MacRhino using dual monitors…

Greetings: I’ve been modeling for ages in many modelers and have beta tested 4 other 3D modeling packages. But I have been actually playing with MacRhino for a few hours (no joke) and did just buy it before the reduced price expired. But I have some important questions that I could really use some answers to, and I’d appreciate it if someone could help me out.

  1. I’m a dual-monitor user, and did my best to unclutter the main screen to maximize my 4 views (see attached image). (I’d love to simply un-dock the sidebars, but ended up opening the equivalent windows separately; almost as good a solution.) But when I re-open the file, everything is overlaid on the main monitor. This is a big problem, as it takes quite a bit of time to exactly reproduce the tool locations on the second monitor. Can someone please tell me how to save my window locations? (Every software program out there does this; Photoshop, After Effects, Illustrator, Maya, etc. to facilitate multi-monitor operation. There must be a way in Rhino and I’m missing it…)

  2. Every 3D modeling program I’ve ever used (CAD or freeform modeling) has an “Info” window that shows the explicit world location (X,Y,Z), scale, and rotation of each object. Those values are absolutely critical for sizing, placement, alignment, scale, etc. to your object. And they can always be zeroed out to return the object to it’s original location and attitude. I understand the operation of the “gumball” and explicit move, scale, etc. input values. But there’s no way anyone could memorize all the manipulations of every object as they construct their models - especially when you have models with literally hundreds of sub-objects. Can someone please tell me where the “Info” window is with these values? And if there is NO Info window that keeps a running update of all X/Y/Z position, scale and rotation values, can I start a petition to have one implemented please? I searched for these parameters for hours to no avail. They really are critical to any modeling process. Thanks for any input.

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Hello Buzz,

I’m also a dual monitor user. Currently I use all my palettes in their native locations, i.e as Rhino has them…stickied to the side bar/top bar etc. I find I like to split my 4 view into 2 on 1 monitor and 2 on the other. But, to have the ability to have a saved workspace with all palettes in a location determined by me etc. etc. would be nice. Is there no way you can do this when saving a template. I find that my custom templates tend to save my palette locations.


As for the floating menu, I think the answer should be sought in the DNA of the Mac (and the adjustment of Rhino in it). Windows with “hooks” are a typical feature of Windows (including Rhino).

As for that one… It comes up once in a while but not all that often, really.

I do understand that it might come as a shock that this is not in Rhino but I definitely have to disagree with the statement that it is critical to any modeling process.

In Rhino, an object is simply where you put it. If that is wrong than you need to put it somewhere else. If several positions are good and you need to get to one of them in an easy way you save a NamedPosition.

As I said, it comes up once in a while and I’m sure you could search for threads about this here on discourse if you would like some more insight into the discussion.

I’m sure this is not what you want to hear and please do feel free to start a petition on the issue. Rhino uses an open database where you can report bugs and wishes. You could make an entry there and ask people here to vote on it. [Then again, this thread might start a discussion and provide enough feed-back on its own :wink:]

This only “appears” when you select an object. There is no running update of the position of every object in your scene.

As for your tool palettes opening in front of Rhino workspace, put your floating palettes on your second monitor and open rhino on your primary one. From your image, all your palettes are stored, it is Rhino that is opening behind the palettes when you open a new model because Rhino wants to open on your primary monitor. Not sure if this is a bug or not.

I just opened Rhino 3 times and my floating palettes open in the same spot, on my second monitor.

FWIW «Randy


Thanks to all who responded so quickly to my inquiry. Clearly the Rhino community is an enthusiastic bunch of modelers. And thanks to Rupert for the custom templates option - I will definitely look into it (I think I read that it’s not fully implemented on the Mac version, but I’ll see).

To Zsimon, I think you’re right that the conversion from the Windows version my not store what the Mac calls a Preferences File each time the program is closed. It contains the positions of all open window locations so the file will open exactly in the configuration it was saved in. Hopefully McNeel will confirm that this Pref’s file is being saved, and that would solve my problem.

To Wim, thanks for you input. I was a programmer for years (and even wrote a modeler eons ago), and I know these values are tracked internally every time an object is created. They have to be by definition, otherwise the state of the object can’t be displayed/manipulated on the screen. If Rhino has chosen not to put them in an array, and include them in their Info Window, that’s a shame. It should be easy to implement, and actually is critical if you’re designing an actual physical mechanism that must function. I agree if you’re designing an artistic ring or bracelet (which seems to be a popular subject matter in Rhino), it’s not critical. But in the Engineering world (where I work), it’s not an option.

Many thanks Rhinorudi. I too would have expected these running values to appear in the Object Properties window but obviously didn’t see them there. :frowning:

Now about your floating palettes…, that’s what I need to solve first. So the image you showed was your secondary monitor, and the windows opened there as shown after quitting and restarting MacRhino? That’s exactly what I need to happen. I am opening Rhino on my primary monitor, dragging all the palettes to the secondary, saving the file and quitting. But when re-opening the file, all the palettes appear back on the original monitor (I’m running 10.10.5) I’ll continue trying other options, and report it if I can’t get it to work. But your experience tells me it definitely should do exactly what I’m seeking. Thanks for your input!

Happy modeling all!

I don’t do anything else all day…
(call me stupid?)

