>Frustrated about not being able to maximize AE panels with the ~ shortcut, since your keyboard doesn’t have the tilde character? The same goes for many of the most useful shortcuts that don’t work on many non-English keyboards. However, there is a relatively easy way to fix this before a future version hopefully ships with the nice shortcut editor found in Photoshop CS2.
Update: Thanks to Nils Fridén for providing the OS X procedure!
Update 2: Added the paths for After Effects CS3 and a link to a script for AE CS3 that will let you edit the keyboard shortcuts easier, but you’ll still have to find the Unicode for all those non-English keys.
How to map the “Maximize Current Panel” shortcut to the same key on a foreign keyboard
- Step 1: Locate the text file Adobe After Effects 7.0 Shortcuts.txt (Adobe After Effects 8.0 Shortcuts.txt for AE CS3.)
On Windows XP and AE 7.0 you can find it in the folder
C:\Documents and Settings\XXXXXXX\Application Data\Adobe\After Effects\7.0
…and with AE CS3 it’s:
C:\Documents and Settings\XXXXXXX\Application Data\Adobe\After Effects\8.0
Replace XXXXXXX with your current username, for example “jessica“.
On Mac OS X you will find the text file in:
- Step 2: Create a backup copy of the file, just to be on the safe side…
- Step 3: Open the original file and search for the word “maximize” and you will find the row where it says
“ToggleTabPanelMaximize” = “(`)”
- Step 4: Now comes the tricky part; you have to find out which character is actually sent when you press the key you want to map the Maximize command to. I chose the same key as is used on English keyboards, above the Tab key, which on Swedish keyboards sends the § character. However, AE doesn’t recognize this character, so we have to find out the Unicode code and enter that instead.
- Step 5: On Windows XP, choose Run… from the Start menu (or simply hit your Windows key and the R key) and type charmap and hit Enter. This brings up a small utility called Character Map.
On Mac OS X you start the utility Character Palette.
Write, drag-and-drop, or copy characters to the search field..
- Step 6: Find the character that is sent when you press the correct key by pointing and clicking on it. When you’ve found the character, hover the mouse pointer over it to get the Unicode which in this case is U+00A7, and switch back to the text file.
- Step 7: Change the text between the parenthesis to the code you just wrote down, but relace the “-” (dash) with a lower-case “x“.
- Step 8: Save and close the file and then make sure you restart After Effects so it can load the changed shortcut.
- Step 9: There is no step 9!
Just pray that Adobe makes it easier in upcoming versions. My preference would be that pre-configured shortcut files where automatically installed for the most common non-English keyboard layouts.