Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Make a layout detail of any shape

You can make details of any shape using a solid white hatch in the layout.


  • Set up a layout with one or more details.
  • Scale the details as you wish.
  • In the layout, draw a rectangle from the corners of the page

  • In the layout, draw your detail shapes.

  • Use any planar curve: Circle, Curve, InterpCrv, Rectangle, etc.
  • Create a solid hatch using the rectangle at the drawing edge and the detail shapes for the hatch boundaries.
  • Make the color of the hatch white.
  • Add anything else you want in the layout such as detail names.
  • Print.


This technique works around Rhino's limitation of a rectangular layout space detail. Working with details that can be made from any closed curve is on the wish list.
  • Try turning History on, then make your hatch. If you stretch the boundaries, the hatch will update.
  • You will need to use Draw Order to keep your text, title blocks, dimensions on top. It can be frustrating if the text or dims that you are looking for has gone behind the hatch.
  • You cannot trim a hatch. If you need to add another detail to the page, delete the hatch and remake it with all the boundaries.
  • You cannot bring a detail (even a rectangular one) above the hatch. Hatch has draw order priority to be on top.


Mustafa Unalmis said...


is there any new option or way to draw a circular (or else) shape space detail ?

Mustafa Unalmis said...


is there any new option or way to make unrectangular layout space (i.e. circular) detail ?

Brian James said...


No, this is still the best way... this wish is also filed as and I added your request. Thanks

Brendan H Riordan said...

Brian, While it is helpful that you have posted such clear instructions as a workaround, with all due respect this is absurd. You have customers who have been asking for this functionality for seven years now. Just get it done or tell people on the forums you have no intention of creating the functionality.

Brian James said...

I added your comment to the open request for this feature. I know an improved method of doing this has been requested for a long time too. Hopefully it can be worked on soon.

Fernando said...

Brian espero estes muy bien, despues de mas de 8 años ya solicitada la mejora, hay alguna novedad ?

Brian James said...

Gracias por el comentario, agregué su pregunta a la solicitud de función para que la vea el desarrollador. No estoy seguro de si hay progreso en esto todavía.

Christopher D. Lewis, JD MPH said...

I've just been banging my head on Layout view trying to get a series of details showing various portions of a 2D project, some of which are intended to overlap. I figured that since Rhino has long had a command for identifying the draw order there should be no problem overlapping or partially overlapping details, and since I can InsertKnot to turn rectangles into arbitrary shapes I should be able to get the detail views to show exactly what I want (especially important where there are overlaps). Now I see this isn't the case: I can't actually get arbitrary shapes in a detail view, and if I want to show a detail next to a shrunken image of a whole project to illustrate the segment from which the detail is taken this doesn't work at all, because zooming out of the little overview detail will mess up the focus on the larger detail that shows the portion of interest.

Creating a scheme that requires hand-processing every time some change or improvement is made prevents automation. Indeed, it prevents fixes from building on earlier fixes because every round of hand-processing introduces an opportunity for some new error, and ensures anyone considering investing energy into presentation is at risk of promptly reconsidering, as Rhino guarantees the effort is be lost the next time anything is fixed.


Using layout views in a software package should enable presentation of everything the user wants presented, live, as fixes are made. Requiring users to employ hand-crafted conversions of 3D back to 2D for presentation is another place Rhino's layout view falls short of where it could be.

Do people just not use Layout in Rhino?