Rhino 5 Annotation Settings

I have a 1:1 drawing, and the numbers for the measurements are about 1-1/2" tall. If I change the setting (Annotation->Dimensions->Default->Layout Sizes->Text height: (I entered .12), nothing changes in my layout. What am I doing wrong? Thanks-

Hi Hal- select the dimension and check in Properties what dimstyle it is actually using - it may not be default. Then modify the settings for that style. Any luck?


Thanks Pascal. I flipped around a few settings in the “Default” style and I can see it working now. Would you happen to know why occasionally when I start a new document, the dimension style displays angled slashes, rather than arrows? I can’t seem to find a setting that either controls or specifically chooses this slash line setting. Any suggestions? Thanks again-

And here’s another problem: If I choose “Default” annotation setting, I can see the changes I make after hitting the OK button, just like I should. However, if I switch to Inch Fractional, Inch Decimal, or Foot-Inch Architecture (in which I have entered different text heights for the purpose of experimentation), then hit OK, nothing updates or changes in my document’s dimension display (i.e, the text size does not change). Why would there be no change even though the settings clearly contain alternate height settings?

It sounds like you are overlooking a fundamental thing with dimensions. When you put a dimension in a viewport, that dimension has the style that is set as default (not necessarily named “Default”) in the Document Properties (i.e. a setting that is embedded in the template you are using) - OR - what you pick in the command line before setting the first point. Carefully read the command line options.

To set the default style, go to document properties > Annotation > Dimensions. The one that is highlighted in the list is the one that will be applied by default. To change the style of an existing dimension, select the dimension in the viewport, go to the properties panel, activate the dimension part, and either pick an other style under the Style drop-down OR click Property Overrides OR click Edit Style.


Forgive me for jumping in, but have you tried “setcurrentdimstyle”? This will bring up a dialogue box with a pull-down menu of all the dimension styles available to you in that particular document. It is not universal, meaning that it only applies to the file you are in. It is a quick way to bypass having to go to Tools/ Options/ etc. every time you want to change dimension style.

If you want to change the dimension style of an existing dimension, however, make sure it is highlighted before you change the style in properties, otherwise doing the above will only set the style for any future dimensions. It will not change the style of any preexisting dimensions. Those remain as is.

In your message above re “slash line settings” are you still having that problem? If so, could you elaborate?

Finally, are you working in “layout space” or “model space”? If you are working in layout space, you may want to look at Mary Fugier’s excellent videos on layout space. The options available to you in Rhino are significant but it takes a little practice to get grasp of them.

Let us know if you are still having trouble, and don’t hesitate to call McNeel’s technical support department directly (they are on west coast time) if you are really stuck.



Wim and Cosmas, thanks for the advice.

After messing with it further, I think I understand now concerning changing the default annotation style only affecting subsequent annotations, and not the ones already placed in the document.

However, other things still have me baffled.

When I open a new doc, Annotations always defaults to Inch Fractional.

The annotation settings (the four presets the program came with) do not always obey the settings they are set to. For example, I’ll choose Foot-Inch Architectural, and Foot-Inch Architectural has text height set to .125, yet when I add a new dimension to my doc, the dimension text is in fact 1" tall.

The Model Scale Spacing setting is a complete mystery to me, and I have no idea how to effectively use it. But I suspect it is a highly useful function.

Cosmas, I have posted a screen capture of the “slash mark” I’m referring to here: mbgrafix.net/slm.jpg (I think I have determined the slashes appear in the Foot-Inch Arch. and Inch Fractional settings).

Re: Layout Space or Model Space. Honestly I have no idea what this means, if you have any pointers I’d greatly appreciate it.

I have gone through Dave Schultze’s excellent “Essential Rhino 5 Training” on Lynda.com, but it doesn’t go into a great deal of advanced depth, such as annotations/settings (not a complaint, it really is an excellent course in my opinion).

Re: Mary Fugier’s videos. Where might I find those? (forgive me if they’re readily found on the Rhino site! I’m a bit frantic, as I started a new job and must come up to speed on Rhino’s drafting tools asap.)

EDIT: I have found Ms. Fugier’s videos and also the Rhino instructional PDF concerning using layouts.

Kind regards-

No, that is not true. Changes to a dimension style will also change existing dimensions that have this style.

That is correct. If you want to change the default dimension style to something else, you will have to start Rhino, make changes (units, dimension style, meshing, …) and save this empty document to a new file (you can overwrite an existing template but it is recommended to make your own). Then start a new document by typing New. Click the check mark in front of Use this file when Rhino starts and navigate and open your newly saved file. Exit Rhino. Start Rhino again and when you now place a dimension, you should be getting the style that you set.

Good morning Hal,

It is, indeed, confusing. When Wim says that “Changes to a dimension style will also change existing dimensions that have this style” what he means is that, if you go in to Tools/Options/ Annotation and actually edit the dimension style, any preexisting dimensions in your document that have that style, will indeed, show the changes, but – if you have a few dimensions in say “Style A” and then use Setcurrentdimstyle to CHANGE the style to, say, “Style B” then only SUBSEQUENT styles will be “Style B”.

Modelspace is merely the “world” in which you build your model. Layout space is also referred to as “paper space” and is a drawing that displays views of the model, along with notes, dimensions, title block etc. In layout space you establish a “drawing” by giving it a size, say 24" x 36", for example. And then on the drawing you set a series of “details”. These details are portals (views) in to the model and, as you will see in Mary’s videos, you can set what view you want each detail to have of your model. For example, I don’t know if you’re doing product design or architecture, but a classic drawing in architecture would have a plan (top) view of a house, for example, and a series of elevations of the interior and exterior walls. Then it would also have a roof plan. Each detail would have it’s own unique view of the model that you built in model space.

Layout space is very powerful tool and is similar in many ways to its counterparts in Autocad, Solidworks etc. BUT some people don’t use layout space and just work in modelspace, setting their dimensions and notes right over the model. That is a whole world in to itself. It’s a matter of personal preference. You can think of layout space as a kind of screen that you lay over your model that allows you to view your model and communicate its shape to anyone that needs to look at your drawings. With layout space you can keep the model clean of any notes, dimensions etc. Once you’re done, you can print out your drawing either directly to a printer or to a pdf.

Have to get to work, Hal. Feels free to ask any other questions. Hope this helps.




Back at the office. One more thing. Rhino offers you a choice of “slashes” on the dimension lines. By going to Tools/Options/Document Properties/ Annotation/ Diemensions – then select a dimension style you want to change/ scroll down to Dimension Arrows. The pull down offers you a dot, rectangle, short arrow, long arrow, open arrow or… tick (which is Rhino’s term for “slashes”).

Hope this helps.