I'm a Japanese user (other users might be affected too) and I cannot start up the script, use Single Script Mode on Windows, and/or set shortcuts on Workflower's shortcuts panel.

If the script is not starting up, please make sure that your AE keyboard layout preset file name only contains regular English characters or numbers. To do that, go to AE's Keyboard Shortcuts panel and next to the keyboard layout preset dropdown, click on Save As... to create a copy of the current preset. Then choose a name only with English characters or numbers. (It might take a bit to solve the underlying issue as this seems to be a bug within AE.)

If you cannot use Single Script Mode, please switch to Individual Scripts Mode. There seems to be an AE bug that prevents Single Script Mode from working when the OS language is in Japanese.

If you cannot set shortcuts on Workflower's shortcuts panel, you can temporarily switch the language of your OS to US or something similar to set shortcuts.

For more information on Single Script Mode and typing in shortcuts, please read the dedicated chapter for Japanese users.

After installing Workflower using the aescripts manager app, I get this error when opening up the ScriptUI Panel: Workflower's Main File '--- Workflower ---.jsxbin' does not exist, or has been put into the wrong Folder.

"--- Workflower ---.jsxbin" is a mandatory file that's necessary to install in addition to the ScriptUI Panel file Workflower ScriptUI Panel.jsxbin.

The aescripts manager app should install all files properly, however, there seems to be a bug that happens on some machines and that causes the aescripts manager app not to install the main file "--- Workflower ---.jsxbin" properly.

If that's the case, please perform a manual installation of the file:

  1. Download the trial from the product page: https://aescripts.com/workflower/

  2. In the downloaded files, look for "--- Workflower ---.jsxbin", then copy and paste it to AE's Scripts folder (NOT the ScriptUI Panels folder): > Win: C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe After Effects XX\Support Files\Scripts > Mac: /Applications/Adobe After Effects XX/Scripts

  3. In case the aescripts manager app failed to install the WQ plug-in file too which enables you to double-click on group headers to open/close the groups, you can manually install it as well (but you don't have to). The plug-in is located in the downloaded files under "---- Additional Plug-in (OPTIONAL)". Copy and paste the entire folder "TerribleJunkShow" (not only "WQ.aex" or "WQ.plugin") into After Effects' Plug-ins folder: > Win: C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe After Effects XX\Support Files\Plug-ins > Mac: /Applications/Adobe After Effects XX/Plug-ins

For additional information, you can also check out the user guide page on Manual Installation, or the video tutorial on Installation that walks you through the manual installation process too.

I'm getting this error frequently: Attempt was made to run second script while another script was already running.

The issue comes up because you're executing a function while another is still processing. Some of Workflower functions take a bit to process and if you're pressing a shortcut directly after pressing another one, AE will throw this error.

It is advised just to wait a little bit longer until you execute a function again. If the mouse cursor is still showing the loading icon, wait a little bit until it shows the regular cursor again and you should be able to execute the next function without issues.

I'm a Windows user and Workflower's layer icons only display a rectangle with an "X" inside or seem to be missing in some other form.

The issue might come up because the Unicode block Halfwidth and Fullwidth Forms (which Workflower uses for most of its icons on Windows) is missing or is somehow corrupted on your OS.

Since Halfwidth and Fullwidth Forms is a Chinese/Japanese/Korean Unicode block, you can solve this issue by installing either one of these languages on your OS.

To do this, simply go to Windows's Language settings and add a language, for example Chinese. You don't have to use the language, it's enough to have it installed.

Now you might want to restart your computer to make sure Windows is loading the language. If you start After Effects now and run Workflower, layer icons should be displayed properly. If they aren't, please contact customer support.

After entering my license, I get this error: Trial expired (-100)

This issue can come up when you've entered the license code on too many machines. There's a new licensing system from aescripts that allows for a script to be licensed on two machines only.

You can deactivate one of these licenses by logging into your aescripts account, then go to My Downloads & Licenses, navigate to your Workflower license and click on Info. Here you can deactivate the license on another machine. Now, if you enter the license on your current machine, Workflower should open up.

If that's not the cause of your problem or the solution is not working, please conctact customer support.

I'm a Mac user and on opening After Effects with Workflower installed, I get this error: "WQ.plugin" can't be opened because Apple cannot check for malicious software.

If you receive this error, please follow these instructions on how to fix the issue.

You may also want to check out this quick video tutorial on the issue.

I'm a Mac user or Individual Scripts Mode user on Windows, and when trying to assign a shortcut to another script (like MoBar's Quick Search Bar), I can't assign it, or strange things happen on execution (like alternating between Workflower and the other script).

There are a few things to know about adding a shortcut for another script. Let's use MoBar's Quick Search Bar for this example:

  • Unfortunately, After Effects only allows assigning shortcuts to a total of 20 scripts.

