Editing a block within a block is maddening

Watch as I attempt to find a column to edit so that I can update 50 blocks at once within a floor plan.

PLEASE! can we have double click within a block to edit another block.


can I get some love on this? an update?

i have to agree, editing nested blocks really is a pain,…

There’s always rhino macros, scripts, overlay screen image search macros, and databases as additional tools to organize your every computer need! I really haven’t even begun to devote the time to learning blocks yet though.

But, as I learn beginning rhino script, recently having just got 19 programmable button mouse, programmable keyboard, learning pullover macro creator, and autohotkey there may be a easier solution than your what you are doing.

  1. Rhino macros-self explanatory
  2. Programmable mouse/keyboard-can program keys to shorten rhino hotkeys. Or can program a simple macro overlay to rhino’s interface with it’s software synapse 2.0. This is for simple macros, that can be in addition to the limited around 167 hotkeys available to rhino. These buttons can also execute macro .exe files
  3. Pulover macro creator can make macros that record mouse and keyboard movements, as well as much more complicated if and then statement scripting. There really is no limit to the detail of scripting you can get into with this and autohotkey. Anyways, it is easy to also instead of recording mouse movement, to search for a captured picture.

You do not need to be a genious to use the program for the simple task of searching for a image, and having it click the found image. (But setting experiment controls such as view mode, viewport settings, and other settings to make your search work out correctly would need to be in place. So, in rhino and objects within viewports, perspective is kinda out of the question. But, you can also search by pixel color as well. So, there are options.

Anyways, just pointing out that until we get are super ultimate mega duper tools upgraded with releases, we have scripting, macros, hotkeys, and databases for organizing your macro/scripting data. Databases could also help you with your model data, names, group names, fabrication details, object #'s, layer names, layer filter queries, blocks, block names, block trees, mindmapping your layer trees, block trees, etc…

One thing you gotta consider, is that your lucky you can even update 50 objects at once! 25 years ago, you had to be an engineer to make a crappy calendar database in a computer. Even having a 8gb ram computer is a luxury, and a mega luxury compared to a 1gb. As the 3d program gets even easier and more user friendly, anyone will be able to use it. When anyone is able to use it, you’ll make less money. Now stay way ahead of me, and you’ll never have to worry about a thing. Cause times are changing, and idiots are going to be able to learn how to become professional inventors and architects and there will be no use for smart people.

150 years ago, you would be drafting this by hand. Scaling perspective 2d/3d drawings with your slide rule, and measuring using a handcrafted ruler. You would take pride in crafting your mega-precise and artistic custom architect drafting ruler. You would take pride in crating the ultimate drafting pen. You would take up glassblowing to craft this glass pen, to create this magical inkwell. You would handstitch your fancy pen ink wipe. Only then, through all the powers vested in this intent of precision and respect for your creators would you be able to draw these straight lines. Through showing your discipline, and all of the steps above through your intent, you would be allowed to reproduce these lines. HAHHA, I’m just fartin around, but that’s how it was in the old days, and I still don’t play around on my custom tools! The Power of Intention, by Dr. Wayne Dyer. Should check it out. It’s possible one of the six factors in ego could be not in check! Just kidding.

Wow, this rant has a fringe relation to my question at best. If digital design was only valued in relation to a drafting pen, we would have never made it past Autocad 1.0.

This is a forum where we often request features be added to rhino, many of my requests have been incorporated into the product over the last few years. It is incredible to work with a small team so intimately on a product you use every day.

The block-within-a-block editing can’t be resolved with a 19 button button mouse, or a macro. It is something a great deal of users struggle with and as Rhino gets becomes an essential tool for large scale architectural projects will necessarily need to become more effective.


I know, I was just joking around. I’m sorry to have possibly offended you. I was just saying sometimes when you get frustrated about your tools, equiptment, and processes you have to consider how lucky you are to even live in modern day society. Many parts of the world still opt to make the best of what they can with minimal technology and tooling. Such as mining. A wide variety of mining from dredges made with bamboo and bark to high tech industrial machinery. So don’t take offense please. The use of rhino, and getting that selection to update 50 pillars at once could be your hand polishing of a your faceted gem. Polishing takes time, and you really cant rush it. Mechanical filing fittings for a flexshaft can save time, but they’ll give you carpal tunnel from the vibrations. Some things really do need good old fashioned hand filing, if you would like to be able to file when you are 65 years old without carpal tunnel.

