Mac vs PC interface

I’ve seen some posts about the subject but no real conclusions or take-aways why such a stark difference. It seems that with Rhino 7 that issue took turn for worse imo.

Watching many online tutorials, I’m getting very envious at windows users. While I can figure out the
differences running on a Mac, the workflow is sluggish at best ,when compared to windows as far as I can manage. (I’m sure expert users have many work arounds)

I know there are some platform specific limitations such file system and graphic subsystem but
as other mentioned, Rhino is a unique experience that should carry over to every platforms.

Other companies managed to unify the interface with minor reasonable differences, can’t see why not
Rhino. I’ve been a Mac user for 25 years and I’m well aware of philosophical differences between the
platforms, all I can say about that is that it doesn’t always apply, certainly when it comes to the a unique, powerful and proven workflow.

Hope to see some major changes on the Mac side, especially now that we’re going to a new era with the
with native support for the Apple chip.


RH5, RH6, RH7 for Mac all have the same UI right?

can you give some examples?


Relatively new user. just caught the end of V6 and jumped to 7 right away so can’t speak deeply
about previous versions but earlier version of V6 had the preferences or settings more inline with the windows version if memory serves well and I found it a lot easier to deal with. in the new version they made it more like the Apple preferences window which is a lot more cumbersome and sluggish.

  1. Command line location and access. looks so much better on the windows up at the top with all the options inline.
  2. OSnaps control on the right side by the panes.
  3. minimized 1 line widh tool bar on the left side
  4. Settings window

I done’t have windows so I can only judge by what I see watching tutorials but these 4 things alone
will make workflow so much better for me.

As a new user i’m constantly digging in the settings and preferences and with the currents format
I just give up as it is so daunting.

Maybe more advanced users can shed some light on other differences that frustrates them or just
just point me in the right direction how to mimic these functions.

The decision to not make a unified interface was taken way back in 2007 and it’s not likely to change. The philosophy behind having two different interfaces is highly debatable but that’s just the way it is.

I wouldn’t hold your breath on major interface changes. Hopefully they can speed things up and make them smoother over time, especially on the display end.

Having developed software on both systems, I hold the view that trying to have a common user interface between Mac and Windoze/PeeCee is an exercise in futility.

The basic features of the two user interfaces is quite different. Trying to create a system with a common user interface is simply going to create something that is dumbed down to the lowest common denominator.

I don’t believe that having something that looks/works like the Windows Rhino command line would be completely impossible to create on Mac - it’s simply that they did not want to do that. It was deemed not “Mac-like” enough. (even though it’s not "Windows-like either, it’s “AutoCAD-like”).

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So I guess this thread should not focus on a “complete overhaul” of the Rhino Mac UI, but rather on specific fixable issues…
Regarding the toolbar: I am actually rarely using the toolbar. Same in Grasshopper. Thats why I hide them both in RH as well as in GH (=much more space and cleaner look. Only letting them pop up with a shortcut when needed).

Thus I am also using the command dialog on mac, with which I have a small responsiveness issue, as I mentioned some time ago.

One spontaneous idea improve the command line situation would be to include command search + options in the command history panel. Just thinking out loud…

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Sometime ago, when I used to do heavy duty photoshop work the interface was just an Abstraction layer.
I unified all my Mac shortcut and preferences with the PC at work. Mapped my keyboard modifiers keys to be in the same exact position to execute all the commands blindly with minimal interface input.

So for me there was little to no difference working on either Mac or a PC. It sounds like it might be the case in Rhino? It’s going to take sometime before I can get there so in the meantime a little help could go a long way.

I’m sure educators will appreciate this gesture more than anyone else but for newbies scouring the internet for information this unity can come in very handy.

The difference should comedown to Command instead of Windows button and Option instead of the Alt button, I believe most folks can handle that :slightly_smiling_face:

Yes, this had been a problem for years, so I stopped using it…


This is a fair representation of the 2007 position, but things are and have been changing over the years. Our goal with Rhino for Mac was to create a UI that was familiar to Mac users. Our mac dev team spent a lot of time on this, and I personally think they did a great job. And, the differences between Windows and Mac are painful on a number of levels: learning, teaching, switching back and forth.

