Insider Tips: Two Ways to Make After Effects’ UI Easier to Read

Every week, Insider asks one of our expert contributors to share a tip, tool, or technique that they use all the time and couldn’t live without. Laurence Grayson shares two ways to make After Effects more legible.

We don’t all have sharp eyes—or monitors, for that matter—so if you struggle to get a handle on things in After Effects, then you might find these two tips useful.

How to make After Effects path handles larger

Path handles are an essential part of After Effects. If you didn’t already know, they’re the squares that you click and drag when you want to manually resize a mask or shape layer. Making these path handles larger is extremely easy: 

  1. Open After Effects’ Settings (Opt+Cmd+; / Ctrl+Alt+;)
  2. At the top of the General section, look for Path Point and Handle Size.
  3. Enter a new value (between 4 and 15 pixels) and hit OK

Now when you create a shape layer or mask, your newly-sized handles will be as large as you need them to be.

How to make After Effects’ UI text larger

In comparison, making the UI text in After Effects more legible is more complex. If you need to make menu items and labels more readable, then you’ll need to follow this process: 

  1. Open the After Effects Console with Cmd/Ctrl+F12
  2. Click on the hamburger menu and select Debug Database View
  3. Search for “font” and look for the AdobeCleanFontSize setting.
  4. Adjust the AdobeCleanFontSize value to a setting that suits you.
  5. Restart After Effects.

A cautious approach is advisable here. Take this value too far and you may break some of After Effects’ interface elements.

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Laurence Grayson

After a career spanning [mumble] years and roles that include creative lead, video producer, tech journalist, designer, and envelope stuffer, Laurence is now the managing editor for Insider. This has made him enormously happy, but he's British, so it's very hard to tell.