Grasshopper

algorithmic modeling for Rhino

The Main Dialog
Once you have loaded the plugin, the _Grasshopper command will display the main Grasshopper window:


This interface contains a number of different elements, most of which will be very familiar to Rhino users:

1.The window title bar
2.The main menu bar
3.Component panels
4.The canvas toolbar
5.The canvas itself
6.The status bar
7.The remote control panel
8.Rhino viewport display

The Window Title Bar: D
The Editor window title bar behaves different from most other dialogs in Microsoft Windows. If the window is not minimized or maximized, double clicking the title bar will fold or unfold the dialog. This is a great way to switch between the plugin and Rhino because it minimizes the Editor without moving it to the bottom of the screen or behind other windows. Note that if you close the Editor, the Grasshopper geometry previews in the viewports will disappear, but the files won't actually be closed. The next time you run the _Grasshopper command, the window will come back in the same state with the same files loaded.

The Main Menu Bar: A
The menu is similar to typical Windows menus, except for the file-browser control on the right B. You can quickly switch between different loaded files by selecting them through this drop-down box. Be careful when using shortcuts since they are handled by the active window. This could either be Rhino, the Grasshopper plugin or any other window inside Rhino. Since there is no undo available yet you should be cautious with the Ctrl-X, Ctrl-S and Del shortcuts.

Component Panels: C
This area exposes all component categories. All components belong to a certain category (such as "Params" for all primitive data types or "Curves" for all curve related tools) and all categories are available as unique toolbar panels. The height and width of the toolbars can be adjusted, allowing for more or fewer on-screen buttons per category.

The toolbar panels themselves contain all the components that belong to that category. Since there is a potentially large number of these, it only shows the N most recently used items. In order to see the entire collection, you have to click on the extremely difficult to hit bar at the bottom of the Panel:


This will pop up the category panel, which provides access to all objects. You can either click on the objects in the popup list, or you can drag directly from the list onto the canvas. Clicking on items in the category panel will place them on the toolbar for easy future reference. Clicking on buttons will not add them to the Canvas!. You must drag them onto the Canvas in order to add them:


The Canvas Toolbar: D
The canvas toolbar provides quick access to a number of oft-used features. All the tools are available through the menu as well, and you can hide the toolbar if you like. (It can be re-enabled from the View menu).


The canvas toolbar exposes the following tools (from left to right):

1.Definition properties editor (this part of the plugin isn't finished yet)
2.Sketch tool
3.Zoom defaults
4.Zoom Extents (will adjust the zoom-factor if the definition is too large to fit on the screen)
5.Focus corners (these 4 buttons will focus on the 4 corners of the definition)
6.Named views (exposes a menu to store and recall named views)
7.Rebuild solution (forces a complete rebuild of the history definition)
8.Rebuild events (by default Grasshopper responds to changes in Rhino and on the Canvas. You can disable these responses through this menu)
9.Cluster compactor (turn all selected objects into a Cluster object)
10.Cluster exploder (turn all selected clusters into loose objects)
11.Bake tool (turns all selected Grasshopper geometry into actual Rhino objects)
12.Preview settings (Grasshopper geometry is previewed by default. You can disable the preview on a per object basis, but you can also override the preview for all objects. Switching off Shaded preview will vastly speed up some scenes that have curved or trimmed surfaces
13.Hide button. This button hides the canvas toolbar, you can switch it back on through the View menu

The Canvas: F
This is the actual editor where you define and edit the history network. The Canvas hosts both the objects that make up the definition and some UI widgets G.

Objects on the canvas are usually colour coded to provide feedback about their state:


A) Parameter. A parameter which contains warnings is displayed as an orange box. Most parameters are orange when you drop them onto the canvas since the lack of data is considered to be a warning.

B) Parameter. A parameter which contains neither warnings nor errors.

C) Component. A component is always a more involved object, since it contains input and output parameters. This particular component has at least 1 warning associated with it. You can find warning and errors through the context menu of objects.

D) Component. A component which contains neither warnings nor errors.

E) Component. A component which contains at least 1 error. The error can come either from the component itself or from one of its input/output parameters. To learn more about component structure, visit this page.


All selected objects are drawn with a green overlay (not shown).

The Status Bar: H
The status bar provides feedback on the selection set (not yet implemented) and the major events that have occured in the plugin. You can see a list of all recent events by clicking on the rightmost field in the status bar.

The Remote Control Panel:
Since the Grasshopper window is quite large, you may not want it on the screen all the time. Of course you can minimize or collapse it, but then you can't tweak the the values anymore. If you want a minimal interface to the values inside the currently active definition, you can enable the Remote Panel. This is a docking dialog that keeps track of all sliders and boolean switches (and possibly other values as well in future releases):


The Remote panel also provides basic preview, event and file-switching controls. You can enable the panel through the View menu of the Main window, or through the _GrasshoperPanel command.

Viewport Preview Feedback:
Since the Grasshopper window is quite large, you may not want it on the screen all the time. Of course you can minimize or collapse it, but then you can't tweak the the values anymore. If you want a minimal interface to the values inside the currently active definition, you can enable the Remote Panel. This is a docking dialog that keeps track of all sliders and boolean switches (and possibly other values as well in future releases):

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Comment by click on June 1, 2019 at 1:28am

Must be thanks for the very nice post here just look how to see remembered passwords in microsoft edge and save to all setting for secure data base.

Comment by David on August 14, 2011 at 9:15am

Hi Scott,

First I want to say: Grasshopper is genius !!!

But when is the remote panel coming back ?! And the canvas toolbar has gone minimalist ... too minimalist: I try to bring it back to normal through the view or preference menu but didn t work. Now I don t have the preview button and need to right click+preview everytime I want to switch stuff on and off... Is there at least a keyboard shortcut for that ?

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