Expressionist 1.5.6

Expressionist improves the expression workflow by giving you basic IDE features such as syntax highlighting, line numbers and multiple cursors. It allows you to quickly add an expression to multiple properties and gives you inline error messages. Expressionist is available for Adobe After Effects 2015.1 (13.6) and up.

Get it now at aescripts!



Install Expressionist by using the aescripts ZXP installer. Do not use Adobe Extension Manager! It has been discontinued and never supported After Effects.

You will need After Effects 2015.1 (13.6) or newer to use Expressionist. Previous versions are not supported due to various bugs in the extension platform that made Expressionist unusable.

After the installation you will find Expressionist under:
Window > Extensions > Expressionist

Make sure to read the known issues!


The first time you open Expressionist you will be prompted for a license. Copy your license code into the input field and click Install License. You should now see that it is licensed to your name.

Want to buy a license? Get it at aescripts.

Trial Restrictions

The trial version is fully featured for 7 days.

Edit Expressions

Add Expression

Select one or more properties in the timeline panel and type your expression in Expressionist. Click on the button Add Expression or use the shortcut Cmd-Enter (or Ctrl-Enter on Windows) to add the expression to the selected properties.

Load Expression

If you already have an expression applied to a property, select that property and press the Load Expression button or Cmd-Shift-click(or Alt-Shift-Click on Windows) on the Expressionist editor. This will load the expression into the editor.

When multiple properties are selected it will take the expression from the first property in the selection list. Due to After Effects’ constraints, this is not the property that was selected first.

Toggle Expression

This toggles the expressions on/off on the selected properties. It inverts the state of the expression, so if it’s enabled it will be disabled and vice versa.

Clear Expression

To clear the editor and/or expression on the selected properties press the Clear Expression button or use Cmd-Shift-Enter (Ctrl-Shift-Enter on Windows).


You can pickwhip properties by selecting a property and using Cmd-P (Ctrl-P on Windows) in the editor. This will give you the reference to that property:


To get relative references to your property, first load that property into the editor and then select the property you want to pickwhip. This will result in:


Of course this also works across comps:

comp("Other Comp").layer("Other Layer")("Transform")("Position")

Having nothing selected will reference to:


Selecting the same layer will result in:


And selecting another layer will result in:

thisComp.layer("Other Layer")

Comps and footage items can be pickwhipped from the project panel as well:


Reference Dimension

When you pickwhip a multidimensional property, the editor will show a widget with the available dimensions for that property. Click the button of the dimension you want to reference.

The editor will now append the dimension, i.e. [0] to the property.


To quickly run scripts from within After Effects you can turn on Scripting Mode. This is done by clicking the Extendscript icon in the bottom left corner. Cmd-Enter (Ctrl-Enter on Windows) will now execute the script.

Turn on Enable Javascript Debugger in the After Effects preferences to get detailed error messages.


You can fold arbitrary code by using the following comments.


By using region and endregion:

//region [optional description]
/*region [optional description]*/


By using { } or [ ] at the end of a line comment:

// [optional description] {
// }


Or by using single line blockcomments:

/*** [optional description] */


Scroll down for the Sublime shortcuts.


Action Mac Windows
Add Expression Cmd-Enter Ctrl-Enter
Load Expression Cmd-Shift-Click Alt-Shift-Click
Clear Expression Cmd-Shift-Enter Ctrl-Shift-Enter
Pick Whip Cmd-P Ctrl-P
Toggle Scripting Mode Alt-Tab Ctrl-Tab

Line Operations

Action Mac Windows
Remove line Cmd-D Ctrl-D
Copy lines down Cmd-Option-Down Alt-Shift-Down
Copy lines up Cmd-Option-Up Alt-Shift-Up
Move lines down Option-Down Alt-Down
Move lines up Option-Up Alt-Up
Remove to line end Ctrl-k Alt-Delete
Remove to line start Cmd-Backspace Alt-Backspace
Remove word left Option-Backspace Ctrl-Backspace
Remove word right Option-Delete Ctrl-Delete
Split line Ctrl-O -


