Back to Blog Index

A Guide to After Effects Menus: Window

No items found.

Complete your knowledge of the After Effects Menus with our look into the Window Tab!

How often do you use the top menu tabs in After Effects? Chances are, you probably have a handful of tools you use, but what about those random features you haven’t tried yet? We're finishing up our deep dive into the hidden gems of these menus.

A-Guide-To-Menus_AE-20200728-Window_Article.jpg

Have you ever been deep in work on a project and found yourself missing a panel you needed? Or maybe you realized that you were spending too much time scrolling all the way to the other side of your monitor to click a certain panel. This is where the Windows tab comes in.

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to get the most out of the Windows tab. We’ll learn how to customize your layout so its just right using Workspaces. In addition, we’ll take a look at some of my favorite tools:

  • Window
  • Align
  • Learn

Let’s get started!

Window > Workspace

This is easily one of the features I use most often within Window. Whether I need to toggle between different projects, customize my workspace, or adjust panels for other reasons, this feature is great.

In case you’re unfamiliar, a Workspace within After Effects is a custom layout that caters to specific use cases, such as Typography, Effects, or other scenarios. To try these different workspaces out, head up to Window > Workspace, and you’ll see a variety of options nested in here.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the options and what they have to offer.

ANIMATION

This one speaks for itself. It relies heavily on preview tools, time settings, and effects.

ae-menu-window-1.jpg

MINIMAL

For those that prefer a cleaner look and feel. Or if you just want to focus exclusively on your timeline and keyframes.

ae-menu-window-2.jpg

TEXT

Obviously perfect for anytime you’re working mainly with type. Both the Character and Paragraph panels are a must have.

ae-menu-window-3.jpg

CUSTOM

There is one workspace that’s my favorite, and its called “Matt’s Workspace.” This is my custom layout that include all plugins, effects, and panels that I need at all times. You can make your own custom workspace too.

First, add in all the panels you want and arrange them in your work area any way you want. Then, go up to Window > Workspace > Save as New Workspace

ae-menu-window-4.jpg

Save your layout with a name you’ll recognize. Now, you’ll have a workspace ready to go at all times. If you accidentally reset something in your window, you can always revert it. You could also create different workspaces for different projects or different workflows depending on your situation.

If you want to take things one step further, you can also create a custom shortcut for your workspace that can access instantly whenever you need it. Go to Window > Assign Shortcut to Workspace. You can overwrite another workspace that you don’t use as much.

ae-menu-window-8.jpg

Align

If you spend any amount of time working with 2D designs in After Effects, using the Align tool is an absolute must. Arranging the layout of artwork in your project can be tedious, and oftentimes incorrect! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to eyeball measurements, only to find out later that something was off.

Here’s how to get started with Align. First, make sure you’re in your custom workspace. Then, go up to Window > Assign Workspace. Once you have this open, select the objects you want to align, and try playing with some of the options in the Align toolkit. Align vertical and horizontal are my go-tos.

Learn

Another interesting tool inside of the Window tab is the Learn feature. If you’re just getting up to speed or want a refresher for After Effects, this is a great tool to get started with some basic tutorials. Go to Window > Learn. There’s a handful of interactive projects that will help walk you through essential After Effects goodness.

Your Window Into After Effects Just Opened

Personalizing your workspace is just one of the many benefits of using the Window tab. Be sure to take advantage of the Align tool, and the Learning feature inside After Effects as well. Don’t forget to experiment with all of the other items inside this tab. There’s a lot more to dive into!

After Effects Kickstart

If you're looking to get the most out of After Effects, maybe it's time to take a more proactive step in your professional development. That's why we put together After Effects Kickstart, a course designed to give you a strong foundation in this core program.

After Effects Kickstart is the ultimate After Effects intro course for motion designers. In this course, you'll learn the most commonly used tools and best practices for using them while mastering the After Effects interface.

Dive into real-time 3D with our Unreal Engine beginner's course by Jonathan Winbush. Master importing assets, world-building, animation, and cinematic sequences to create stunning 3D renders in no time! Perfect for motion designers ready to level up.

Explore this Course

Unlock the secrets of character design in this dynamic course! Explore shape language, anatomy rules, and motifs to craft animation-ready characters. Gain drawing tips, hacks, and Procreate mastery (or any drawing app). Ideal for artists seeking to elevate their craft.

Explore this Course

Elevate your freelance motion design career with our guide to client success. Master a repeatable method for finding, contacting, and landing clients. Learn to identify prospects, nurture leads, and develop a thriving freelance philosophy amidst chaos.

Explore this Course

Rev up your editing skills with After Effects! Learn to use it for everyday needs and craft dynamic templates (Mogrts) for smarter teamwork. You'll master creating animated graphics, removing unwanted elements, tracking graphics, and making customizable templates.

Explore this Course

Stand out with Demo Reel Dash! Learn to spotlight your best work and market your unique brand of magic. By the end, you'll have a brand new demo reel and a custom campaign to showcase yourself to an audience aligned with your career goals.

Explore this Course

Illuminate your 3D skills with Lights, Camera, Render! Dive deep into advanced Cinema 4D techniques with David Ariew. Master core cinematography skills, gain valuable assets, and learn tools and best practices to create stunning work that wows clients.

Explore this Course

Master After Effects at your own pace with Jake Bartlett's beginner course. Perfect for video editors, you'll learn to create stylish animated graphics, remove unwanted elements, and track graphics into shots. By the end, you'll be equipped for everyday AE needs and more.

Explore this Course

Revolutionize your Premiere workflow with customizable AE templates! Master creating dynamic Motion Graphics Templates (Mogrts) in After Effects to speed up your team's work. By the end, you'll craft easily-customizable templates for seamless use in Premiere Pro.

Explore this Course
Your download is in your inbox!!!
Check your email (spam, too) for the download link!
Please check the spam folder if you don't see the message within a minute or two. Google likes to hide your downloads, sometimes.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.