Rhino: Selecting Objects

Many commands will prompt you to select objects. The following are acceptable methods of responding to the select objects prompt. When you are finished selecting objects using any one or a combination of these methods, press enter to continue the original command.


Click on objects one-at-a-time using the left mouse button.

OR drag a window around the object(s). When dragged from left to right, a selection window will select only those objects completely within the window. When drawn from right to left, a window will select all objects within and contacted by the window.

OR type ALL. Selects everything in the current space.

OR hold down the CTRL key while selecting objects; this has the effect of removing objects from the current selection.


Rhino: Special Keys

In Rhino, the [enter] key and the space bar, for most purposes, are identical in function. (The right mouse button also functions equivalently under most circumstances.)

[esc] (escape) Click two or three times in succession to cancel any command and return to the basic Command prompt.

[delete] is used to erase a selection.

[F1] brings up Rhino’s Help.

[F8] turns the orthographic lock function on and off.

Rhino: Commonly Used Commands

Rhino responds to commands entered into the Command prompt. Some of the basic modeling commands are as follows:

BOX constructs a box with a base on the current construction plane. Useful for building basic rectangular components of buildings, including rectangular masses, walls, floors, etc. For non-rectangular objects, try using POLYLINE, EXTRUDECRV, and CAP in combination.

RECTANGLE draws a 2D rectangle on the current construction plane.

POLYLINE draws a 2D or 3D polyline in space. This command is useful for establishing the “base profile” of volumes to be extruded.

EXTRUDECRV converts a curve (a 2D path) into a surface or polysurface, extruded perpendicular to the current construction plane.

CAP fixes “holes” in a polysurface, e. g., places a “bottom” and a “top” surface on an extruded closed curve.

BOOLEANUNION joins two or more volumes into one.

BOOLEANDIFFERENCE cuts one volume from another. Useful for making openings in walls.

LINE draws a line between 2 points.

MOVE moves a selection.

COPY copies a selection.

TRIM trims one object with another.

EXTEND lengthens or shortends curves.

CONNECT extends and trims curves to meet at endpoints.

CIRCLE draws a circle.

ARC draws an arc.

OFFSET creates a parallel or concentric copy of an object.

Note that most Rhino commands have command-line options, invoked by typing a single letter or by clicking on the option in the command line.

Rhino: Classes of Objects

Rhino can work with many different classes of objects, including:

CURVES In Rhino, “curves” may be closed or open; they include actual curves as well as straight lines; they may be restricted to 2D or may occupy 3D space. This class includes lines.

SURFACES are infinitesimally thin, arbitrarily flexible “sheets.” Represented by outline curves and “isocurves” interior to the surface. In Rhino, surfaces are represented and constructed using the NURBS mechanism.

POLYSURFACES are objects consisting of two or more surfaces joined together.

SOLIDS are equivalent to completely closed surfaces and polysurfaces (e. g., spheres, boxes). However, note that Rhino solids are always hollow, like SketchUp solids but unlike AutoCAD solids.