As for the floating tool palettes: I work on a single monitor, but when I reduce the main window, and move one of the palettes outside of it, Rhino remembers that position after quitting/restarting.
I did work with dual monitors during my active working life, and I seem to remember that there were more ways to configure those. You could have them as completely independent screens, and as one continuous screen across both monitors. The latter configuration probably would remember main window and palette locations in the way you describe it. Do I make sense here, or is my memory simply fading?


No, they’re not. Rhino objects have the knowledge of what their physical characteristics currently are (dimensions, placement in space, the NURBS curves/surfaces that compose it, etc.); but do not in general know either how they were created or what their complete history of transformations are from the moment they were created.

Objects that have history recorded on them might have a bit of this info - for example en extrusion with history knows which curve is its “parent” and will update if changes are made to the parent - but that is all. If you delete the parent or modify the child independently, the history link is broken, and the object again has no “history” or knowledge of where it came from or how it got to where it is currently located.

Thus the info which you seek to have in your “info window” is not actually available… and would require a substantial re-write of Rhino to do so.


Whoops! Sorry Wim, didn’t meat to imply that at all. I’m sure you’re very talented and productive with Rhino, and I’m just beginning to explore the interface based on my previous experience with other modelers. Peace.

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Hi Helvatosaur, I guess I’m not being as clear as I should be in this forum. Clearly Rhino users are very informed about their software. What I meant to say was that every object has a current numerical X,Y,X position in space, roll, pitch and yaw, and X-scale, Y-scale and Z-scale value. If it didn’t, it couldn’t be drawn on the screen. I’m not looking for a history of the objects transformations from the moment it was constructed, just it’s current values at any moment (which are overwritten after each transformation made by the user.) Every other modeling package (CAD or otherwise) I’ve ever used displays these values, and allows the user to enter explicit values at any time to adjust the models location, scale or rotation. If Rhino doesn’t, I find that interesting. I will write to them to see if adding a window with these values is a simple matter (it should be). If not, then I guess I’ll have to adapt! :slight_smile: Sorry for the confusion!

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Thanks Max - I’m sure there’s a way to use Rhino with two monitors, as Randy’s post says above. If he got it to work, I’ll keep at it to get the results I’m looking for. Many thanks for your input!

I guess you’re going to find it interesting then… :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

It is just a different way of working…


Adapting Rhino to your needs and work style makes sense,so I disagree with anyone who might say that you are working wrong because power comes from using and making something yours.

You can probably make custom pallets on the Mac as well, integrating some of the smaller pallets into larger ones.

I also wish there was more interactive information in the status bar.

Greetings All:

Thanks for taking the time to send your feedback on my two questions. I wrote to McNeel tech support and received a very courteous (and prompt!) reply addressing both issues.

  1. There is a UI Preferences file saved every time you close Rhino, and it does remember the pallet locations. But only if you use a single monitor. It used to behave as you would expect for dual monitors, and re-open files with all pallets correctly positioned on both monitors. But something has changed and it currently doesn’t work, and it will be brought up with the developers to hopefully be corrected.

  2. Regarding the numerical values for object position, scale and rotation, the Windows Rhino command called “BoxEdit” is slated for porting to the Mac version. It displays the numerical values for the size and position of each object relative to the Cplane :slight_smile: When it will be incorporated into MacRhino I can’t say, and I’ve asked that they please consider including the rotational values as well. That’s exactly what I was looking for and I’m delighted they were already planning on adding it. :-)))

So thanks again for all your input helping to get this MacRhino Newbie off the ground :wink: I can’t wait to start digging around inside the tools and getting to know the software.

I suppose this thread can be closed until the UI Pref’s mod and BoxEdit options are finalized. Happy modeling!


At some point in your familiarization process you might want to look into the Rhino for Windows C++ SDK and the .Net SDK known as RhinoCommon. There’s also RhinoScript. A perusal of the documentation for these will give a lot of info about what Rhino objects look like internally. I suggest the Windows version because the SDK stuff for the Mac version is not as well developed yet.

Well, BoxEdit does allow you to move, scale, and rotate (yes, rotate is already in there in the Windows version) relative to a centroid or other position - much in the same way as the gumball does with individual objects, but with the added possibility of applying the same transform to multiple objects.

However, once you have executed the edits and moved on to other operations, you will find that the object(s) have not “recorded” their transformation - they have no idea of how they have been previously transformed and you cannot re-initialize the objects back to their original untransformed state or (any state in between). If you go back to BoxEdit and select a previously box-edited object, the numbers for scale, rotation will be zeroed out again, there is no record of a previous edit.



That’s extremely useful to know. If there’s no cumulative register that updates the objects parameters as the object is manipulated (i.e., they’re all zeroed out after each edit), while that is useful, it’s not as useful as if the transformations were cumulative (relative to World or Cplane coordinates). I’ll see if the Development Team will consider accumulating the transformations so that each objects position/attitude/scale can be maintained with regard to it’s original state.

Thanks for clarifying the BoxEdit function! :slight_smile:


Thanks for reporting this. There does seem to be a regression (bug) happening here. This bug (MR-273) has been reopened and we are investigating. Sorry for the unexpected behavior(s).

Hi Buzz,

I was also in the same spot as you and what I have been doing is to open rhino / your first rhino file from the window that you want your pallets to be in, then drag your modelling window to the other screen.

I also thought that which screen you have set as your primary display might make a difference, but I tried that and it still seemed to be based on the display that you are in when you first open rhino.

Hope this works for you and let me know how it goes! Also the difference in positioning is likely because your monitors are different resolutions, but that won’t be an issue if you’re always opening from the same monitor.