Pin Me

After Effects Tutorial: Basic Keyboard Shortcuts for After Effects

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 8/5/2010

Here are some of the most important keyboard shortcuts available for new users of Adobe After Effects

  • slide 1 of 4

    After Effects Quick Keys

    images Adobe After Effects has quickly become the most important and utilized tool in digital video post-production, all the way from small production companies and independent producers to the highest level studio productions. Just as with video editing programs, Adobe After Effects requires that users work quickly and get to know the interface in a way that allow them to be creative intuitively. The way that this is done in the professional way is through After Effects keyboard shortcuts, also called After Effects quick keys. This After Effects tutorial will give you a look at some basic After Effects Keyboard Shortcuts that are perfect for a new user.

  • slide 2 of 4

    Standard Keyboard Shortcuts

    Several of the After Effects keyboard shortcuts are for general project interaction items and have more to do with managing your work rather than creating it. You will also notice that several of these After Effects keyboard shortcuts are actually similar to other multimedia post-production software, such as Final Cut Pro and Soundtrack Pro.

    • Undo - Command, and Z
    • Redo - Command, Shift, and Z
    • Select All - Command and A
    • Quite - Command and Q
    • Rename Item That is Selected - Return
    • Open Selected Item - Enter on Numberpad
    • Duplicate Item - Command and D
    • New Project - Command, Option, and N
    • Open Project - Command and O
    • Open Recent Project - Command, Shift, Option and P
    • New Folder in the Project Panel - Command, Shift, Option and N
    • Find in the Project Panel - Command and F
  • slide 3 of 4


    There are a lot of different windows or work spaces when you are working in Adobe After Effects, and there are actually quick keys for most of them to speed up the After Effects working process.

    • Open / Close Project Panel - Command and 0aecs3 fig01 
    • Open / Close Tools Panel - Command and 1
    • Open / Close Info Panel - Command and 2
    • Open / Close Preview Panel - Command and 3
    • Open / Close Audio Panel - Command and 4
    • Open / Close Effects and Preset Panel - Command and 5
    • Open / Close Character Panel - Command and 6
    • Open / Close Paragraph Panel - Command and 7
    • Open / Close Paint Panel - Command and 8
    • Open / Close Brushes Panel - Command and 9
    • Open / Close Render Queue Panel - Command, Option and 0
    • Open / Close Effect Control Panel for a Layer After It Is Selected - F3
  • slide 4 of 4


    Adobe After Effects is really composed of a series of tools that allow you to alter your project footage in specific ways, even creating new content in a specific sense. Along with all the standard After Effects quick keys for managing the format of the software, there are several After Effects keyboard shortcuts simply for selecting and using different tools. These After Effects keyboard shortcuts are perfect for new After Effects users, as are the others, because using them from the start will make them an intuitive part of using the software and will make you more proficient later on.

    • Go Through All Available Tools - Option and Selecting the Tool Button
    • Selection Tool - V
    • Hand Tool - H
    • Zoom In Tool - Z
    • Zoom Out Tool - Option (Previously you should activate the zoom tool otherwise this After Effects keyboard shortcut will not work.)
    • Rotation Tool - W
    • Pan Behind Tool - Y
    • Select and Go Through Mask and Shape Tools - Q
    • Select and Go Through Type Tools - Command and T
    • Select and Go Through Pen Tools - G
    • Select and Go Through Puppet Tools - P