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Coming from Rhino for Windows?

Are you coming from Rhino for Windows? Thinking of making the leap to Mac? Or just curious? This is a brief guide to get your bearings…

Where are the toolbars?

By default, Rhino for Mac presumes you are not coming from Rhino for Windows. If you would like to see Windows-esque toolbars, navigate to Rhinoceros > Preferences > Themes and select Rhino for Windows. You will need to start a new modeling window for these changes to take effect. For more details on the Rhino for Mac theme, see the next item…

Toolbars and tool palettes

  • Rhino for Mac has tool buttons that invoke Rhino commands in the standard Macintosh toolbar.
  • Rhino for Mac also has tool palettes that are windows containing a collection of tool buttons.
    A tool palette of frequently-used tool buttons opens at the left of the document window when Rhino for Mac starts.
  • Tool palette buttons can contain one or two commands and a menu.
  • Hover the mouse over a tool palette button to display the button's tooltip.
    If the tooltip has two lines of text, the button contains a primary and an alternate command.
    • Click the tool palette button to invoke the primary command.
    • To invoke the alternate command, hold down the Option key and click the tool button.
  • Tool palette buttons containing a menu have a small triangle in the lower left corner.
    • To open the menu, click and briefly hold the tool palette button.
  • Tool palette menus can also be displayed as floating tool palettes.
    • To display a floating tool palette, hold down the Option key and click and hold down the mouse button.



  • For easy right-mouse navigation, a two‑button mouse with a scroll wheel is recommended, but all operations are possible using a one-button mouse.
  • To duplicate right-mouse actions with a one-button mouse, hold down the Control key and click the mouse button.


  • Right-mouse button drag and Shift+right-mouse button drag operations are the same as in Rhino for Windows. See Rhino Help - Shortcuts.
    Regardless of the view projection style, hold down the Shift key to always pan, hold down the Command key to always zoom, and hold down the Command+Shift keys to always rotate the view.
  • Use the scroll wheel to zoom in and out in a view.
  • If you have a one-button mouse, you hold down the Control, Command, and Shift keys together to always rotate a view.

Right-click context menu

  • Right-click in a viewport displays a context menu.
  • By default right-click does not act as Enter to repeat the last command.
    To change this, in Rhinoceros > Preferences > Mouse > Mouse, turn off Enable context menus.

Command line

If you are used to the command line in Rhino for Windows, all the functionality of the Rhino for Windows command line is in Rhino for Mac. To start a command, just start typing. Your text will appear in the command field in the left sidebar. You can press Return or press the space bar to start the command. A command options dialog will appear that has all the command options that appear in the Rhino for Windows prompt line.

If you also like to type the command option values, each option prompt has one of its letters underlined. You can type that letter and press Return to invoke that option.

You never need to move the cursor at all when typing values in the command options dialog. Just type and Rhino will enter your values into the dialog automatically. All your habits for using the command line in Rhino for Windows work exactly the same in Rhino for Mac.


  • Rhino for Windows uses the Control key for many operations. On the Mac version, use the Command key instead.
    • For example, Command click replaces Ctrl click to deselect objects.
    • Also, the Command key replaces the Ctrl key for navigation shortcuts:
Key Action + Command key
Left Arrow Rotate left Pan left
Right Arrow Rotate right Pan right
Up Arrow Rotate up Pan up
Down Arrow Rotate down Pan down

Laptop issues

Bluetooth mouse
Since laptops ship with a trackpad, a Bluetooth mouse such as the Logitech V270 is a useful addition.

Missing keyboard keys
A laptop keyboard does not have a separate Home, End, PageDn, or PageUp key, but the fn key in combination with other keys duplicates the key function.

Key + fn key
Up Arrow Page Up
Down Arrow Page Down
Left Arrow Home
Right Arrow End
Delete Delete

rhino/mac/diff.txt · Last modified: 2020/08/14 (external edit)