Planting schedules in Rhino - how to?

Hi, completely new user here intending to switch over from Vectorworks and Sketchup.

The only thing holding me back is the need to do plant scheduling - I’ve looked and looked by Rhino appears to lack a built-in spreadsheet. In VW I do something like the below:

The syntax in the background looks like: =(($D$2*$H4)*$J4), and using this with species mixtures with various weightings are possible. I’m currently doing this for plantings of around 10,000 plants, but need something that works into the 100’s of 1000’s. Is anything like this possible in native Rhino? I’ve found some GH excel interface tools but do they only count GH objects? Or is there a 3rd party plugin that I don’t know of?

update - I’ve just found  Bumblebee (a GH excel linker) from Neoarchaic which may solve my problem

Rhino has no built in spreadsheet tool.
The only thing I can think of would be to make your spreadsheet in Excel (or your tool or choice), capture an image of it, then in Rhino use the PictureFrame command. It lets you select an image file and attaches it as a texture to a planar surface with the same height/width ratio as the image. You can control the size like any other surface.

As a general use Industrial design surface modeling tool, there have been very few requests for that sort of tool.

Rhino has a very extensive set of developer tools. I don’t think it would be a very big project for a third-party developer to write a tool that would do some sort of spreadsheet.


Hi Nigel,

I’m not sure I understand what you would need specifically in Rhino.
Are you saying that within VW you can create spreadsheets and have them automate certain calculations much like those done in a spreadsheet software (MS Excel- Libreoffice - Openoffice).
So in short: In Rhino you would like to have programmable spreadsheets.

Or is your need more integrated, meaning your spreadsheet inside Rhino has a connection with geometry inside Rhino, eg counting objects, retrieving area values etc. that are directly input for spreadsheet cells?

In any case there is no true out of the box solution in Rhino, yet as John pointed out there are many ways to connect Rhino with spreadsheets or create spreadsheet type functionality. I think if you describe your desired workflow in more detail and also post that in the grasshopper, scripting and developer categories on this forum you will get at least a few useful tips en pointers.


Hi Willem, Thanks, I’ll check out scripting and developer (and GH may already have a solution or two, but I have to learn rhino first, and it would be nice to have a all-in-Rhino solution) .

Yes counting block instances, getting areas of surfaces and perimeters of objects, and then performing calculations on those counts, areas and perimeters - as in the above example a planting area would have more than one species of plant so there would be a cover percentage for each species, a per square metre rate for each species, and sometimes another factor such as planting distance. Cell formatting would be useful too. VW does this but it’s clunky at best and the syntax is odd and poorly documented.

Hi John, I’m surprised there have been few requests for a native spreadsheet. I’ve been looking at  Lands, but it looks to be more for garden design than really large areas - where plants are normally calculated from surface areas than explicitly placed - the largest scheme I’ve worked on so far was 650,000 plants.

It seems like what you’re looking for is very similar to some of the schedule tables that a bunch of the architecture plug-ins use. VisualArq makes schedules for architectural elements like doors and windows, but not plants as far as I know. I don’t know if they’re looking to get into the landscape industry, but I would think that adding some of the features you’re looking for would be pretty easy for them.


1 Like