Action Mac Windows
Select all Cmd-A Ctrl-A
Select left Shift-Left Shift-Left
Select right Shift-Right Shift-Right
Select word left Option-Shift-Left Ctrl-Shift-Left
Select word right Option-Shift-Right Ctrl-Shift-Right
Select line start Shift-Home Shift-Home
Select line end Shift-End Shift-End
Select to line end Cmd-Shift-Right Alt-Shift-Right
Select to line start Cmd-Shift-Left Alt-Shift-Left
Select up Shift-Up Shift-Up
Select down Shift-Down Shift-Down
Select page up Shift-PageUp Shift-PageUp
Select page down Shift-PageDown Shift-PageDown
Select to start Cmd-Shift-Up Ctrl-Shift-Home
Select to end Cmd-Shift-Down Ctrl-Shift-End
Duplicate selection Cmd-Shift-D Ctrl-Shift-D
Select to matching bracket Ctrl-Shift-P Ctrl-Shift-P


Action Mac Windows
Add cursor above Ctrl-Option-Up Ctrl-Alt-Up
Add cursor below Ctrl-Option-Down Ctrl-Alt-Down
Add next occurrence to selection Ctrl-Option-Right Ctrl-Alt-Right
Add previous occurrence to selection Ctrl-Option-Left Ctrl-Alt-Left
Move multicursor from current line to the line above Ctrl-Option-Shift-Up Ctrl-Alt-Shift-Up
Move multicursor from current line to the line below Ctrl-Option-Shift-Down Ctrl-Alt-Shift-Down
Remove current occurrence from selection and move to next Ctrl-Option-Shift-Right Ctrl-Alt-Shift-Right
Remove current occurrence from selection and move to previous Ctrl-Option-Shift-Left Ctrl-Alt-Shift-Left
Select all from selection Ctrl-Shift-L Ctrl-Shift-L

Go to

Action Mac Windows
Go to left Left, Ctrl-B Left
Go to right Right, Ctrl-F Right
Go to word left Option-Left Ctrl-Left
Go to word right Option-Right Ctrl-Right
Go line up Up Up
Go line down Down Down
Go to line start Cmd-Left, Home, Ctrl-A Alt-Left, Home
Go to line end Cmd-Right, End, Ctrl-E Alt-Right, End
Go to page up Option-PageUp PageUp
Go to page down Option-PageDown, Ctrl-V PageDown
Go to start Cmd-Home, Cmd-Up Ctrl-Home
Go to end Cmd-End, Cmd-Down Ctrl-End
Scroll line down - Ctrl-Down
Scroll line up - Ctrl-Up
Go to matching bracket Ctrl-P Ctrl-P
Scroll page down Option-PageDown -
Scroll page up Option-PageUp -


Action Mac Windows
Fold Cmd-Option-L, Cmd-F1 Alt-L, Ctrl-F1
Unfold Cmd-Option-Shift-L, Cmd-Shift-F1 Alt-Shift-L, Ctrl-Shift-F1
Fold all Cmd-Option-0 Alt-0
Unfold all Cmd-Option-Shift-0 Alt-Shift-0


Action Mac Windows
Indent Tab Tab
Outdent Shift-Tab Shift-Tab
Undo Cmd-Z Ctrl-Z
Redo Cmd-Shift-Z, Cmd-Y Ctrl-Shift-Z, Ctrl-Y
Toggle line comment Cmd-/ Ctrl-/
Transpose letters Ctrl-T Ctrl-T
Change to lower case Ctrl-Shift-U Ctrl-Shift-U
Change to upper case Ctrl-U Ctrl-U
Overwrite Insert Insert
(Forward) Delete Ctrl-D Delete
Center selection Ctrl-L Ctrl-L


