How to identify an object's layer

Probably very basic. Normally I keep track mentally of what object is in which layer. However, in digging into some old files, I find it isn’t obvious, especially if the layer was not well named when it was created. .

What I want to do is select an object, and then ask Rhino to tell me what layer it is on. Is there a method for this?

Thank you for your insights.


Hi Michael - for one object, or multiple objects that are on the same layer, the objects’ layer is indicated in the layer pane on the status bar. You can also set the objects’ layer from here. Properties will also tell you which layer an object is on.



Many thanks. If I select an object, then Properties calls out the name of the specific layer assigned to that object. This is exactly what I needed.

I understand that the layers are listed on the layer pane. Not quite clear to me how this list calls out or indicates the name of the specific layer of a selected object, however. Should I be looking for a highlighted layer name on that list after I select an object on the screen? Not seeing this.

Thank you again. Michael

Hi MIchael - there’s a layer pane at the bottom of the Rhino window, in the status bar - with a single selection or selection from the same layer, that shows the object layer. See that?


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Ah, wonderful! Thank you Pascal. I missed this because I rely upon, and look to, a layer listing panel on the right hand side of the screen. That list does not seem to respond to the selection of an object. Might be an idea for the WIP.


A handy tool for you could be . It’s free and easy to configure.

…or we could have what I have wished for since V4, the layer gets indicated in the palette, either in colour highlight or a blob appears and its auto scrolled to.
Trying to find the layer, even with the name indicated at screen base, is a nightmare, I have many named and similar layers, due to the complexity of what I am working with, if the layer is a child and retracted, I dont find it so easily. Scrolling up and down what can be 100 or so layers searching visually is not quick, but the only way. It can take me minutes sometimes.
Freehand auto scrolled to the layer.
Photoshop shows the layer if ctrl is held when clicking artwork.
There is no instant identification with Rhino and something like 10% of my modelling time is taken up with trying to find the layer.



@Steve1, no, it is easy and fast, even with files having a crazy sublayer structure:

  1. Select your object
  2. In the layer dialog, click the small hammer icon
  3. Choose “Select Object Layer”

this also expands the layer if it is collapsed.



Hello Clement,

Thank you for these instructions. Sounds promising. Not quite getting item 2, however. What is the “layer dialog”? How do I launch it? Where do I look for it?

On the right hand side of the screen I routinely maintain a panel with a list of layers. If I open the list of filters above this panel, I can see some small, self evident symbols, but there is no hammer among them.

I have also tried entering from the command line “SelectObjectLayer” and “SelObjectLayer” but neither command is listed.

Maybe you could post a screen grab to show the hammer you are talking about. This is probably obvious to most users but I seem to be a couple of paces behind on this problem of layer management.

Thank you for your insights.

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Okay, I see the problem. My own layer panel is pushed far to the right on the screen. The hammer was cropped out. Thanks.

@pascal, can we have that as a command ?



Dale says it’s OK…



Bravo. Thank you Pascal.

While this problem of layer management is up for discussion, I would vote for Steve1’s suggestion that a red highlight might be made to appear automatically within the expanded layer panel on the right side of the screen. This instant red highlight eliminates the need for various intermediate steps: Once an object is selected, its layer name is immediately highlighted in red on the layer list.

Since a red highlight is already being used in the layer box at the bottom of the screen, perhaps it would not involve much coding to apply red highlights to the side panel tree listing. It would put the selected object and its layer name in the context of the layer directory tree. And the red highlight method is consistent with the existing layer identification feature at the bottom of the screen. Michael

Thank you Clement, now why didnt anyone say that before, its a start to a quick layer finding process and could have saved me hundreds of hours, no exageration !
I owe you a pint !

mcg …thanks for seconding my suggestion.

is this possible Mcneel ?

Instant ID of layer, speeeeeed as Jeremy Clarkson says :slight_smile:


I think a few of us have Steve… :slight_smile:

Had to google this, because I couldn’t figure it out on my own.

This is the answer I was looking for!

I see @Pascal’s reply about the status bar, but that isn’t where my eyes is when I want to find a layer. In Ux design (keystroke analysis), there’s a cost associated with moving the mouse pointer, and in this case, I’d say that there’s a cost associated to moving your gaze as well (especially if you have a large display).