How To Show/Hide Tooltips and Keyboard Shortcuts in After Effects?

After Effects, a maestro in the world of motion graphics, offers a plethora of tools and functionalities. But navigating these tools can be overwhelming, especially for new users. Thankfully, After Effects provides a helping hand through tooltips and keyboard shortcuts. Tooltips offer brief explanations when you hover your mouse over an interface element, while keyboard shortcuts allow for quicker access to frequently used commands. This comprehensive guide will equip you with the knowledge to show/hide tooltips and keyboard shortcuts in After Effects, empowering you to customize your learning experience and optimize your workflow.

Understanding Tooltips and Keyboard Shortcuts:

  • Tooltips: These are small, informative pop-up windows that appear when you hover your mouse cursor over an icon, button, or menu item within the After Effects interface. Tooltips provide a concise explanation of the element's function, aiding in tool discovery and user comprehension.
  • Keyboard Shortcuts: These are keyboard key combinations that allow you to activate specific commands or tools within After Effects. Keyboard shortcuts can significantly improve your editing speed and efficiency once you become familiar with them.

Showing and Hiding Tooltips:

By default, tooltips are enabled in After Effects. However, you might prefer a cleaner interface or find them distracting. Here's how to show/hide tooltips:

  1. Navigate to the Preferences Menu: Go to the Edit menu (Windows) or After Effects menu (Mac) and select "Preferences" (Windows) or "Preferences..." (Mac).
  2. General Settings: Within the Preferences window, locate the "General" section on the left-hand side panel.
  3. Tooltip Visibility: Look for the checkbox labeled "Enable Tool Tips."
  4. Show or Hide: Tick the checkbox to enable tooltips (if currently hidden) or untick it to disable them (if currently visible).
  5. Apply the Change: Click the "OK" button to confirm your preference change.

Keyboard Shortcut Visibility:

After Effects doesn't offer a dedicated option to show or hide keyboard shortcuts visually within the interface. However, you can access a list of all available keyboard shortcuts within the software.

  1. Navigate to the Help Menu: Go to the Help menu and select "After Effects Help" (Windows) or "After Effects Help..." (Mac).
  2. Search for Keyboard Shortcuts: Within the Help documentation, utilize the search function to find resources related to keyboard shortcuts. After Effects provides comprehensive documentation outlining all available keyboard shortcuts.
  3. Printing the List (Optional): You can print the list of keyboard shortcuts or save it as a reference document for quick access outside of After Effects.

Tips for Utilizing Tooltips and Keyboard Shortcuts:

  • Leverage Tooltips While Learning: As a new After Effects user, keep tooltips enabled to familiarize yourself with the interface and tool functionalities.
  • Disable Tooltips for Experienced Users: Once comfortable with After Effects, consider disabling tooltips for a cleaner interface and potentially faster workflow.
  • Explore Keyboard Shortcuts Gradually: Don't try to memorize all keyboard shortcuts at once. Start by learning a few shortcuts for frequently used tools and gradually expand your knowledge base.
  • Practice Makes Perfect: The more you use keyboard shortcuts, the more comfortable and efficient you'll become in After Effects.


By understanding how to show/hide tooltips and keyboard shortcuts in After Effects, you've gained valuable knowledge to personalize your learning experience and optimize your workflow. Remember, utilize tooltips to your advantage while learning, then consider disabling them for a cleaner interface as you gain experience. Embrace keyboard shortcuts to boost your editing speed and efficiency. Now go forth, conquer your animation projects with newfound knowledge and a streamlined After Effects experience!

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