Here are some of the After Effects shortcuts that I use most frequently. I find it’s easiest to memorize them when you just learn a few at a time and make an effort to use them until they become automatic. You may know some of these already but there are probably at least a couple that you may not know and are definitely worth learning.
PC shortcut keys are listed but work the same on Mac in almost all cases, just substitute Alt for Option and Ctrl for Cmd.
Editing layers in the timeline:
[ – Move selected layer’s in point to CTI (current time indicator).
] – Move selected layer’s out point to CTI (current time indicator).
Alt + [ – Trim selected layer’s in point to CTI (current time indicator).
Alt + ] – Trim selected layer’s out point to CTI (current time indicator).
Alt + Home – Move selected layer’s in point to the beginning of the timeline.
Alt + End – Move selected layer’s out point to the end of the timeline.
Ctrl + Alt + V – Paste layer at current time.
Ctrl + up/down arrow keys – Select the layer above/below. Add Shift to select multiple layers.
Ctrl + Alt + up/down arrow keys – Move the selected layer(s) up/down in the layer stack.
Ctrl + Alt + Shift + up/down arrow keys – Move the selected layer(s) to the top/bottom of the layer stack. Alternate shortcut is Ctrl + Shift + [ or ].
Easy Ease [In and Out] – F9
Easy Ease In – Shift + F9
Easy Ease Out – Ctrl + Shift + F9
Open keyframe velocity dialog for selected keyframe(s) – Ctrl + Shift + K -OR- Alt + double-click on a keyframe
Enable Hold Keyframe – Ctrl + Alt click on a keyframe
Reveal animated properties for selected layer(s) – U
Reveal all modified properties for selected layer(s) – UU
Reveal properties – T (transparency), P (position), R (rotation), S (scale), A (anchor point)
Add a keyframe for a property (position, rotation, opacity, etc.) at current time- Alt + Shift + (property shortcut: P, R, T, etc.)
Enable Time Remapping Keyframes for selected layer – Ctrl + Alt + T
Create keyframe for mask path – Alt + Shift + M
Move selected keyframe(s) one frame – Alt + (left or right arrow)
Move selected keyframe(s) ten frames – Alt + Shift + (left or right arrow)
Custom shortcut for time-reversing keyframes
OK, this is a custom shortcut that requires a little work to add but it’s totally worth it. To learn how to easily add this very useful shortcut, check out this post by Dan Fredley on Creative Cow, which was based on another post by Stephan Walsch.
Time-reverse keyframes – Alt + G
To learn more about creating custom shortcuts in AE check out these links: