Layouts and Images

Hi All,

Frustrating Architectural Presentation Issue:

My workflow for a while has been to use print preview and -viewcapturetofile (and then scale it later off the layout pdf version in indesign) for quite some time now. But this is cumbersome and annoying. Unfortunately I can not seem to find a better option of getting the image that I see while working on to paper.

I have captured three screen shots.

  1. What I see in rhino - the best version and ultimately what I want my print to pdf to look like.
  2. What I see in the Layout page.
  3. What the actual pdf looks like.

Does anyone have a solution for this, its incredibly frustrating, and I would like to find a more logical way of doing this instead of always having to scale an image afterwards to get a good quality drawings.

I’m confused. You do know that the Layout tab gives you the possibility to scale your views and print/save them to pdf?

yes, of course.

The issue is, I spend hours looking at a drawing in Rhino Model Space and prepare it for printing, but the no matter how I print, it looks nothing like what I see in the model space with Print Preview enabled.

If you see the 3 images, they all look completely different.

  1. Model Space View with Print Preview on.
  2. Rhino Layout tab (scaled to 1:50)
  3. Final Pdf printed from that layout.

Simply put, I want image 1 printed to pdf exactly how it looks, line weights, colours and all. The pdf versions always seem to come out with enhanced thicknesses and colours.

Hi @felixrothermel0 ,

  1. Can you provide a small model for us to test?
    You can email it to, attn. Mary and reference this Forum post.

  2. Please clarify you want to print what you see on the layout:

  • line weights
  • colours
  • “and all.” what does this mean exactly?
    the background? Do you want the gray Layout backgroud?
  1. Please reply with screen captures of each of the area that do not look correct on your PDF.
  • what it looks like on the Layout
  • what it looks like on PDF.
    Do this for each are that you are not seeing parity between the layout and the PDF.

Thanks for your help.
Mary Ann Fugier

Thank you Mary Ann,

  1. I will send this e-mail…

  2. The ‘all’ was a reference to hatches and grey scales. I do not want the to see the grey background on the layout scale at all.

Sending e-mail now.



1 Like

Thank you, @felixrothermel0
I will look into this as soon as I get your sample file.

Mary Ann Fugier

This issue from @felixrothermel0 .
Felix wants to print from Layout and have the PDF look as good as the screen capture from Model space. This was hard because models that we made, worked. So the key here was getting the model from Felix to dig into this.

So let’s unpack this.
Why does Felix’s model look so much worse in layout than the model?

There is actually quite a bit to cover. We got the Model from Felix and there we believe his problems are related to a few settings in the model.

Text Height, Line Weights and Linetypes all need to be diagnosed.
They can look the same in Model as Layout, but we need to make sure the file settings allow this to happen.

As a workaround, Felix was using ScreeCaturetoFile from Model and getting a pretty nice image that was not to scale. So he printed from Layout to get the scale, and then used Indesign to “stretch” the image to be to scale. Very smart to get here, but a lot more work than simple printing to a vector PDF, to scale.

What is wrong with the screen capture?
Well it is a raster image. But even if you wrote out a high resolution file, you can still Zoom in and see the pixel. It is also not to scale.

Why not Print from Model?
You can Print PDF from model, choose vector output, and set the scale at the time of printing.
But you print one rectangle or part of the model space (or you need a special scripts.).

Printing Multiple Layouts
Layouts allow you to print multiple view of the model on the same Layout sheet.
On the layout that Felix provided, he had one Layout with one detail of a very nice 2D plan.
When you print layouts, you get options for all, some or a group of layouts to a Vector PDF and to scale. So this is definitely the best place to print from.

So let’s look at the settings that are causing the issue and get us back to the layout from printing.

The Solution
Start with the Model.
First step was to turn on Arctic Display mode in the model.
We could also all the layers that are organizing the model.
There are print widths by layer, some by object. Not a problem, just harder to keep tack of.
Also Turn on PrintPreview in the Model.
Print preview is controlled by the PrintDisplay command, this is important to know, because there are command line options only available if you type in the command.

