Mouse, Toolbar, and Commands
The main ways to model in Rhino are to use the mouse, toolbar, and commands.
Part of Rhinoceros
Part Type Interface
Screenshot MouseToolbarCommands.PNG


If you are using a laptop, the most efficient way to navigate a Rhino model is to use an external mouse. A mouse makes it possible to click the right or left mouse button while moving the mouse at the same time, which makes interacting with the model much simpler. The mouse is also used to easily select objects .

Mouse Button Settings

Left Click

The left mouse button is primarily used for object selection .

Right Click

The right mouse button is primarily used for spatial navigation by clicking and dragging.

A single right click in the viewport will usually repeat the last command. This is helpful if a series of repetitive commands are being made. Clicking and holding the right mouse button until a small menu icon appears next to the cursor will display the context menu. The context menu can be customized in Context Menu under Rhino Options.

Middle Click

On a mouse with a scroll wheel, the wheel can be clicked; this is the middle mouse button. Usually, a popup toolbar will appear when the middle button is clicked. To edit what action is performed when the middle mouse button is clicked, use the Options command and go to Mouse under Rhino Options.

Popup Menu
A menu will pop up with a list of recently used commands.
Popup this Toolbar
Specify a toolbar to pop up at the cursor location.
Run this Macro
Type the command or macro to run when the button is pressed.


One of the main parts of the Rhino window is the toolbar. Using the mouse, click on an icon on the toolbar to run a command. This is helpful when you cannot remember a specific command. Click and drag toolbars to float them anywhere on the screen, change their shape, or dock them at the edge of the window. To choose which toolbars to display, right click on the toolbar and make a selection, or use the Toolbar command to open the Toolbar dialogue box.

Often, clicking a toolbar icon with the left mouse button will run a different command than if it had been clicked with the right mouse button. Hovering the mouse pointer over a button will display a tooltip about the icon, including what left and right mouse clicks will do. Click and hold a toolbar icon to open a child toolbar with related or linked commands.


While all functions in Rhino can be accessed through the menu or toolbars, the fastest way to build a model is to use the command prompt .


Type a command into the command prompt and press enter. After entering a command, there are often options and prompts for the command, which appear in the command history window. To select an option, either click on it or type the letter that is underlined. For instance, to choose the Vertical option when creating a Circle, type V and press enter.

To exit a command, press Esc. To repeat a command, press the Space Bar. See the Resources for a complete list of commands.


Aliases are definable shortcuts for running Rhino commands or scripts, like abbreviations for often-used commands. Rhino comes pre-loaded with several aliases to make modeling easier (see the Resources for explanations of them) but it is also easy to define your own. Use the Options command and click on Aliases, or click Tools->Options->Rhino Options->Aliases . Here, aliases can be created, imported, exported, and deleted.

To create an alias, click on New. Under "Alias," type the abbreviated command for the alias. Under "Command Macro," type the command or string of commands ( macro ) that will be run when the alias is entered. Be sure to format the command macro correctly.

To transfer aliases between different computers (useful when working on models on different machines), export the aliases to a file on a flash drive. Then, import the alias file into Rhino on the other computer.


A macro is a string of commands. When made into an alias , it is easy to run a complex series of commands repetitively. Macros are formatted as such:

'_Command _Option

For example, the normal sequence of commands to zoom to the extents of the model is to use the Zoom command, and then enter E for extents. This string of commands becomes a macro when formatted as:

'_Zoom _Extents

Command macros for aliases must be formatted in this way for Rhino the alias to work.

To test a macro, use the MacroEditor command. Enter the macro and click Run to see if it works.

Read From File

For even more complex command series, Rhino can run command scripts in a separate text file. Write a command script using the [ correct formatting ] and save it as a text file. Then, use the ReadCommandFile command, and select the text file.


Command List
Alphabetical listing of all commands that can be used in Rhino and explanations for them.
Internal Aliases
Explanations for the pre-loaded aliases in Rhino.
Rhino Scripting
More information about writing a script for Rhino.