Wish: Add a hotkey access to a limited number of commands

This alternative way of running commands could be easier to people who come from other CAD programs. It should let the user edit the hotkeys and obviously will use only the letter keys as an input of quick commands. Since this mode will be based on a single press of a hotkey, there is no need to press the “Enter” key to activate the command.
The downside is that the Command line will be no longer active all the time, so accessing the full list of commands via typing of their corresponding name will require a preliminary mouse click in the command line.

What actual CAD as opposed to graphics programs do this?

How ’ bout everyone bizarrely obsessed with reducing keystrokes as if design is some kind of e sport get an Elgato Streamdeck or a second programmable keyboard, so they can actually test out just how much benefit there is to one-key access to a couple dozen extra tools, and it’ll work way, way better than doing it through Rhino since it won’t require breaking every other aspect of the user experience to implement.

How do you imagine this would work?

Like windows shortcuts?

3DS Max comes to mind first. When I was using it coupe of decades ago (I switched from 3DS Max 4 and its freeware sibling GMax to Rhino 2) I used the following logical hotkeys on it:
W - maximize window
L - Left view
R - Right view
T - Top view
B - Bottom view
F - Front view
K - Back view
Space - Select (cancels the running command, hides control points etc)
Z - Zoom selected object(s)
I - Isolate selected object(s)
C - Control points on
F2 - Wireframe
F3 - Shaded
The Numpad keys also had some specific use. I don’t remember all the hotkeys I had at the time.

Don’t get me wrong, I got used to Rhino’s way of typing the aliases quite easily. I just propose an alternative way for those who find it more convenient to use single-press hotkeys instead. Obviously, this comes with some limitations, as I mentioned in my original post.

I’m a big fan of custom programming the F keys (which are already one click), and also custom programming Ctrl+ with an emphasis on the left side of the keyboard. With my pinky on the Ctrl key I can reach at least 15 more commands just as fast as hitting one single key, in addition to the 12 on the F row. For instance, I swapped out Ctrl S for save with Split_Isocurve since I use that so often. For saving now I just type “sa” and click the mouse. All this stuff is barely slower than a one click solution, and half of it is already one click (F keys). Personally, I don’t think I’d ever need more than 30 shortcuts, but ymmv. @JimCarruthers suggestion of an Elgato Streamdeck, while possibly thrown out in exasperation, is a totally decent suggestion for anyone looking for more - although to be sure you get 30 buttons with that, which is barely more than programming your F keys and Ctrl+.

This kind of setup will mess-up your brain.
If you’re using different software on a daily basis your muscle memory will be so messed up that your work will be slowed down instead of sped up.

I’m more inclined to support @JimCarruthers, suggestion here.
As a gamer myself I have 12 fully programmable buttons on my mouse and 16 programmable keys on my keyboard with 3 modes, meaning you can set up macroses for each key for 3 different software (if you need that many customized keys), the keyboard isn’t even that expensive, it was 30 BGN (15 EUR) about 10 years ago.

My mouse is 30 euro on Amazon.

Another clear alternative is a software solution:

  • autohotkey - you can create macros for each key on the keyboard, if I remember correctly it could even set up different modes that auto run when the specific software (say Rhino) is started.
  • VoiceBot - as the name specifies you can command your software with voice commands :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

One possibility is Shift+Keys which is currently unassigned and there is never a need to type Upper-Case commands… But I am sure it would open a Pandora box of other issues…

As a user of a 3d connexion mouse it’s easier for me to keep my left hand on the 3d “cap” while pressing a key on the keyboard with the right hand. :smiley: I’m totally fine with my current setup. I rarely type commands in the command line, because I prefer to press the corresponding icons instead (this is why my Rhino icon bars are a complete mess and have plenty of icons on them, ha-ha). However, I can see that the quick hotkeys could be much faster and convenient to some people. I was much faster with 3DS Max and Gmax while used hotkeys. They are implemented in the majority of 3d modeling programs for a reason. It’s not a coincidence. :slight_smile:

Yeah I’d like to try out a Streamdeck, and/or a keyboard full of macros like I see YouTubers have at their editing stations…but I suspect I’ll be disappointed. I busted a hand a little while ago and got one of those mice with many many buttons on it to do the standard picking and view manipulation stuff with one hand, and…well I still do that, but I have little inclination to use the extra buttons for standard commands, it just takes too long to learn unless I use it all the time. A StreamDeck you can actually put icons on, that’s neat…but a pretty pricey solution!

yep, these mice need selling and no price drop.
That’s why I guess less and less software have command line input

I get your point though, Rhino is not natively designed to be operated by 3d mouse. I prefer less keyboard usage when using the 3d mouse too. That’s why I also have many scripted buttons in Rhino :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

(of my mouse 12 programmable buttons, most used are Enter and Delete) :smiley:

how about using alias key stroke commands that utilize the right side of the keyboard so your mouse hand is always free. I have more than twenty aliases set up this way that have accelerated my work flow nicely. Or left side of the keyboard if you’re left handed!

using mouseclicks with the right hand and rotating with the left. right side of the keyboard is too far to be useful to the workflow.

