What is the chance of Rhino getting a White/Black (Model/Paper) layer color like AutoCad?

I do almost all my drafting in AC LT. Lately I’ve been working with people who draft in Rhino – some using it only as a 2D package! There are a few features that keep me with AC. Dynamic blocks, Wipeout, etc., but especially the White/Black layer color. I could probably do some workarounds, and live without others, but not having the White/Black layer color that toggles for Model/paper space is the biggest problem for my work flow. Any chance of adding this to Rhino?



Hello - can you describe what this feature does?


The layer color automatically displays as white in model space on a black background, and as black in paperspace.

White on Black

Black on white. The same layer

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Hello - Are you allowed to set the background colors to anything you like?


If you mean in AutoCAD, yes. The default is slightly different than the full black I use.

OK, so the thing knows to flip object colors if the background gets too light or too dark, correct?


I guess. I don’t know at what shade this is determined. It has been a feature in AutoCAD for as long as I can remember. I’ve never not used it. I did bring this up here some years ago and I think there were several others who echoed my request.

layouts automatically display your geometry black on white?

alternatively you could make 2 display modes, which show lines white with a black background and black lines with a white background which you can actually set up in rhino and switch as needed.

@mary - do you know if this is on the pile? I do not see it yet.


Hi Pascal,
We have been talking about this since before we has a tracking system, lol!
I did not find the exact request in our current YouTrack system, so I logged a new feature request:
RH-65387 Black/White Hybird Mode

Thanks for the @mention.
Mary Ann Fugier


Hello to everyone, AC colours, in any aspect, are controlled here:

The sheet can visualize any colour, as set in the plot style table:

Rhino Options - Appearance - Colors - Viewport colors - Background = Black
Rhino Options - Appearance - Colors - Viewport colors - Layout = White

Create a new layout and set the layout color for the geometry to Black.
Then set the layout view to Print Preview.

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it is not neccessary in rhino because rhino recognizes display and print color. so print color is black and display color can be set to white for instance. this is far better solutikn to have two colors assigned to one object….

I just bought a black only laserjet printer because the color inkjet (expletive deleted).
I’ll try that, thanks.

Hi @CalypsoArt, @pascal, @mary,

As a firm believer that Rhino 2D is a better drafting tool than AutoCAD, I’ve been trying to get more and more people to try it with mixed success.

This White/Black topic comes very often, and I just googled it to see if someone else was mentioning it, that’s how I found this post.

I don’t think it’s a complicated piece of code that calculates the darkness of the background, I think it’s much simpler than that:
— In AutoCAD, a layer set in “BLACK” color will display as “WHITE” in the model space. Period.
When you open that file in Rhino, it displays as Black in the model space, and you need to manually change Layer color to White so you can see it properly.

It’s only the full black layers that should to that. A “very dark gray” layer will display as “very dark gray” and that’s fine.

Hope that’s easy to fix!

Hi, what makes Rhino in your opinion the better drafting tool than Autocad? Because we still use acad for for 2D for a number of reasons…

I’ll have to disagree. I bought Rhino 5 intending to use it replace ACLT for drafting. Even with the drafting improvements in R7, it cannot work for me as areplacement. The black/white is just one aspect.(Wipeout, much better dimensioning, etc) There are work arounds for some missing features, but I want the feature, not figuring out ways too make it happen. In my industry/workflow, I, after 6 years of using Rhino am substantially slower drafting in Rhino. Thankfully, Rhino is an excellent 3d modeler and I’m doing most of my Sketchup work in Rhino. My fastest workflow is to model in Rhino, export to Sketchup to section, export dwg sections to ACLT to 2d draft. For my work, this is way faster than trying to do everything in Rhino.

We can probably implement this white/black switch as a display mode option instead of modifying layers. I made a basic prototype for this that runs in Rhino 7, but to really cover all of the geometry types and keep performance up we’ll need to eventually add this to Rhino 8.

Run the PackageManager command in Rhino and install the BlackWhiteSwitcher plug-in. There is only one command in this plug-in called BlackWhiteSwitcher.

This command toggles the feature on/off and will try to swap black and white for objects based on the background color.

Give it a spin and let me know what you would like changed. Thanks!


Amazing plugin!

A nice feat would be to retain the transparency settings of the layers, if i have a white layer with transparency, after running the BWS, the objects display 0 transparency,but it is still a great tool for those of us used to the black/white behaviour in acad.

This kind of support is what made me invest my student limited money in Rhino!