Handling linked files, bugs and needs

I am working on a project where I have 4 files linked in, but it feels like I have hacked a system instead of having a system that was built for this. Here’s why:

Remember my preferences
I always use the “linked” block definition type and I always use the “Reference” layer style too.
But when ever I attach a new file Rhino reverts back to it’s own default instead of presenting me with what I used last. Please add a sticky feature to this setting, and add some more describing text because it is difficult to understand what they mean.

The “Layer style” description isn’t intuitive so I always have to explain what these means as “Active” and “Reference” doesn’t communicate that objects will merge into the “mother” file or have their own (for my use preferred) layer hierarky.

Remember layer states
So when the files are linked then stuff work. BUT I usually turn those files visibility off as they are fore reference use and I don’t want to see them all the time. And here’s the thing when ever I reopen the Rhino file then all those files visibility is turned back on… So I have to go and turn them off again. Not a huge deal, but why can’t Rhino remember those layer states? I guess we all would be annoyed if other layers or block objects suddenly decided to be on whenever I reopened Rhino, so linked files should follow the same logic and remember layer states.

And the old wish: REMEMBER the dwg settings, so if a DWG is attached and the Rhino file is saved, then it doesn’t ask what units system to use every time the rhino file is reopened.

Option have a linked file NOT attaced to an layer, just have it by it’s own, controlled by it’s own masterlayer.

Working fine on my Rhino

Oh, it works here too, but it doesn’t remember the settings. Nor are the texts intuitive.

If you look at the options you’ll see that it goes:
"External File" [ ]Read linked blocks from the file.
and then:
Block definition type [ ]…
Now what is block referred to here? The same blocks as above, or now the entire file that you are trying to insert?

And then Layer Style:
What does “Active” means? Why should we understand that it means “merge with existing” and why is a “Reference Layer Style” indicating that it will get it’s own sublayer system underneath a master layer that is named the same as the file name?

Point is, this isn’t wrong, but it is nor intuitive. It requires testing and failing from every user and thus it feels like a hack and not a polished solution.
And I think the settings should be sticky between sessions.

Was that more clear?

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Hi Jorgen - Hum. This seems a little inconsistent - there is a bug open for this

but here the settings are remembered between runs of Insert.

What would be clearer here?

I guess there is very specific stuff here in this process - not related to real life - so some jargon or terminology needs to be used, and learned. The labels need to be short. What I’d liie to see is a little ‘?’ icon with an explanatory tooltip on each so that once the inevitable arm wrestling over words for labels is settled, there is still a proper description.


Hi Pascal, thanks for taking a look.

Well, there I guess you native english speakers are better suited than me, so I toss that ball back to you and the Architects who are used to this professional linguistics :slight_smile:

Hi Jorgen - - that was a real question - I understand you are not a native English speaker but clearly you have an excellent grasp… I was truly not sure what the question or complaint was in that case.

Ok, take a look here:

“Read linked blocks from the file” is an option. But what does it actually mean? Is it a good idea to skip reading blocks from a file that I want to insert? If so, why? And can it cause any issues if I read those in? So as a user my approach would be: “I guess I just have to give it a try and see what happens, and if successful then probably just use that same setting in the future…”

And the “Block definition type” appears to link to the above, but is it? And what are the benefits of Embedded and Linked? And why would I want both? Are any better than the others? And if so why? And how can we expect users to know? Trough trail and error?

Point is I use what I know works, but that is because my experience tells me that what I choose has little issues. I don’t truly know what those settings are, nor what the benefits or issues with using them are, so I trust I am not the only user who is working a bit in the dark :slight_smile: (Thus I wanted to point out that such an important tool as Inserting files need some attention)

Was that clearer? Point is that I can’t really express what the settings are, since I don’t truly know what they do… I just know what works for me :slight_smile:

Hi Jorgen - ok… up to a point, but surely all that information is not for the dialog to explain - that is what the Help button is for.



No… help files are for bad UI :wink:

But then, what are textbooks for? =) Bad teachers?

Not that improvement is not possible and necessary but personally, I don’t see it as desireable, let alone feasible, to somehow explain everything in the top level UI.


Haha… I guess you didn’t look at the help file… :wink:

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Hi guys, to follow up this one:
A really annoying thing with the current implementation is that if I have a file inserted and then turn off the visibility of it’s “mother layer” (not the one it is inserted into, but the “Reference file name layer”, and then isolate an object and then turn the “Reference file name layer” back on, then the inserted file will not show. Because (I presume) the inserted file has an invisible proxyobject (that can not be choosen by us users) but is hidden when an object is isolated… Does that make sense?

Hi Jorgen - I think you have it about right - and now that I look at it, there’s a perhaps more serious problem related to this that is not just annoying - try this with the Reference layer turned off (Block instance invisible) : Select an object, Invert and start Move or Gumball or just drag the current selection - the invisible block instance also moves…


Hi guys, I finally had time to follow up on these bugs again :slight_smile:
So seriously… do we really have to go through this on every linked DWG every time we open the file?

As you surely can understand it is both annoying but also a hassle since we suddenly can end up altering something that should not be altered. IMO this can be considered a bug and should be fixed in V6.

The dialog should only appear when a file is inserted or if a linked file is right clicked upon and a theoretical “linked settings” was chosen. There insertion point, scale and rotation should also be alternatives possible to edit, but that is only wishes for down-the-road development.

Hei Jørgen,

Here are a few YT items that you can review:

  • Missing documentation: RH-50057
  • Unnecessary setting revision when opening: RH-49906
  • Wish for being able to revise all insert options: RH-49908

As for the text on the Insert File Options dialog: I’m wondering if it should say Current layer instead of Active under Layer style. If I understand that option correctly, the block is being created on the current layer with that option checked. @pascal?

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@wim Hi Wim - I think Active is correct - the option is between making reference layers - that is, making aa separate set of layers in the layer manager nested under the file name,


and putting all the incoming layers directly into the layer panel with no top-level layer

Either way the instance goes on whatever layer is current.


Ah, yes. I failed to test the “Active” option with a file that contained multiple layers… All good.

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