Layer filters - rhino 6 wish

Hi all,

I would just like to throw a suggestion at McNeel dev about layer filters.

In dealing with complex layer trees involving multiple referenced files and inserted referenced blocks, I find it very important to be able to control the visibility and state of multiple layer ‘sets’.

While the layer filter functionality allows me to more or less quickly filter out a specific set of layers, I think what is missing and very important is the ability to save the filter in the same way you would save a layer state (this is a functionality I am used to working with in Autocad and would love to see in Rhino).

The combination of layer filters and layer states would then be a perfect tool for managing complex layer tree structures efficiently.

So, to make the wish clear, in addition to the functionality currently provided by the layer state manager in Rhino, you want the ability to completely hide layers in the list - sort of combining the layer filter function in the layer box with the layer state manager?


I am thinking about this one as well. I think that’s what he’s after. Seems combining them would be functional enough.

I would also think some kind of user friendly macro data would be useful too. To be able to have the ability to command the functionality of : visability + filter in one command.

Then with a command that filters layers, and turns visability on for them. Which would leave out turning visability off of all deselected by the filter. Or maybe a option in the command to invert/ change visability of layers not selected by the filter.
SelectandInvert-which would turn filter result matches on, all others off
AddTo, which would add visability to currently visable, allowing to turn off visability selectively of currently visable

Of course any other variation that isn’t a waste.

Then of course the goal would be to be able to take this command, normal person macro friendly and be able to make a toolbar with buttons for macros, with specific filter and state, and toggle between sets.

Now as for the layer state manager, programming it as a command in the same fashion, to be user friendly as a command would be the second part of his request. Having a command to run a layer state change that has been saved.

such as

Thus having the features separate keeps things more simple, and if you only wanna toggle visability, its quick. If you only wanna change layer states by typing a half word, and clicking on one, its pretty quick. If you want both, combine them in 1 macro, or have two buttons next to each other. But 1 column in a toolbar for visability buttons, and 1 column for layer state could be easier for having 8 combos easier than combining the two.

Then one could easily edit macro format for search criteria and filter options to make each as they arise. Maybe just make the macro sheet on 1 side of a document, and have instructions on other half, or some other workflow. Since it would only be 1 command, changing a few yes’s to no’s and adding a criteria would be quite simple in comparison to multiple command harder macros.

I would think that someone who uses rhino enough, with the complex stuff, wouldn’t mind sticking to a format for how they name their layers, and layer types, and that the toggle buttons would in the end be more simple and faster to make than using the combined layer state manager.

Anywho, I know nothing about rhino, so feel free to criticize me. I had fun thinking about it a little bit.

To make that a little more clear.

The commands I was proposing were separate for layer filter, and separate for layer state manager

It would be useful in addition to a combined layer state manager, which you would use to name/save the filter-set, and name/save the layer states.

which could then be

recalled-or dynamically chosen by the separate commands.

Leading to faster and easier thinking for each of the 2 commands.

If you don’t need 1, then 1 command is faster

But you can do them both.

1 after the other

Or 1 after the other in a macro.

The macros would be easily editable as 1 command for either, and pretty easily for a 2 command macro.

So your toolbar with saved macros for certain criteria could have 2 columns.

1 for filter criteria/saved, and the other for Layer state criteria/saved

Then, all the user would have to do is stick to a certain format on every project that they make, with a key of course. Adjust their workflow once, to stick to every time and they wouldn’t even have to make new formats or buttons once they were in the clear making simple macros.

Also to be clear, these commands would be in addition to the modified and combined layer filter/layer state manager because you would need to be able to save them. Plus this way it could a little easier if instead of making buttons, you wanted to just type the name in the command when running it and be done with it. That would make on the fly settings easily accessible, if you decided to not stick to your layer management workflow, or needed a new type anyways.

This may help shed some light on the discussion.

The functionality should definitely NOT be command based.

It requires a GUI which involves search queries which operate on the layer table and which can be saved as a LAYER FILTERS.


  1. All red layers
  2. All layers whose material is ‘steel’ and whose name contains ‘STRUCTURE’
  3. All layers whose name does not contain ‘WALL’
  4. etc.

Filters are named and saved so the user can return to them at any point, filter out the layer palette to show only layers which satisfy the filter criteria.

From there, one could select all objects in those layers, lock all others, invert hide, the usual…

See here:

This reminds me of several previous discussions we’ve had about layer management: use of tags.

While we’re talking about layers …
I select objects by layer very often.
And every time: RightClick on the layer, Move up the mouse, Click on ‘Select Objects’ …
(Also , don’t know why, I often click ‘Select All’ … then have to redo … )
What about a column (one more) of little buttons in the layer list to select layer objects ?
Anybody else would like that ? :smiley:

Yeah, same happens to me too… What about something like Alt+click on the layer to select all the objects on it?


Yes … maybe.
Anything less complex than the current way would be welcome. :smiley:

I also have a button that picking an objects selects every object on the same layer.
Somewhat quicker, but sometimes clicking an object on the right layer can be complex too …
Then still I think that an easier way to do that might help

Yes, and that means you need to know which layer a particular object is on…

Are you talking about a faster way to find that layer ?
Yes, that would be fine.
Speaking in general, I’d like to be able to see more on-screen information
( V6 Wish: Temporary tolerance button )

No, just reinforcing the fact that it’s not that easy to do and that something could be done to make it work faster… --Mitch

Yes, I agree.
( That is what was my intention to say … but I used the wrong words … sorry :smile: )