  • Since Workflower by default already assigns 20 shortcuts, you have to reduce Workflower's shortcut slots first. To do this, go to Workflower's shortcuts panel (Settings > Shortcuts > Set Shortcuts for Current Layout) and in the dropdown at the top of the panel, set the shortcut slots from 20 to 19. This will remove the last shortcut in the panel. You can also delete another shortcut instead and re-add the previously deleted shortcut. Then click Save and close After Effects.

  • The 20 scripts to which you can assign shortcuts in After Effects are, alphabetically, the first 20 scripts in the folder. Since 'MoBar Quick Search.jsxbin' will not be among them, you need to rename it so that it is the 20th script in the folder. Go to the Scripts folder (Mac: /Applications/Adobe After Effects XX/Scripts | Win: C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe After Effects XX\Support Files\Scripts) and rename it to, for example, '00 MoBar Quick Search.jsxbin'.

    • (If you are working with the aescripts manager app, this renaming might become a problem during an update, as the manager app will install 'MoBar Quick Search.jsxbin' instead of '00 MoBar Quick Search.jsxbin', meaning you would probably have to rename the file again with every MoBar update.)

  • Now restart After Effects and open After Effects' Keyboard Shortcuts panel. Search for 'MoBar Quick Search' and make sure that the script file is in the Scripts section and *not* in the Last Script Files section. Then add the shortcut and save. Now it should work.

    • If you experienced before that strange things happened when executing the other script shortcut - like alternating between Workflower and the other script - this might be due to the fact that you assigned the shortcut to a script file in the Last Script Files section which will always execute the last script. (Strangely enough, this entry in the Keyboard Shortcuts panel carries solely the name of the script and is therefore easy to confuse.)

  • If you ever want to add a shortcut for another script, you will need to further reduce the shortcut slots.

We also wish this process was different and that After Effects would allow assigning more shortcuts for scripts. This has been a feature request at Adobe for a long time, but as long as they do not add it, our hands are tied in this regard.

Workflower did not get me a date as promised by the promotional video!

Please make sure you're not dabbling in any other competing software to After Effects. Dates are only available to users who are loyal to their love for After Effects. You MUST NOT have any instance of Nuke, Cavalry, or similar installed on your computer! Please remove the programs immediately and try again. Various dates should now appear quickly.


Can I open up a project that was created with Workflower when I don't have the script?

Yes, you can open up a project created with Workflower even if you don't have the script.

However, if you want to continue to work in this project, it is recommended to convert your comps to either Non-Indented Layout or Expression Mode Layout (no indent and no special characters) before handing over the project in order to get rid of all indent of layer names. As of version 1.0.3, you're able to batch convert all of your comps in a project to one of these layout styles. For more info about this function, click here.

If the aep is returned to you, it is possible to convert the comps back to Indented Layout. For that to be possible, however, it is necessary that no layer/comp comments were deleted, as Workflower relies on them to store information about groups and layers.

Also, the group header, as well as the shy'd layers above and below the group, mustn't have been deleted. These are necessary for Workflower to be able to identify the beginning and end of a group.

However, if you want to exchange the project file with someone who doesn't have Workflower, that person might find it annoying to deal with the additional shy'd layers above and below groups. That's why you can also remove those layers using the batch conversion function. But be aware that it will then be impossible to read group information on re-importing and you would have to create your groups anew!

Can projects be exchanged between Windows and Mac without problems?

Yes, Workflower will work on both platforms, and yes, you can easily exchange between the two OS'.

However, on Mac, Workflower uses different icons within the layer names than on Windows. Also, the layers are indented a bit differently due to the fact that AE uses a slightly different font here.

Still, importing a project from another OS works without any issues and once you execute any Workflower function, it will convert the entire project to your OS-specific layout.

It is important that your entire project is converted to the OS-specific layout because otherwise certain expressions can break once you start working!

Will Workflower's comp layout break scripts/plugins that depend on specific layer names?

It depends on the specific script/plugin and how it's referring to that layer name. If layer names are properly referenced in expressions, for example, Workflower will update the names in these expressions so that they don't break. If they aren't, or the script/plugin refers back to the layer name in some way, this can cause issues.

In case certain expressions/script functions break, you can exempt the names of specific layers from being indented by adding a marker with "NNN" (without quotation marks) to the layer, or by executing the dedicated function Exempt Layer Name from Alteration. That way, you can keep using Indented Layout and even put these layers into a group without altering their names. Read up here for more information about exempting layer names from being indented.

If you would have to exempt too many layers and you wouldn't have any benefits by using Indented Layout, you can also use Workflower's Non-Indented Layout or Expression Mode Layout which will remove the indent from all layer names.

As Non-Indented Layout will still rename some layer types with special characters, you might want to disable the icons for Parent Exception Layers and Prime Clone Layers in the Icons Settings of Workflower as these are the only icons that affect regular layers (that means: layers not created by Workflower).