But how easy a program can get isn’t a joke. If a program gets to where any kid in high school can become a professional architect, you may be out of a job. You are elite, until you don’t have to use your brain, skills, persistence, and discipline anymore. Then a monkey with a computer can do your job and will do it for bananas.

Also, if there is a will, there is a way. I was just giving you idea sparkers, to help you come up with a solution. If you think hard enough, there has to be a better way to navigate your way through rhino. I am almost certain that there is a script you could write that could aid in navigation, but it is hard work. Every or seemingly every single architect I’ve even read threads from has their own scripting tools specifically for architecture. If you did write this script, the format of how it operates will be the same for life. You will pretty much never have to ever do it the way you did before ever again(with minor touchups as technology evolves). That is what is awesome about rhino. The basic commands will never change, and features will only expand. So once you learn all of the 832 Rhino commands and 1226 macros, they will only expand or slightly change. Things only get easier. I am responding just to give some different perspectives that may aid in your life and work. I’m not a know it all, but to me right now using the curve from 2 views is equivalent to your selecting. Your ahead of the game, and I hope you find a awesome creative solution. Creativity is how you conquer at most things in life. You solve a million problems a day for living as a choice. So, sometimes, you can really only get down on yourself for choosing such a job. I want to, and I don’t want to learn rhino! But it sure will be nice when the products start pumping out all shiny, polished, and looking good in big gaint piles that lie next to your custom luxury bank deposit slip collection box.

Missed here too. For example I have long train model and I like to edit the door block. No way to get the door next to the camera.

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Filed as http://mcneel.myjetbrains.com/youtrack/issue/RH-29349

@ATH let me know if I totally misunderstood and I’ll add more info or any example files you have to the request.

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succinctly explained, thanks.

hi @BrianJ and @pascal

Was this ever fixed? I feel like I’ve been able to double-click a block nested inside another block (a door, say, on a cabinet block) and be able to edit that nested block.

Can’t seem to do it now in v6. Please let me know where we stand with this, thanks!

@JohnM Any update on this one, I see you recently updated it on YT.

Hi @Alan_Farkas No, this is still not possible as far as I can tell but I’ve asked John to weigh in on when or if it may be possible soon. What I have found is that a nested block only one layer deep can be selected in the view directly but two layers deep and you’ll need to select the instance by name in the block edit dialog. One thing that may speed up finding the right nested block within a block (if the names aren’t specific) is to use the arrow keys to cycle through the list in block edit. This will highlight the current instance in Wireframe or Shaded for editing.

Please post that cabinet file you mentioned if it exists so I’m sure it’s the same issue on file too.

Hi Brian

Understood about the list in the block editor. But how do i even edit the
nested block by choosing it on the list? If I just have a door, and have 3
nested blocks in it including glass, how to do edit the glass from within
the door block?


After it is selected in the block edit dialog list, you can select it in the viewport. At least that is how it’s working here in a quick test. Post your block with the nested blocks if you need me to take a look.

Thx , perfect!

Which is pretty counter-intuitive, measured by the normal standards of the Rhino user interface. A top-level block opens for editing by double clicking, but everything nested below that has to be accessed by picking from a list? That’s always struck me as ugly.


I tried it and switching through the list was slow also. Double click would be very helpful.


Yes, please consider doble clicking. IMO, it just doesn’t make any sense getting into the first block by double clicking and changing the behaviour for sub blocks, it just seems like you can not edit sub blocks within a blocks. There have been many people asking how to do it because the current workflow is no intuitive at all.


Thanks for the added votes on this one. I’ve included them on the existing feature request here https://mcneel.myjetbrains.com/youtrack/issue/RH-29349


Thanks Brian.

Really glad to see my 3+ year old thread living on. Still would love to see this feature!