AE Workflow 01: Workspaces and Shortcut Keys

Hey everyone!
This is AE Workflow. A series of posts on to help you be more efficient and get ish done faster.
This is part one, where I'll be talking about Workspaces and Shortcut Keys.


Like all Adobe products, or at least most, AE features workspaces to do exactly what this post is about, help you work better.
A workspace is a specific arrangement of all the panels. You can have a minimal workspace for previewing, an editing workspace and an effects workspace, a motion tracking workspace, or one that has ALL THE PANELS docked.

The button for workspaces is found in the top-right corner of the interface:

I rarely change my workspace. But when I do, I have two presets: Minimal and Standard.

This is my standard. It doesn't feature any special changes other than a few panels swapped around, and some script panels added.

The other I use is Minimal:

This is like the stock "Minimal" except I added the preview panel. I use this when I'm showing someone for feedback, or previewing for the client. They don't need to see all the buttons and switches, just the last bit. I also use "Ctrl+Shift+H" to hide lights, masks and bounding boxes. Like I said, they don't need to see all that.

You can Save and Load workspaces with the same button, and they're saved within project files so you can keep working from where you left off.

Shortcut Keys

Shortcut keys are important because...well... they're shortcuts. They make things a lot easier, help you work faster.
They can be found by going to Help > Keyboard Shortcuts.
I don't approve of using this method, I usually learn shortcuts on the fly as I need them, then I'd only learn the ones I need, rather than struggling through the list to find the one I think I'd use.

The standard ones that I use are:

V - Selection Tool
G - Pen Tool
Q - Shape Tool
Spacebar (hold) - Hand Tool

Y - Pan-Behind Tool
P - Layer's position property
S - Layer's scale property
T - Layer's opacity property
M - Mask Path
F - Mask Feather
MM - All mask properties.

0 - RAM Preview
'  - Title/Action Safe
Ctrl+Shift+H - Show/Hide Masks, bonding boxes, lights
Ctrl+R - Ruler

Ctrl+Y - New solid
Ctrl+Shift+C - Precompose
Shift (tap) - Flowchart
And most importantly, Ctrl+S to save.

There's others, of course, but these are perhaps the most used.
One other tip, if you have a button like the Pen Tool which has many tools inside, you can tap G to cycle through them (In Photoshop, it'd be Shift+P).

Other Shortcuts

Did you know that holding down Shift will snap what you're dragging? Keyframes, layers, markers etc. EXTREMELY useful!

How are your workspaces? What shortcut keys do you use most often? Do you use any of them?
Drop a comment below, share the knowledge