Rhino basics - Import options

This is basic, basic, basic, but when you drag an compatible file in to Rhino (fbx, obj, 3ds etc) you are asked to choose from the following four file options:

Open file
Insert file
Import file
Attach file

(see attached)

Wondering what the pros and cons are of each one? When would one choose one over the other? By the way, as far as I can tell the help button on it doesn’t seem to be working.

Thank you.


Hi Cosmas - it is pretty straightforward, I think-

Open file, will close the current file.
Insert file is like running the Insert command and locating this file on disc - it is inserted into the current file
Import file ditto for the Import command
Attach file is making it part of a Worksession, as an attached file, with the currently open file as the current worksession file.

I see the Help-button looking thing does nothing… thanks.


Thank you, Pascal. I appreciate it.

So…Insert allows you to choose the origin of the inserted file while Import uses the same origin point for both?

Hi Nick - Insert allows you to set the location, as well as the ‘type’ of thing that will come in- as a block instance, group, regular geometry, etc; Import uses the world origin - the incoming world orientation and location matches the currently open file in Rhino. Import does not offer block instances and so on, it just brings in the file.


Thanks Pascal.

Also BTW : Insert will allow you to specify a new origin AND make changes to scale and rotation.

Is there a way to bypass these options, and have it default to the ‘Import’ option without having to manually select and OK it?



With drag and drop? No, there is no way as far as I know to set Rhino to use one of the 4 options and bypass the dialog…


Thanks Mitch, I get the feeling it’s a Windows thing.

I don’t think so, it’s just the way Rhino is set up… As dropping a file into the Rhino window could have one of four different actions associated with it, I assume McNeel programmed it so the dialog comes up. I don’t actually see any reason why there couldn’t be an internal option somewhere that says “When I drop a file into the Rhino window, always… Open/Import/Insert/Attach…” and/or have a check box when the dialog comes up the first time that says “Always use these settings and don’t show this dialog again…” It just hasn’t been done for the moment.

It remembers your last used setting within a session, so all you have to do is hit Enter after dropping the file. It does not remember between sessions however, looks like it defaults to Open every time. @pascal - something to look at?

Hi Guys - thanks, I am out this week, I’ll check on this when I get back.


the help-button still does nothing :wink: fyi

Hello - this:

works here, is that the button you mean?