Extract geometry from the Block that linked to file


I sometimes import large block from file to use some geometry.
I have to explode block and delete so many geometries to find small geometry, because exploding shows all object.

Only I want to extract some geometry from block into working file. (like group. )

To copy and paste geometries from other file locate them into different position when I insert block from other file in different origin or scale.

Are there any easy ways to do like this?

I would like to do this also. Sometime it would be nice to pick elements from a block and have them copied into the active file. An option to use active layer would be nice as well.

I suppose a workaround would be to BlockEdit - with a linked file, this will open the file in a second Rhino- you can then copy any elements from that file to the clipboard, close the linked file and then Paste in the first file.


Hi Pascal,

Thanks for your idea.
I’m afraid , but your idea would not work good when insert with move origin, scale or rotation.
To copy and paste work in World system in both file.

Hi Katsu - here’s a quick script that may help-

PasteLinkedBlockElements.zip (582 Bytes)

To use the script, extract and save the .rvb file from the attached zip archive, then drag and drop the saved rvb over an open Rhino V4 or v5 window. This will load the script, set it up to load on startup in the future and register the alias


that will run the script much like a regular command. An alias can be typed or added to a toolbar button or keyboard shortcut (F-key).

-Select the block - Rhino will open a second session- select the objects you would like, and CopyToClipboard, then CLOSE the second Rhino and return to the main session- your objects should be pasted in the correct location, orientation and scale.

Let me know if I bungled it- I did not test much but it is a pretty simple script.


Hi pascal,
Thank you very much for sharing your nice script.
It worked fine!

Hi Pascal,
just tried in Rhino 6 but doesn’t work for me!

Is something changed or there is some other way to do this??

Hello - what happens, anything?


I get this error message,
command history below

Screenshot 2020-09-09 12.10.10
Command: PasteLinkedBlockElements
Select a block instance.
Select a block instance.: _BlockEdit
Importing a Rhino 6 format file.
Unable to paste, no Rhino objects or text on the clipboard.
Command: '_Paste
Unable to paste, no Rhino objects or text on the clipboard.

Hello - you should see another instance of Rhino open with the block in question - when that happens, copy (ctrl-C) the objects you want and then close that file.


Hi Pascal,
I did already this
but nothing get copied on clipboard.

Tried the procedure in V5 and there works fine

Hi Luca - if you copy to the clipboard in the second instance of Rhino, does the command line show

“Command: '_CopyToClipboard”

and if you paste it back in the same file, is it there?


Command: '_CopyToClipboard
1 surface added to selection.
is shown on command history
and I copy it with success in the same file.

If you use the script on your Rhino 6 it works fine?

There is a Windows 10 feature which can capture mouse clicks together with screenshots. I used once for debugging by suggestion of some support but I cannot remember the Name.

Hi Luca - I don’t know… it does work here… are you running Windows as an administrator? I just wonder if the two instances of Rhino are running at different permissions or something.


How can I find out this?
Running as administrator anyway and only user.
When I double click a block inside a Rhino file I get this Rhino switch which pauses my current session - open a new one - open a again former session with updated block.

Hi Luca- that all seems correct to me. Does Copy/paste between instances of Rhino work at all?

Open two Rhinos, in one, CopytoClipboard, then close that Rhino, in the other Paste - does that work? That is all the script is doing.


Copy/Paste works between two OPEN session of Rhino 6.
If I copy something then close Rino session and copy to a new one, looks like nothing is left on clipboard with same message.
Command: '_Paste
Unable to paste, no Rhino objects or text on the clipboard.

Hi Luca - please open Options > Files page and make sure the Clipboard setting does not delete the clipboard.


It Works Now!
This was the point.

Thanks a lot Pascal for the script and for your prompt help.
I think this is a useful feature which would be worth to be embedded in Rhino.

Thanks again,