Layer Identification Using Part

I’m sure I’m not the first to suggest this… because I deal with thousands of parts in one file, it would be an outstanding feature that when you select a part within the views that the layers list would highlight the line item part in it’s list. Please consider this feature because I can see it saving me countless hours of trying to locate parts in the layers list.

If this feature exists already, please tell me how to turn in on or make it happen.

Amen brother. —-Mark

If you have the properties window showing, the layer of the selected object is shown in it and the info automatically changes as you change selection. One click will take you to the layer window. You could also “tear off” both windows and have them show simultaneously as floating windows. Works especially well on 4K monitors or dual monitors.

Yes, I know the layer title come up in the Properties window. I’m asking if the nerds that write the code could just add in a little feature to make it more the Layers window indexes and highlights the line item for quicker identification and convenience. Some of my Layers windows have hundreds of line items. It’s all about speed and workflow.


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The Core - Gary R Fulkerson, CEO - 10185 Elizabeth Lake Road, White Lake, MI 48386 - 248 819 8052 -

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Hi All,

I’d like to expand on Gary’s wish a bit…

I think layer highlighting should be more useable in Rhino. Right now you can highlight multiple layers (blue background instead of default white) but you can only do right-click menu stuff to those selected/highlighted layers.

Highlighting should be used as a form of selection to apply functionality. But also extend that functionality to command line/scripts. Right now AFAIK you cannot tell rhino: “run x script of three highlighted layers”, correct?

…I also think that besides the blue highlight (for layer selection), they should be also a way to indicate:

  1. Selected objects belong to this/these layers. That should be more subtle, but maybe a small bar/column of layer properties that highlights in yellow to show you that objects from thy layer are currently selected. This is especially important because when you select multiple object belonging to more than one layer the properties layer field is not useful anymore: anything in the Rhino UI that says: “varies” is an unresolved opportunity for improvement.

  2. We want to know (all of us, I asked thousands of users in focus groups around the world) if a layer is empty. This is a resolved paradigm in many other 2D and 3D software packages: if a layer is empty, it’s name should be display in gray. Gay gong for the actual layer name, not a gray highlight.

We are all looking forward to see this implement soon, ideally as part of the September GigaSubDUpdate. But if it has to wait until the December-DirectModeling-Festival that’s fine too. I’m so glad you guys have make such exciting goals as part of your roadmap.




Hi Gary - in the Tools (hammer icon) menu of the layer panel, there is an entry for ‘select object layer’. Does that help?


Absolutely! And it should be resolved by a solution that is the same form and functionality across all instances as much as possible for user friendliness and discoverability.

I also have never fathomed why McNeel has for decades refused to continue the layer/sublayer display tree structure to the object level. Maybe it’s too much trouble to figure out a paradigm for doing it. Oh, wait! How about Windows/MacOS/linux/just about every OS directory system? Where the tree always ends with the LEAVES, not just the last branch.

No, not at all. What I’m asking for is if you highlight (click on) a part in a Viewports that the Layers window will index into the center of the Layers window and highlight that selected part layer. Simple, not complicated, probably one line of code.


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The Core - Gary R Fulkerson, CEO - 10185 Elizabeth Lake Road, White Lake, MI 48386 - 248 819 8052 -

And… I should have included the reverse action. Just as when you click on the part in a Viewports and the Layers parts list highlights and indexes the line item to the center, when you click on a line item in Layers the part should index into a viewable position in the viewport and highlight as well. What a wonderful world it would be if something this simple to code could be added to Rhino.


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The Core - Gary R Fulkerson, CEO - 10185 Elizabeth Lake Road, White Lake, MI 48386 - 248 819 8052 -

Absolutely! This would speed up my work flow tremendously and feel great to use. I would want to be be able to turn this feature on or off without digging into Properties. Maybe a button down at the bottom of the screen between to the active layer display and the Grid Snap

Hello - I understand the request. What I pointed out is a way to get the layer of selected objects highlighted and visible, now, today. No pressure to use it if you want to wait for perfection. That may or may not come - the side effect of having the layer panel repaint and scroll up and down every time you change the selection might or might not drive users crazy, and it might or might not slow selection unacceptably - I don’t know, but those are two of the things that come to mind as possible complications.


The layer panel scrolling up and down continually would have me falling of the chair in a vertigo blurr… Hope it’s optional if introduced.

A good way to identify the layer of single selected object is to only check ‘Selected object layer’ in the status bar,no clicks required for quick reference.

The hammer icon route to identify the multiple layers of a multiple selection works well with just 2 clicks - the layer table automatically expands and scrolls to uppermost highlighted layer, very efficient.


Not if it’s made optional.

I would definitely use it, and temporarily probably shut it off as well (especially if I start feeling crazy… :slight_smile: ).

// Rolf

Hi Brian,

No disrespect intended but what you are missing is our need for SPEED.

I don’t want to just see what layer something is on, I want to see all the stuff highlighted on that layer, or get to the layer controls quickly.

you write:
“A good way to identify the layer of single selected object is to only check ‘Selected object layer’ in the status bar, no clicks required for quick reference.”

The display at the bottom just names the layer, and in deeply nested structures you need to go to the “hammer icon route” or use really full names and work your way down manually.

For example I often want check to make sure there are no “stragglers” left on the wrong layer from working too fast.

Or I may want to turn off visibility or lock a group of things quickly then unlock and move on.

Now I often work with some layers displayed in colors to help, but this gets annoying and needs to be changed before the file is presented or printed, etc. Of course you can set print color different from display color, etc. but this is all simply too much button punching most of the time.

Would I always have this turned on? Definitely not. But I’m quite certain I would flip the option on and off frequently as I work if it was available.

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Appreciate your need for speed Abraham, same here.

To pick one or more objects in order to highlight/select all the objects on their respective layers:

!_-SelLayer _Pick _Pause _Enter

This macro can be placed on a button and is fast.

@pascal I can’t figure out how to macro the above for pre-selected objects, I tried SelID in place of pick and a few other configurations without success.

Also, I wish we could access ‘Select Sublayer Objects’ via macro or script - may be a good way to get into the layer list quickly.

Could you try running @Jarek’s script and see if that provides all functionality that you need?

hi All,

Here is the version of the script with the additional option to select all objects on the layers of preselected objects:
SelectObjectsLayers.rvb (2.2 KB)

Save somewhere on your HD and then drag-and-drop into Rhino vport.
From there, it will add an Alias: SelectObjectsLayers that should autocomplete and run the script.
Then you can add this alias to a keyboard shortcut or a toolbar icon…


Thanks Jarek! this works very well.