Now we go to the Layout. It will look different from the Model.

  • Layout is not locked-> We will Lock it.
  • Set Arctic as the Displaymode for the Detail.
  • Turn on PrintPreview in the Detail.

To make your text size in Model space be exactly what you see on the Layout, turn OFF
Annotation scale off for layout. (Options → Annotation → uncheck Enable Layout Space Scaling.)

Note: if this is ON, the text height is displayed on the layout so it 1:1, with no scaling. Text that is ¼” high in the Annotation style is ¼” high on the plot. Text that is 5mm high in the annotation style is 5mm high on the sheet of paper.

If Felix wants the text to be exactly how he sees it on the Model, this setting Enable Layout Space Scaling needs to be OFF.

Type PrintDisplay and the see the “Layout Linetype Scaling” option on the command line.
This is only available when you run the PrintDisplay command from a Layout

Normally the “viewport scale” scales the display of the object by some factor. For Felix, it is 1/50. Typically the geometry is scaled down to fit in the details and the linetype scale is scales up by 50, which is the proper approach here.

Except, when we look at the custom linetypes in the file, they are already scaled 50 times larger. This is not something that we recommend. The better approach is to use the built in linetype, and scale them up with the Scale factor in Options → Annotations → Linetype.

Why does this “blow up” in Layout?
When the custom Linetype is shown in the model is too large, 50 times too large and then scaled up by the Linetype scale. This custom linetype will only look good if Ltscale is 1 and if the Layout Linetype scale is turned off, details coming up.


  1. Felix can re-factor his linetypes.
  2. If he is in a hurry to print, he can just show the linetypes he sees in the Model space.

To do this we type PrintDisplay on the Layout.
And set the turn OFF Layout Linetype Scaling

This will not show up unless you are on a Layout.

Print Time
The last two recommendations are accessed at Print time.

  • Set the Linetype Scale to Match the viewport.

And the pen weights are too thick so…

And now we are ready to print from Layout space and the Layout space will match the Models space display.

In summary:
By creating linetypes are printed size aka “super big” is never so good approach.
Create linetypes similar to Rhino, designed to be scaled up to real world values.
Here you will have more flexibility and an easier time getting your prints to look appropriate.

Lastly, fine tune with settings in your Print dialog.
And reference: Linetypes in Rhino [McNeel Wiki]

If I missed something, let me know.
And if you are having issues with your model and need help, email me at and include a small 3DM that will show me the issue.
Mary Ann Fuigier


Thank you so much Mary and Max for this very detailed response! Its very late here in the UK, but can’t wait to try this out tomorrow morning!

Hi @felixrothermel0,
I hope it at a minimum I have highlighted the settings that you will need to work with to get closer of what you want.
Here is a video to talk though the recommendations and of course, push forward to your own solutions…

Not everyone works like you do, so that is why there are many options.
The power is having the options to choose your workflow.
But, options can sure be frustrating until you get to the right combinations.

Mary Ann Fugier



Hi Mary Ann,

I have finally come back today and tried these solutions. For the most part they are amazing and it reminds my why I love rhino so much; the parameters and customisation options are endless!

As I had no idea about scaling the linetypes in the Options area, I just created new, larger ones to suit my needs!

The one issue I am having still is that - as in your video - when the vector output is on, a lot of the lineweights don’t show properly and, or, are missing. In raster output all is perfect and I can now finally print an image that is to scale and looks exactly like the one I work on!

Vector output is not essential for me - in fact it is often not preferred in my work - but it would be useful to know how to overcome this final hurdle. I attach two images for you, the raster output and the vector output.

I really can’t thank you enough for solving this for me, it will save me hours in production!


Please ignore my last message, I was able to sort that out be SelHatch, SendBackwards, SendtoBack!

Thanks again Mary Ann, I am so grateful for your help.


Hi @felixrothermel0,
This was the best news.
Thank you for testing the solutions.

Let me know if there is anything in the future that I can help with.

Kind regards,
Mary Ann Fugier