It’s simply faster to press a single key to activate a command, rather than having to press a key or two and then press “Enter” as a confirmation. :slight_smile: This is why the function keys are so much easier to use than aliases in Rhino. But they are a limited number (no more than 12 on basic keyboards) and on the top of the keyboard which make them less convenient to use as they are far from the typicalposition of the left hand of a Rhino user, who often needs a quick access to the Ctrl, Alt, Shift, Tab and Esc keys.
This is why it’s so much easier to use the letter keys on the left side of the keyboard while working with other modeling programs like 3DS Max.

No it’s not, not really. If you’re talking about mouse clicks, yes every one is a separate action with several steps and conscious effort, it’s good to remove every unnecessary one possible. That’s not how typing works, unless you’re hunting-and-pecking I guess, “key enter” or “key key enter” etc becomes in your mind a single gesture you can do without thinking with no more effort than pressing one key. This is largely wasted effort.

You’re trying to equate this with 20-year-old ProEngineer that had this pointless “Done/Return” step at the end of every operation, that’s bogus.

My take on that is TAB key should disable Command-Line. (Giving away TAB key and having it solely for the work with SubD is a waaay too much in my opinion). TAB is in the same league as Spacebar and Enter if it comes to accesibility.

@Rhino_Bulgaria has a good idea, but I think it is important to have quick access to Command-Line no matter what and preliminary mouse click is a bit too much work.

I see it like this:

  1. Option in preferences
    a) Command-Line initially turned ON
    b) Command-Line initially turned OFF

  2. TAB key temporarily reverses that

  3. It is clearly visible in the UI if Command-Line is activated or not (e.g. it could be grayed out if not)

Other arguments:

  1. Cost of quick access to hundred of commands is that access to 20 commands someone uses all the time is drastically slowed down. Please respect users who work with a different type of modeling (e.g. Visual Arq users) where most of the time they need far fewer commands as with the free form modeling, but they would benefit from more control and quicker access to simple tools like e.g. placing Walls.
    And if they want ALL commands - they are just one TAB tap away. Effectively it’s much less tapping than with Spacebar confirmation. And you can reverse that all the time!

  2. Basic commands shouldn’t be accessed with modification keys like Shift - holding one key and reaching for another is maybe fun for the piano players, but I suspect that playing piano for 8 hours may be pretty exhausting for the hands. There are only a few keys that are comfortable to reach with the Shift pressed at the same time.

Most important:

This solution would not force anyone to change their habits or way of work but would tremendously help people who do specific tasks all day. Just let other peopl be wrong and use this wrong method for themselves :slight_smile:

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That creates what you call a “modality.” Obviously the result of such a feature will be people forgetting if it’s off or on and causing errors, nevermind what else has to be broken to make this work.

Anyway, as I said the solution exists, in hardware, for those who want it. The fact most Rhino users don’t do this(when if it was so great it would pay for itself in a morning)indicates it’s not really necessary and this whole discussion is pointless.

If we assume that a “Quick access mode” already exists in Rhino and is being activated from the options, then pressing the huge and easily accessible “Space” key is an easy way to tell Rhino that it should “listen” to a typing into the Command line. This could be an alternative to clicking with the mouse there. :slight_smile: Check my image in the original post again. It’s an optional feature and is not the default one. It’s on the 2nd place just in case that somebody wants to have a quick access to a variety of commands via single hotkeys.

Those who prefer to use typing of commands quite often, could simply stay with the default “Classic Pro mode” and continue to feel pros as usual. :smiley:

Do you see that blinking bar?

In my 3rd point I stated “clearly visible in the UI if Command-Line is activated or not (e.g. it could be grayed out if not)”

You are trying to exclude some group of people because they will forget if they turned something on or off.
Please speak for yourself about remembering or forgetting things. I proposed a solution which will not affect people who do not want to use it and you are saying that I should buy a second keyboard.


Yep, I agree with you the only difference is that I would change clicking to the TAB key - but that’s a detail, even with TAB clicking probably would do the same, because why not. I would personally benefit from having easily switchable, both ways of input all the time with me.

Yeah that’s not enough to prevent these errors. It’s not about people being stupid, it’s that we’re not paying attention to that, we’re focused on the actual work, or should be. Interfaces shouldn’t have modes, full stop. This is basic stuff.

Yes you should buy a second keyboard, it beats all the developer time needed to make everything else about using Rhino worse and slower to accommodate it. Plus you can actually TEST out the idea.

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Did you saw that blinking bar? I can live with that “error” it’s a fair price to pay.

Do you realize that it’s a proposition only for those who want to use it? Two keyboards are not ergonomic and I use other hardware as a graphic tablet, so I don’t have space for it.

I could say that McNeel should abandon Mac version because I use only Windows and it’s enough of work on Windows version.

I don’t care about Bongo either but It’s for the people who need it.

BTW Blender has both Command-Line and direct shortcuts at the same time and it’s pretty popular software.

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