How To Change the Default Font Used for Text Layers in After Effects?

Text layers play a vital role in After Effects, adding titles, captions, and other visual elements to your animations. While After Effects offers a vast library of fonts, selecting the perfect one for your project can be time-consuming if you constantly need to change the default font for new text layers. This article will guide you through various methods for setting a default font in After Effects, streamlining your workflow and ensuring consistent text presentation.

Understanding Default Fonts:

After Effects doesn't have a single, global setting for defining a default font for all text layers. However, you can implement different strategies to achieve a similar outcome, depending on your workflow preferences.

Method 1: Setting a Default Font for a New Text Layer Preset

This approach involves creating a custom text layer preset with your desired font pre-selected. Here's how to do it:

  1. Create a New Text Layer: Go to the Layer menu and select "New" > "Text."
  2. Choose Your Default Font: In the Character panel (usually located on the right side by default), select the font you want to set as the default from the font family dropdown menu.
  3. Adjust Other Text Properties (Optional): You can further customize the default appearance of your text by adjusting properties like font size, style (bold, italic), color, and alignment within the Character panel.
  4. Save as Preset: Right-click on the newly created text layer in the timeline panel and select "Save Preset." Give your preset a descriptive name that reflects the chosen font and style.


  • Quick and easy way to create new text layers with your preferred font settings.
  • Saves time by eliminating the need to manually change font properties for each new text layer.
  • Allows for customization of additional text properties within the preset.


  • Requires creating a separate preset for each desired font and style combination.
  • Not a true global default, but a convenient shortcut for frequently used fonts.

Method 2: Utilizing Essential Graphics Panel Presets (After Effects CC 2014 and Later)

The Essential Graphics panel (EGP) offers a powerful way to manage presets for various elements, including text styles. Here's how to leverage it for default fonts:

  1. Create a Text Style in the EGP: Open the EGP panel (Window > Essential Graphics). Click the "+" icon at the bottom and choose "Text" from the dropdown menu.
  2. Define Your Default Font: In the edit window, select the desired font family and adjust other text properties as needed.
  3. Save as a Text Style: Click the hamburger menu (three horizontal lines) in the top right corner of the edit window and select "Save as Preset." Choose a descriptive name for your text style preset.


  • More organized approach compared to individual layer presets.
  • Centralized location for managing different text style presets.
  • Can be applied to existing text layers or used as a starting point for new ones.


  • Requires familiarity with the EGP workflow.
  • Presets are project-specific, so you'll need to recreate them for new projects.

Method 3: Scripting for Advanced Users

For those comfortable with scripting, creating a custom script can automate the process of setting the default font for new text layers. Here's a general idea (consult online resources for specific script examples):

  1. Learn Scripting Languages: After Effects supports ExtendScript or JavaScript for writing custom scripts.
  2. Write a Script to Set Default Font: The script would need to access the default text layer properties and modify the font family upon creating a new text layer.
  3. Run the Script: You can either run the script manually or configure it to execute automatically when creating new projects.


  • Powerful solution for automating default font changes.
  • Highly customizable for specific needs.


  • Requires scripting knowledge and can be a technical challenge for beginners.
  • Potential for compatibility issues with different After Effects versions.

Additional Tips:

  • Match System Fonts: Consider setting your default font in After Effects to match the system fonts on your computer. This ensures consistency with other applications like text editors.
  • Third-Party Plugins: Explore third-party plugins that might offer additional functionalities related to managing default fonts or text layer properties.


By implementing the techniques outlined above, you can effectively establish a default font for text layers in After Effects, streamlining your workflow and maintaining consistent text presentation throughout your projects. Choose the method that best suits your comfort level and project requirements. Remember, a well-defined default font can save you valuable time and effort when creating impactful text elements in After Effects.

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