What's the deal with Bifocals for GH in Rhino 6, I can't get it to work?

Lots of searching on this mystery, no success yet.

I’m very new to Rhino/GH, so maybe it’s something simple

I don’t see the bifocals icon in the util group, as I see in tut vids. I found it to download/install, but it says for GH 4 and 5 or something like that, which is strange anyway since GH seems to be currently at 1.something, but assuming they mean GH in Rhino 4 or 5, but doesn’t say anything about 6. I did still try to install it, tried it in every Rhino folder, rebooting both Rhino and GH each time, still doesn’t show up.

I’m thinking maybe it is now included in 6, so no download, but I don’t see how to enable it.

Kind of strange there are very few mentions of this online, so I must be missing something simple.

Please help if you can!


Works fine in 6 here. Most likely you either didn’t unblock the file or didn’t put it in the correct folder.

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Ah, unblock, works now, thank you.

Hey I’m having the same problem. How exactly can I do what you just said? I’m using win 10

Find the file in file manager or whatever, right click and select properities, then at that bottom you should see"unblock" checkbox, do it.

Hi, Hello! i have the same problem, i tried to fix the file in the file manager but i can’t find it. how can I do?

You are better off without Bifocals, it only clutters a GH script. Then again, I don’t use icons so can read component names without Bifocals.

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Maybe it’s in your downloads folder? If you still can’t find it maybe google or youtube how to download a file.

I solved it by downloading it and placing it in the grasshopper components folder. I used this https://www.food4rhino.com/app/bifocals#downloads_list :slight_smile: thanks

Maybe clutter if you’re just working, but if you’re learning it’s far more helpful to learn the commands if you can see the commands, especially if you’re studying a model that someone else built.

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That’s one reason I don’t use icons on components. The other reason is that I don’t want to memorize a huge list of icons. My brain works perfectly well with words, even nicknames.

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yes, I was following a tutorial and this one used bifocals, not knowing it I preferred to follow each step. But now I agree with you

Yes, I did over 10 years of 3D AutoCAD starting in the 90’s, so I’m also very comfortable with command line and words instead of icons, but when you don’t yet know the commands it’s nice to be able to see them on-screen for the repetition to reinforce the memorization, and about 10 times more valuable if tut videos have bifocals on, otherwise I find myself having to hunt in rewind hell trying to find the 2 seconds where they say what command it was.

The point I’m trying to make is that it’s always nice to read “commands” on the screen, as opposed to meaningless icons, without resorting to Bifocals which really do get in the way. Examples:

Hello Joseph, that’s your opinion. I prefer icon so I will continue to use both (Icon + bifocal). Having the choice and be able to tune the software is the Power of Grasshopper.

They will be nice vector icon in GH2 :wink:

Happy New Year and happy to see the help you provide :clap:.

Actually once you learn the icons for each command it becomes much more effective to work with: You identify each component much easier and faster, there is no need to read. It is nice to leave words for other things inside a def instead of clustering it with words and names everywhere. (components, group names, panels, scribbles, notes, explanations) Plus, devs took the time to create those pretty icons, we might as well make use of them. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


Very different opinions and probably not an objective “best” one.

I personally think names are better.
Bifocals is a plugin, and for many reasons i prefer avoid plugins (working in many locations, etc etc).
Occasionally i teach gh, and i’ve seen students really get lost if my screen show icons.

Here on the forum is the same, when a picture is posted, if no bifocals, many newcomers/learners will have problems with icons, searching the component in the tabs…

With names anyone can easily find the component with just a screenshot of the definition.
With icons, if no bifocals and if one is not used to them, he will probably spend a lot of time finding the component or even completely give up at some point.
Names are somehow more basic but “safe for everyone” …

Just an opinion.

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The issue with text mode is they often aren’t even the name of the component, shortened, or share a same text as another component. Text mode may be good for teaching but not as great as bifocals because bifocals gives the true full name (unless you go into draw full name mode which makes the components huge). I use bifocals a lot but only for teaching, never for working. For working, icons are far faster when you are comfortable with gh. When you have definitions of 100’s of components they all look the same in a field of text, this makes sense for a new user trying to learn from someone else as they are likely going through components one by one. The icons are easily identifiable in a fast way for working when you are just trying to find stuff quickly.


The same can be said for any foreign language, once you learn it, it’s easy. I don’t want to memorize icons. They are meaningless until your brain makes the connection.

On that part you guys got a point.
While “zoomed out” a bit, if one learned icons, thanks to color and shape maybe it’s like you said, faster to search a part in the definition.
Parameters black.
Sets/lists/tree managing green…

I’m totally not used to icons, never learnt… i’ll try again.
Also while teaching, maybe bifocal only for me… i should try. (students would mess up with invisible groups…)

But for attached screenshot in the forum i will always use names.

It’s not rare that some new user ask “what is this icon in this video/pdf?”
A tool to reverse image search from picture could be made from this whole list of icons: