’s neither outdated nor fashionable.

Being an open-source free tool gives you a wide bundle of options and freedom to do whatever you want.

Btw, Blender’s UI is quite confusing and also as an open-source it comes with no waranty whatsoever. Using it commercially is at your own risk.

The functionality inside Blender is also limited to CGI it’s not an engineering tool. Whatever they touch in the UI in Rhino they must ensure that the software is stable with all the plugins McNeel ones and 3rd party ones.

One more thing about the dev team. McNeel is a small company with limited programming resources, compare that to the 10s of thousands contributors to Blender.


Just an idea: :slight_smile:
How about you create the UI you need with the latest “modern” technology and use Rhino.Inside to use the geometry calculation engine of Rhinoceros from that “modern” application with dark mode and MS Ink?

I prefer McNeel to continue working on SubD, Rhino.Inside, Rhino.Compute, Raytraced, etc.


you can see it

Don’t want to, don’t need it. I need non-buggy geometry calculation, I don’t want pretty pictures and buttons.


How about we all request that when McNeel makes a dark theme that they rename the default theme after Ivelin… and of course remove all the pretty pictures.

For the rest of us that can actually work better due to less eye strain I’ll +1 the dark theme implementation.


Until that eventually happens somewhere in the future, I recommend the following for less eye strain:

  1. Use a PWM-free (flicker-free) monitor or TV for work.

  2. Use the f.lux program to reduce eye strain and the dangerous levels of blue light. You can also set it to change how warm and dim the picture is depending of the time of day.
    It also could reduce or completely eliminate the flickering on some monitors and laptop screens.

Just for fun, you may also want to try some of the effects that f.lux has under the “Effects and extra colors” menu. :slight_smile:

1 Like

We want stable, bug free Rhino WITH pretty pictures!

As we can’t get the first one even after years and 7 iterations maybe we can get the second one no?