And, I think many of the UI changes to macOS are actually improvements over the Windows version. When I’m on Windows, I dearly miss the UI-friendly “command line” on Mac. I’m hoping we can have both on both platforms at some point, and let you pick. I also hope the default is the mac-like one.

And you’re right that it’s frustrating having the same UI show up in different places on both platforms. Again, it was a choice to follow the mac paradigm more than the Rhino one.

User interface programming frameworks have changed a lot since 2007, and making an application that looks native on both platforms, feels familiar on both platforms, and also feels familiar when switching platforms, is much easier now (but still not easy).

Just like Mac users would be really disoriented if we made Rhino for Mac look like Rhino for Windows, Windows users would feel equally disoriented if we made Rhino for Windows instantly look like Rhino for Mac. The evolution toward a common UI will likely be slow, and take several versions to complete.

using a mac has definitely a vast variety of reasons being the look one of the least maybe?

the way how each hardware component is playing each part in a carefully selected and balanced manner integrating to a total experience is far more important than a fancy UI flavour, which by the way is going downhill anyway, at least i think it has seen its peak and is actually degrading as we are speaking.

there is one UI part which has became infuriating with the latest Mac Os release, shrinking the screen real estate for the sake of ridiculous huge bars.

I would really appreciate if things became a bit more Rhino like in upcoming releases, you have the power to change it and decide on having it look just how you would like it to look. Submitting to the UI of a platform is not a good goal specifically since they themselves have proven to be dynamic for no good reason.

More than great.

Having worked on the window version from 2002 to 2014 before switching to the Mac version in 2014, I find that on some aspects, the ergonomics of the mac version offers nice things.

I personally have no problem working with both versions, but for personal reasons ( not objective then ), if I had to choose a side, although not perfect, I admit that the mac version seduces me more than the win version.

There are good things to take in both versions if you analyze things objectively, this is probably the hard part on the user side.
In this spirit, completely denaturing one version to favour another does not seem to me the right path.

Learning & teaching is indeed a concern.
Having a more convergent UI in the future would certainly contribute to simplify things.

Rodolfo Santos

Me, too! Don’t have a Mac, will never have one, but that UI look(!) is so much nicer than on Win!
I envy you for that (not for other things).
Under Windows, Rhino always looks somewhat oldschool, but not in an intentional way.
People who set their UI colours to black, green and magenta might not understand this.

now if all that could be taken into a (more) unified rhino, might make everybody happy

I like to think of myself as a CAD user first, regardless the underlying computer system.
But it looks like that is not too common among Rhino users then … :wink:

As a long time rhino user on windows and on Mac (love them both, but menus are taking up more and more real estate I feel than necessary). The Mac version has come a long way and I like working in both environments now that layouts on Mac is actually useful

There are however still three key annoyances that are bothering me everyday.
One it the different experience I get with my 3d connexion navigator…windows feels more right.
The second is the super confusing customisation of toolpanels on the Mac. Nothing beats the ease of customisation on windows…push a button and pull an icon.
The last is the font size issue in texts and dimensions when opening/importing DWG, but I guess that is equally bad and super time-consuming to correct on both platforms…I guess nothing is ever perfect


i agree

that is what i am wishing for the mac version either

Yep - the Win system is so much better! Would be nice to have the same system on MacOS. Please…


IIRC it’s on the list to make toolbars universal in a future release.

I use both mac and pc, mac when teaching, windows when I need to get work done. Both have their strong points, but I could live without the Mac version, not the other way around. But the Mac version is more pleasing to the eye, has crisper icons (though in v8 the win icons look great too)

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We’re getting closer to the same toolbar interface on both platforms with V8 now that we support vector based images (svg) that can be used in both places. We’ve already modified v8 so both Mac and Windows are using the same set of resources for toolbar button images.