Rhino 6 for Mac & Dark Mode

Posting this here after reaching out to Rhino Support team. I have just installed Rhino 6 for Mac, which now supports Dark Mode and I have identified two problems so far. The problem is pretty annoying because, from what I can tell right now, Dark Mode has not been fully resolved in Rhino and I can’t chose to use Rhino in the classic “light grey mode” without having to switch all my Mac system to Light mode. I am way too comfortable in dark mode at this point and I’ll never go back. Here’s what I am experiencing so far but there could be more:

  1. While in Dark Mode, the popup window remains in the classic light grey. This is graphically inconsistent and also, the icons are illegible (Dark Mode icons have white lines instead of black, which obviously don’t work well on a light background).
  2. Some icons use dark colors which wash out completely in Dark Mode. Check for example the “Trim” and “Cut” icons which have use dark blue.
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Apple added Dark mode long after the Rhino V6 U/I was developed.
Yes, we did make some changes to colors that resulted in some User Interface text and backgrounds the same when those came to our attention.

We did not design the Rhino U/I with Dark mode in mind.

I think there are plans to add more controls and tools to future versions but I’m not involved in that work. Windows Rhino has a tool editor so you can make your own icons but that did not make it into Mac Rhino.

Hi John, thanks for your quick reply. Sure, I understand how development times and releases from Apple don’t align. However, what’s your suggestion for people using Dark Mode? My choices right now are:

  1. Keep Dark Mode on Mac and deal with an unpleasant Rhino UI, or
  2. Switch back to Light Mode on Mac (which I’m no longer comfortable with) and have a decent Rhino UI.
    Ideally I would be able to keep Dark Mode for my Apple environment but keep Rhino in it’s traditional Light grey mode till everything is fixed for a good Dark Mode experience.

It’s your call. I use light mode. I haven’t seen anything in the V7 WIP yet for a more configurable Mac UI so it may be a while. I’ll see if there are any bug reports on it.

I’m not willing to give up dark mode on my Apple environment, it works way better than Light for me.

I think Rhino should either disable Dark mode till it’s properly done or allow users to chose their Rhino mode regardless of what mode they use on the Apple system.

Forcing such a flaw on consumers doesn’t seem right. I’m hoping this can be escalated and treated with urgency.


@John_Brock can this be done? I would welcome it. Rhino in Dark mode just doesn’t work well

Also, I don’t think making icons customizable would be a solution. That’s a feature some users might find useful for their specific needs. I think most Rhino users want a product that just works after installation without having to design their own UI.

In the meantime, i found an UGLY solution (read hack). Disable dark mode for Rhinceros in MacOS system: https://www.techjunkie.com/exclude-app-dark-mode-macos-mojave/

Thanks Pedro_Varela. Ugly indeed but nevertheless, good fix for now.

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Rhino in Dark Mode looks terrible unfortunately.
Is there any way to run Rhino in light mode without switching the whole UI color scheme system wide?

Does the job: https://github.com/zenangst/Gray

Is it the icons or…? What could we do to improve Dark Mode on macOS?

To me, Rhino in Dark mood looks very good, one of the most pleasant UI looks I’ve seen.
[not talking about functionality here just the visual look ] Yes the tool icons could be manually improved some are too bright, but if you keep them quite small they feel less imposing.
Perhaps a grey tone to replace the bright white would be a good simple way to make them less flashy


Hey Dan,
Yes it’s the icons.
The very intense contrast hurts the eye.
Probably the white outline around the colored icons intensifies this effect.
@Akash solution using grey instead of white could improve it.
Also the background of the UI is very dark.
Making that a bit lighter could remove the need to outline the icons.
Looking at UIs that work well usually you have a lighter grey for the background,
and a more tone in tone appearance.
To me the benefit of a dark UI is that it keeps the UI in the background and puts more focus on the object. With the current super strong contrast it feels exactly opposite.
For instance some dark UIs which I think work very well:
Adobe CS uses a monochrome palette with subtle contrasts, it looks very pleasing to the eye
and kind of disappears if you focus on the work and use mainly shortcuts.
Another one that’s a bit more colorful would be c4d.
Although they use warm and cold colors along it feels pretty harmonic.
I understand that it’s hard to quickly adapt it properly and the softwares I mentioned
developed their dark themes from the ground up way before apple introduced dark mode.
But it definitely needs some improvement.
Generally I prefer dark mode settings, in this case not.
So until it’s looks as polished as the light mode (which btw looks great on mac, way better than on win)
I would offer the option to choose, which shouldn’t be hard to implement.


@Akash, @bza_biz-

Thank you for the details. It confirms what we’ve been talking about internally and I agree with the assessment. We have more work to do on this front, clearly. I plan to log some concrete bugs that we can all collectively “throw darts at” and I’ll post them here once I do.


Well described @bza_biz! It’s not easy to distill visual concepts into succinct words.

Confirming that the difference between garishness and pleasing can often boil down simply to intensity of contrasts. This is why lamps have shades…

I like a solid dark background on my phone, yet pure black looks harsh. For me, usually 15-20% gray is just right.

@dan - in options/colors, could sliders that adjust specific Rhino interface intensity/shades ever be feasible or prudent? I’ve certainly relied on the color picker to dial-in ‘my’ perfect ‘dark’ viewport for ages.

Seems some icons lost contrast …:

This is not feasible in any reasonable time-frame for the icons in Rhino for Mac.

For Grasshopper 2, @DavidRutten is working on a completely different way of drawing icons - in which each icon is a little program that draws itself. I can imagine a day - in the somewhat more distant future - where Rhino could adopt this approach.

At the moment, we are stuck with vector PDFs in Rhino for Mac; which is saying something, because Rhino for Windows still uses bitmaps.


The latest Release Candidate for Rhino 6 for Mac has some major improvements to the icons in Dark Mode. @JohnM is to thank/blame here.

We know we’re not 100% there yet - yes, there are still some problems - but I think this is a step in the right direction.

Please take a look and let us know.

I hope it reduces eye-strain.


I like the new icons :+1: