Top 10 After Effects Shortcuts You (probably) Didn’t Know

The only thing I love more than After Effects is knowing shortcuts in After Effects… here’s a rundown of 11 favorites!

1) J/K

No Joke! The J and the K button will make the timeline indicator jump forward or back, based on the nearest keyframe

2) + and –

basically the plus and minus key will expand and contract the project work area

3) Shift + or Shift –

This shortcut will cycle through the modes (overlay, screen, lighten, etc…) Warning: You can spend an hour cycling to find your favorite

4) Shift+ArrowKey

Arrow keys move your object one pixel at a time… hold shift, and it moves 10 pixels.

5) Shift+Cmd+ArrowRight(ArrowLeft)

Cmd+Right or Left Arrow, moves the time indicator one frame forward or backward on the timeline… hold the Shift key, and it moves 10 forward or backward

6) Control 0

Will give you a ram preview (handy for laptops and small sized keyboard)

7) Shift+Cmd+D

Will split a layer based on the timeline indicator

8) ;

the semi-colon will expand your timeline as large as possible

9) . and ,

Will zoom the comp window in or out. (I usually use the middle wheel on my mouse, but it’s good to have the shortcut at your fingertips

10) Option(alt)+ (square bracket) [ ]

Option or Alt and the Square bracket will trim a layer up to, and including, the current time indicator location

11) Option+Right or Left Arrow

Move only the keyframes right or left

11b) Shift+Option+Right or Left Arrow

Moves only the keyframes 10 frames