Hey everyone, welcome to FilterGrade. Today we’re talking about custom workspaces in After Effects, so you can optimize your workflow and finish your projects faster.
All Adobe programs offer some sort of customization, and After Effects is no different. These programs can be used for a wide variety of tasks so it needs to be flexible.
To view preset workspaces, click on the Window tab and then Workspaces. Here you’ll see that there are several workspaces in addition to the default one. Animation, Color, Essential Graphics, Motion Tracking, and many more are available and serve well as starting points if you are looking for a certain workflow.
You’ll also see some of these workspaces near the top-right of the screen. Only a few of them show up here, but you can drag the vertical bar to the left to expand this list and reveal more of the available workspaces.
You can click on Edit Workspaces in the Workspaces menu to change what shows up on this list and in which order. Drag around the different workspaces on this list to change the order, or drag them into the Do Not Show category if you’re pretty sure that you’ll never use them.
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Now to customizing these workspaces. Even with the presets, you may still want to adjust something to suit your needs. If you’d like to move a panel that is currently on-screen, click and drag it. To ensure that you grab it, make sure to grab on the very top where the name of the panel is. Once you’re dragging it around, you’ll see docking zones highlighted in blue. Dropping the panel into one of the four zones around the edges will cause the two panels to combine and split the existing space in half, giving one half to each panel. The overall size won’t be affected, and no other panels will be adjusted. You can also add a panel to a list of panels. To do this, drag a panel into another panel. You can drop it into the highlighted center region, or you can drop it into the bar of windows itself. If you’re not happy with the order of those windows, you can click and drag them around to change the order.
Lastly, you can hold Ctrl on Windows or Command on Mac while clicking and dragging in order to pop out a panel and have it float above After Effects. If you have multiple monitors, this is also essential for expanding your workspace across all of your screens.
If you’d like to remove a window completely, you can click on the hamburger menu next to it and select Close Panel. If you want to add it back again, just click on the Window menu and toggle it on again.
You can also resize panels. To do so, place your cursor between the two panels and a double-arrow cursor will appear. You can click and drag to adjust the size of these two panels. You can also place your cursor on the intersection of 3 panels to adjust all of them at once.
Not every panel is active in every workspace. To activate a new panel, click on the Window menu and enable it. Then you can drag it around using the methods we just covered.
Once you’ve finished customizing your workspace, you’ll want to save it for later use. Click on Window -> Workspace -> Save as New Workspace. Then give this workspace a name and save it. You’ll then be able to access it via the top menu.
If you edit a workspace so far beyond repair that you can’t get it back, don’t worry. You can click on the hamburger menu next to the workspace name, and click on Reset to Saved Layout. This will reset the layout back to its default.
Adobe After Effects is incredibly customizable and flexible, so hopefully you can create your ideal setup with the help of these tips.
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