What determines the layer sort order in Rhino

What determines the layer sort order in Rhino? The sort option (tool) whether checked or unchecked seems to have no effect on reopen. Consistency here would be a great help. When reviewing files by layer the constant unwanted sorting is a huge annoyance (not to mention waste of time).

What am I doing wrong?

I’m not sure I understand this, as the user determine the sort order. Perhaps you could further define your question?

The Column Sort setting is an application-wide setting, not a per-document setting. It enables or disables column sorting - the ability to click on a column header to sort the layer list in ascending or descending order. Some users inadvertently click in column headers. So we provide the ability to disable it.

Does this help?

– Dale

Ive noticed that when I save a file with a specific layer order, it is rarely in the same order when reopened. I’m curious as to whether this is a setting ive missed?

Hi -

Can you systematically reproduce that behavior?
If so, please provide the necessary steps and the output of the Rhino SystemInfo command.

Yes, it is consistent but not reproduceable on demand (happens 9 out of 10 times). I should mention this is when saving to DWG files.

Save a multi-layer DWG file.
Arrange the layers to a specific order.
Save file.
Reopen File.

Rhino 7 SR20 2022-7-12 (Rhino 7, 7.20.22193.09001, Git hash:master @ 9b19bfdb8c343dd6fa8df3514068defd72273d6f)
License type: Commercial, build 2022-07-12
License details: Cloud Zoo

Windows 10 (10.0.19044 SR0.0) or greater (Physical RAM: 32Gb)

Computer platform: DESKTOP

Standard graphics configuration.
Primary display and OpenGL: NVIDIA Quadro P2000 (NVidia) Memory: 5GB, Driver date: 6-23-2022 (M-D-Y). OpenGL Ver: 4.6.0 NVIDIA 516.59
> Accelerated graphics device with 4 adapter port(s)
- Windows Main Display attached to adapter port #0
- Secondary monitor attached to adapter port #1

OpenGL Settings
Safe mode: Off
Use accelerated hardware modes: On
Redraw scene when viewports are exposed: On
Graphics level being used: OpenGL 4.6 (primary GPU’s maximum)

Anti-alias mode: 4x
Mip Map Filtering: Linear
Anisotropic Filtering Mode: High

Vendor Name: NVIDIA Corporation
Render version: 4.6
Shading Language: 4.60 NVIDIA
Driver Date: 6-23-2022
Driver Version:
Maximum Texture size: 32768 x 32768
Z-Buffer depth: 24 bits
Maximum Viewport size: 32768 x 32768
Total Video Memory: 5 GB

Rhino plugins that do not ship with Rhino
C:\Users\wm_c\AppData\Roaming\McNeel\Rhinoceros\packages\7.0\IntelDenoiser\0.6.4\IntelDenoiser.Windows.rhp “IntelDenoiser.Windows”
C:\Users\wm_c\AppData\Roaming\McNeel\Rhinoceros\packages\7.0\NVIDIADenoiser\0.4.3\NVIDIADenoiser.Windows.rhp “NVIDIADenoiser.Windows”

Rhino plugins that ship with Rhino
C:\Program Files\Rhino 7\Plug-ins\Commands.rhp “Commands” 7.20.22193.9001
C:\Program Files\Rhino 7\Plug-ins\rdk.rhp “Renderer Development Kit”
C:\Program Files\Rhino 7\Plug-ins\RhinoRenderCycles.rhp “Rhino Render” 7.20.22193.9001
C:\Program Files\Rhino 7\Plug-ins\rdk_etoui.rhp “RDK_EtoUI” 7.20.22193.9001
C:\Program Files\Rhino 7\Plug-ins\rdk_ui.rhp “Renderer Development Kit UI”
C:\Program Files\Rhino 7\Plug-ins\NamedSnapshots.rhp “Snapshots”
C:\Program Files\Rhino 7\Plug-ins\RhinoCycles.rhp “RhinoCycles” 7.20.22193.9001
C:\Program Files\Rhino 7\Plug-ins\Toolbars\Toolbars.rhp “Toolbars” 7.20.22193.9001
C:\Program Files\Rhino 7\Plug-ins\3dxrhino.rhp “3Dconnexion 3D Mouse”
C:\Program Files\Rhino 7\Plug-ins\Displacement.rhp “Displacement”

Hi -

That explains it. Layer order in dwg/dxf export and import is undefined.
The request to make this predictable is on the list as RH-32796.

Ah ok, thank you sir!

Hello- where dioes this step take place? In another app, or?


Nope I only use Rhino, unless someone puts a gun to my head.


Wim, will this be part of an upcoming r7 update?

Hi Walt,
that YouTrack issue was created 6 years ago and is currently on the “Future” list. That means that, currently, this is not something that is considered for Rhino 8.

Thank you for the honest answer Wim.

I understand that all updates are based on priority. I would in good spirit, like to make the following analogy.

If every morning your coders opened their visual studio and their code was saved in a different order, but still compiled, how big an annoyance would that be? :slight_smile:

Can you please be more specific than this? I am unable to reproduce the behavior you’re reporting and I want to make sure I am following your directions correctly.


– Dale

Hi Dale,

Save any file that has multiple layers, as a DWG file.

For instance, a current file I’m working on, after three saves and subsequent file opens I got the following:

First Open

2nd Open
same as above but inverted layout (no image) - no save

3rd Open

This was the result after a file save, closed and reopened (with nothing changed).

I had a co-worker also run a test on his computer with the same random results (different file).
He also mentioned it not only shuffled the layers but also selected a different active layer.
This never happens when saving as 3DM. (unfortunately, this is not an option for us).

Hi @wm_c,

I’ve added a reference to your comments on this issue.


– Dale

Thank you, Dale.

Inorder to workaround this sorting issue in DWG files, is there a way to force an alphabetical sort of the layers on startup?

I had sometime so I tried to reproduce what you were seeing and couldn’t do it. This is file I used. Just the default file, with some boxes on each layer.
LayerSortTest.3dm (37.5 KB)

So here is the steps I went through. Let me know if I missed anything.

  1. Opened the LayerSortTest.3dm
  2. Did a Saveas DWG.
  3. Closed the LayerSortTest.3dm and re-opened it.
    I did this multiple times and couldn’t get the layers to re-sort in the .3dm file. I am curious if that is what you see?

Thank you for your answer DJ,

Yes the problem im describing only happens in DWG and not in 3DM.

We work in Rhino and all of our final output is saved in DWG format.

The problem is that autocad sorts the layers in the order in which they were created. McNeel has maintained this method when working in the DWG file format.

I was hoping to find a RUN Command that I could use to SORT the layers on startup.
It would go in the yellow highlight box (Command Lists)

Something along the same lines as the viewport settings I call on every new file startup.

We open a ton of files everyday and I’m trying to minimize some of the redundancy.

Hi @wm_c,

Rhino saves layers in their sorted order. Thus, if you save the 3dm file, re-open it, and then export to dwg, you should be good-to-go.

– Dale