Action Mac Windows
Less Indent Shift-Tab Shift-Tab
Toggle Comment Ctrl-/ Cmd-/
To Upper Case Ctrl-K Ctrl-U Cmd-K Cmd-U
To Lower Case Ctrl-K Ctrl-L Cmd-K Cmd-L
Go to Word Left Alt-Left Ctrl-Left
Go to Word Right Alt-Right Ctrl-Right
Scroll Up Ctrl-Up Ctrl-Alt-Up
Scroll Down Ctrl-Down Ctrl-Alt-Down
Jump to Matching Bracket Ctrl-M Cmd-M
Fold Ctrl-Shift-[ Cmd-Shift-[
Unfold Ctrl-Shift-] Cmd-Shift-]
Fold All Ctrl-K Ctrl-0 Cmd-K Cmd-0
Unfold All Ctrl-K Ctrl-J Cmd-K Cmd-J
Add Cursor Above Ctrl-Alt-Up Ctrl-Shift-Up
Add Cursor Below Ctrl-Alt-Down Ctrl-Shift-Down
Single Selection Esc Esc
Select Next Occurance After Ctrl-D Cmd-D
Select Scope Ctrl-Shift-Space Cmd-Shift-Space
Select to Matching Bracket Ctrl-Shift-M Cmd-Shift-M
Center Selection Ctrl-K Ctrl-C Cmd-K Cmd-C
Remove to Line Start Ctrl-K Ctrl-Backspace Cmd-K Cmd-Backspace
Remove to Line End Ctrl-K Ctrl-K Cmd-K Cmd-K
Remove Line Ctrl-Shift-K Ctrl-Shift-K
Select Line Ctrl-L Cmd-L
Split Line Ctrl-Shift-L Cmd-Shift-L
Join Lines Ctrl-J Cmd-J
Duplicate Line Ctrl-Shift-D Cmd-Shift-D
Sort Lines F9 F9
Add New Line After* Ctrl-Alt-Enter Cmd-Alt-Enter
Add New Line Before* Ctrl-Alt-Shift-Enter Cmd-Alt-Shift-Enter
Move Lines Up Ctrl-Shift-Up Cmd-Ctrl-Up
Move Lines Down Ctrl-Shift-Down Cmd-Ctrl-Down

* Added Alt in favor of the Expressionist shortcuts.

Flyout Menu

Check for updates…

This will open the update dialog and automatically check for available updates.

Expression Language Menu

This is the complete expression reference as you know it. Click on any of the items to add the reference to the editor.


Here you can turn on Sublime Shortcuts, Highlight Active Line and Word Wrap as well as change the Font Size.

Expression-/Scripting Mode

Toggle between Expression- and Scripting Mode. This will enable/disable their respective menu items.


To request a feature, file a bug or give general feedback, use the items in this menu.

About & License…

Here you can buy/install your license and read the product description.


Brings you to these pages.

Known Issues

If any of the solutions described below don’t work for you, or you ran into an issue that is not described here. Please let us know!

Report a bug from the fly-out menu via:
Support > Report Bug…

Two versions in the extensions menu

Please delete the old version (1.0.0) with the aescripts ZXP installer.

Editor seems focused, but isn’t

Sometimes the editor seems focused, but actually isn’t. So pressing any key on the keyboard will focus the After Effects window. Make sure to click inside the editor before typing.

Mac OS X

The Cmd-D Sublime shortcut deletes the selection!

This is due to a bug with the CEP system of Adobe. A fix cannot be provided, but will hopefully be solved in the next major update of After Effects.

Selection removed when using shortcuts

Some shortcuts will remove the selection. Instead of having a selection, keep the caret(s) inside the word or on the line/lines when using the shortcut.

Undo/Redo doesn’t center selection

When using undo/redo the editor does not automatically scroll to the location where the undo/redo is happening. Make sure to scroll to the line manually.

Some shortcuts don’t work

It might happen that a shortcut doesn’t work, because the timeline was previously in focus. Try focusing the project or info panel, before using the shortcut in the editor.


Can’t change the font size

The shortcut for increasing, decreasing and resetting the font size doesn’t work. Please use the options in the fly-out menu.


1.5.6 - 2019-09-11


1.5.5 - 2019-09-05


1.5.4 - 2018-09-04



1.5.2 – 2018-08-16



1.5.0 – 2018-04-06

Please note there is a bug on OSX with AE CC2018 regarding selections and shortcuts. Read the known issues for more info.




1.0.0 – 2016-03-19