Using Rhino with keyboard commands only (no mouse)


Couldn’t find anything on this topic. I’ve managed to get a mouse-arm strain, and wondering how I can use Rhino with as few mouse-clicks as possible. Like a command line interface.

I noticed some people are typing “mode” and “wireframe” to change display mode. So I guess the way to go is looking at the text field and learn the commands.

Any other tips out there from long-time users and GUI-haters?:grin:

I should probably get a better mouse, using a Logitech G-series gaming mouse. Any tips are much appreciated, guys :pray:

Eventually all comes down to how relaxed you can keep your hand during work (and beyond) but normal mice do generate a very unnatural (twisted) hand position that will increase the strain related issues. I’ve been using a tablet instead of a mouse for all my work and have been using it for over 10 years without many issues. You could also try out the more vertical mice. But even with a tablet and more natural hand position you still need to keep aware that you stay relaxed. Take regular breaks, drink enough water.

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Key points for staying relaxed:

  • good posture, the spine should carry the weight of your head, not the neck and shoulder muscles
  • no leaning on arms
  • avoid bent joints that aren’t bent when in rest pose
  • back of the hand should be in line with lower arm, no ‘kink’ in the wrist on that backside

In addition to the frequent brakes proposed do stretching of your muscles and joints during those breaks.


You could do what I did when I broke my wrist last year, learn to mouse with your off hand. I got a mouse with a bunch of buttons to replace shift ctrl alt.

Because of a wrist injury I’ve used a ball mouse for years without any problems. Found I need one where you move the ball with your thumb.

I have actually mouse keys on my Kyria split keyboard. In theory I don’t need a mouse device, but in practice I use mouse, trackball and drawing surfaced quite a lot. There just are those tasks that are easier (to my mind) accomplished that way.

From my experience, having a 3d mouse (space connexion) helped a lot because I wasn’t doing so much straining for orbiting around. The mouse becomes just a clicker and not going back and forth. It kinda offset all that effort between hands rather than just one, similar to the remark about learning to mouse with your other hand.

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It is not a hardware-related answer but once upon a time I had a right hand paralysis from working too much (14hrs a day for quite some time). I received tremendous help from acupuncture and relief was almost instant.

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After having removed a ganglion from my right wrist I started using two mice one for my left hand and one for my right hand. I’ve been using a 3D connexion SpaceNavigator for many years too and I have to say a 3D mouse drastically reduces the use of the mouse. Without a 3D mouse all navigation and most commands are right hand actions. Using the keyboard for some commands and the mouse for others helps to share the strain on both hands. Custom macros / buttons with scripts can also be quite useful to reduce the numbers of mouse clicks…

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I’ll typically have left hand on keyboard, right hand on mouse. Commands get called from keyboard shortcuts or typed into command line when required. Mouse is mainly for selections & pan/zoom/rotate.

Thinkpad laptops have a little trackpoint nub (in addition to regular touchpad) so you can actually do all of this without taking hands off the keyboard.

I’d think it depends mainly on what you model, if discrete shapes with specific dimensions & positions this should work ok as most values will be typed in anyway. If lots of freeform curves with pushed/pulled control points, maybe less so.