There are multiple ways to speed up your workflow in Adobe After Effects, one of the way professional motion graphic designers get there work done faster is to use keyboard shortcuts. Yes believe it or not a few seconds here and there will save you a bunch of time when you have repeating tasks and need to deliver your animation fast.

As a experienced motion designer myself my objective here is to share with you the top After Effects shortcuts you need to speed up your motion graphic workflow, I will also visually show you what each shortcuts does with animated graphics so you don’t have to try or figure it out how the shortcuts works.

Alright it is time to give your mouse some rest let’s get started!

I have organized below some of the best After Effects shortcuts for mac and windows so it is easy for you to browse and find the shortcuts you need.

Just hit + to expand the tab and preview.

Here is a list of the best After Effects keyframe shortcuts every motion designer should know about.

Add Keyframe Shortcuts

Always clicking the stopwatch or the diamond icon every-time to add a keyframe can be annoying, luckily there are shortcuts to quickly add a keyframe for each property (Anchor point, position, scale, rotation, opacity).

add keyframe shortcut after effects

Option + A, P, S, R, T
Alt + Shift + A, P, S, R, T


TIPS:
With the keyframe shortcuts above you can also remove quickly remove a keyframe by doing re-pressing the same shortcuts.after effects split video shortcut

Easy Ease Keyframe Shortcut

 F9 
 F9
Easy Ease Keyframe

Easy Ease In Keyframe Shortcut

 Shift + F9 
Shift + F9

Easy Ease Out Keyframe Shortcut

 Command+Shift+F9 
 CTRL + Shift + F9
Easy Ease Out keyframe

Reveal Keyframes on a layer

To quickly check where you keyframe are on the timeline, simply hit U

 PRESS U
PRESS U

Reveal keyframes on After Effects

Reveal Keyframes expression on a layer

To show only modified keyframe properties with expressions.

 PRESS UU
PRESS UU

reveal keyframe expression on layer

Go to Next or Previous Keyframe

Go to the Previous Keyframe

  Press J  
 Press J 
Go to the Next Keyframe

 Press K 
 Press K

go to next or previous keyframe shortcuts

If you want to know more about keyframe in After Effects check out this tutorial

After Effects Shortcut Panel

The adobe team have created a nice visual keyboard shortcut editor to show your where all the shortcuts are located. to access the shortcut editor quickly try:

Command + Option + ‘
CTRL + Alt + ‘

After Effects Keyboard Shortcuts Editor

After Effects Waveform Shortcut

Quickly access your audio layer waveform by pressing on your keyboard LL

PRESS LL
PRESS LL

after effects audio waveform shortcut

Add to Render Queue Shortcut

To add your active composition or your selected composition to render queue use this shortcut below

 Command+Shift+/ 
 Ctrl+Shift+/ 

Render Specific Frame Shortcut

This shortcut is awesome when you need to make a screenshot of your composition, it basically render one frame only in psd or any other format.

 Ctrl+Alt+S
Command+Option+S

IN and OUT Layer Shortcut

This shortcut is very handy when you need to move your vertical line indicator to the first frame of your layer or at the last frame of the layer

Go to the Layer Start Frame

 PRESS I 
PRESS I
Go to the Layer End frame

 PRESS O
PRESS O

in out layer shortcut

Work Area Shortcut

If you want to quickly set your rendering work area this shortcut should be handy.

Start Work Area

 PRESS B 
 PRESS B
End Work Area

 PRESS N
 PRESS N 

Next Frame Shortcut

If you quickly want to jump to the next frame on your timeline use these AE shortcuts below

 Hold COMMAND + Right Arrow
 Hold Alt + Right Arrow

Previous Frame Shortcut

If you quickly want to jump to the previous frame on your timeline use these AE shortcuts below

  Hold COMMAND + Left Arrow
  Hold Alt + Left Arrow

Here are the top 10 After Effects Layers shortcuts I use the most on daily basis.

Reveal Properties of Selected Layers

Reveal layer properties are one of those shortcuts you will use the most in After Effects, here are keyboard 5 letters you need to remember P S R T

    • Press P: to reveal the layer Position
    • Press S: to reveal the layer Scale
    • Press R: to reveal the layer  Rotation
    • Press T: to reveal the layer Opacity

Reveal Keyframes on layer

Sometime you only need to know where you keyframes are on a layer,
Simply press U
Reveal keyframes on After Effects

Solo layer shortcut

Solo shortcuts allows you to focus on one layer and hide all other layer

Trim Layer Shortcut
trim layer after effects shortcut

Trim layer at the beginning

Option + [
Alt + [

Trim layer at the end

Option + ]
Alt + ]

Start and Stop Layers from the time indicator

Here is how to move selected layers so that their In point or Out point is at the current time

layer start end at current time shortcut

Start Layer at the blue line indicator

Press [
Press [

End Layer at the blue line indicator

Press ]
Press ]

Pre-compose Selected Layer

To insert your selected layer into a new composition use this quick shortcuts, also make sure you select whether you want your keyframe move inside the composition or stay outside.
This shortcut is also ideal when you want to group layers in one composition

Command + Shift + C
Ctrl+Shift+C

pre-compose layer shortcuts

After Effects Marker Layer Shortcut

To quickly add a marker and a label color to your layer use this shortcut below.

Option + * 
Alt + *

Show or Hide layer shortcut

Command + Option + Shift + V 
Ctrl+ Alt + Shift+ V

hide layer shortcut in after effects

Split Layer Shortcut

To split a layer in After Effects use this shortcut below, this shortcut also works on audio layer and video layer.

Command + Shift + D 
CTRL + Shift + D

split layer shortcut in after effects

Start and End Layer Shortcut

This short is very handy when you need to move your time indicator (timeline vertical line) to the beginning on your layer or at the end, simply press I to move where you layer start and press O to move to the end of your layer

Go to the Layer Start

 PRESS I 
PRESS I
Go to the Layer End

 PRESS O
PRESS O

in out layer shortcut

Check out the complete list of keyboard After Effects shortcuts on Adobe website.

Beautifully designed and layered out  After Effects keyboard shortcuts cheat sheet | from Makeawebsitehub.com

Below some really good After Effects Shortcuts Videos you should check to improve your skills even more.

Hope you were able to find the After Effects shortcuts you need, if not just send me a comment below, I’ll be happy to answer your questions.

Thanks!