Adobe Creative Cloud

favorite features in CC versions of After Effects: command for moving anchor point to center of content

Every once in a while, we have a “JDI” (“Just Do It”) day on the After Effects team. During these days, members of the After Effects team compete to see who can make the best change to the application within a single day, where “best” is defined by greatest benefit to the population of After Effects users, as determined by a team vote. The changes must be fully designed, implemented, and tested within the single day, in time for demonstrations and voting to occur. There are prizes.

During a JDI day for After Effects CC (12.1), James (Jim) Acquavella and I won for the addition of a command to set the anchor point to be in the center of the layer content: Layer > Transform > Center Anchor Point In Layer Content. I urged Jim to implement this feature because I had seen many people struggle with animation of shape layers because their anchor points were not located in the center of the shapes.


The keyboard shortcut is Ctrl+Alt+Home on Windows and Command+Option+Home on Mac OS.

You can also Ctrl+double-click (Windows) or Command+double-click the Pan Behind (Anchor Point) tool to invoke this command.

A few great uses for this new command:

  • setting the anchor point of a shape layer to the center of a single shape or to the centroid of a group of shapes in a shape layer
  • setting the anchor point for a text layer to the center of the text content
  • setting the anchor point of a layer to then center of the visible area within a masked region

Go ahead and try this out now in the current version. If you’re not already a Creative Cloud subscriber, you can try the free 30-day trial. For information about purchasing a Creative Cloud subscription, see this page about plans and this page with current promotional offers.

If you want to let us know what your favorite changes in After Effects have been since After Effects CC (12.0), come and tell us here, whether your favorite change is a new feature, a bug fix, or a little tweak in behavior.

After Effects, General, Region of Interest