If your workflow is mainly based around these other scripts/plugins, you also might want to set your Default Layout Style to Non-Indented Layout or Expression Mode in the Layout Settings of Workflower.

Another option to deal with certain layers that cannot be renamed would be to place them outside of groups and go to Workflower's Layout Settings to disable Indent Layers Outside Groups to Fit AE Layer Icons. Now, all group-less layers won't be indented.

However, in addition to that, sometimes there are certain modifications we can do to the code of Workflower in order to make it (more) compatible with that other script/plugin. If you experience any issues with the conjunction of another script/plugin and Workflower, please don't hesitate to reach out to us and we'll take a look at it.

So far, we have tested these scripts/plugins that depend on certain layer names:

  • Supercomp by Red Giant: Compatible! The layer name of the Supercomp will not be indented in Indented Layout so that it doesn't break the Supercomp.

  • Deekay Tool by Motion Design School: Unfortunately, Deekay Tool is not compatible with Workflower's Indented Layout. Either exempt layer names from indented, or use Non-Indented Layout or Expression Mode instead.

  • Limber by Steve Kirby: As far as we've tested this, Limber seems to be compatible with Workflower's Indented Layout. However, as we're not familiar with the everyday use of this script, as of now we cannot guarantee it will work in every situation. You will have to test it out and see for yourself.

  • RubberHose 2 by Battle Axe: Unfortunately, RubberHose is not compatible with Workflower's Indented Layout when using the default settings. Since Rubberhose's controller layers depend on having exactly the name they're given, either exempt layer names from being indented, or place the layers outside of groups and deactivate Indent Layers Outside Groups to Fit AE Layer Icons, or use Non-Indented Layout.

  • Joysticks 'n Sliders by Mike Overbeck: According to a user report, Joysticks 'n Sliders is compatible with Workflower's Indented Layout. However, if you experience any issues with it, please contact us.

  • Layer Storage by Joachim Holler: Unfortunately, Layer Storage is incompatible with any layout of Workflower.

  • Normalize Track by Workbench: Since Normalize Track depends on the layer named Original Base to have exactly the same name, you can just exempt this layer name from indentation.

If you know of any other script/plugin that is or is not compatible with Workflower's Indented Layout, you can let us know, so we can extend our list.

Can you make the ScriptUI panel more responsive like KBar offers?

Workflower's ScriptUI panel is already responsive and depending on how you resize it, can be configured in 4 different layouts. But in case you want a responsive UI like KBar offers, this will very likely not be implemented natively in Workflower as it would be quite a feat to do. But if you own KBar, you can always set up Workflower icons for it (all functions can be mapped to KBar buttons) and customize your own toolbar the way you want to. There's also a function that batch-creates all KBar buttons when you go to Settings > Layout > Install WF KBar Toolbar. Please note that the buttons will be created without the modifier keys, so you'd have to arrange them yourself if you want those.

If you want to reduce the panel size, you can also disable some of the buttons if you don't or rarely need them. Go to Settings > Miscellaneous > Customize ScriptUI Buttons and choose which buttons should appear on the panel. When, at some point, you need to access a button you've disabled, you can simply come up with the Main Menu by shortcut (Win: Ctrl+Alt+X, Mac: macControl+X) which will always display the full menu.


Will Workflower slow down the performance of my comps?

It depends on what aspect of Workflower you mean.

Groups, for example, don't really reduce performance. There's only one expression that's used when dealing with groups, which is on a layer that's used to display potential error messages about groups. However, we have not experienced this to cause a visible slowdown in performance. Still, you can also disable this error message in the Miscellaneous Settings if you think it reduces your performance. Other than that, though, groups cannot reduce performance since all layers that are used to create groups (headers and footers) are either disabled or set to 0% opacity which AE won't render.

Other Workflower tools, namely Precomp Clones, Clones in Comp, Matte Merges, Group Mattes, Linked Adjustment Layers, and Matted Adjustment Layers, all rely on some sort of expressions that can slow down your comp. However, when using Precomp Clones, Linked Adjustment Layers, and Matted Adjustment Layers, you can also unlink them after you're done working on them (meaning that the expressions will be removed) which should boost the performance.

(The speed improvement after unlinking will be most significant when using Precomp Clones. On Linked Adjustment Layers, however, the speed improvement may not be that great since the fact that all its effects will be copied to all selected layers is the most important factor here concerning speed.)

In the future, we want to implement more features that deal with improving the performance of your comp.

Executing Refresh Layout sometimes gets slow. What can I do about it?

If you are still using version 1.0.6 or lower, please update to the latest Workflower version as it will improve the speed of Refresh Layout by 2-4 times.

In addition, you also might want to set Refresh Layout when Expanding / Collapsing / Selecting / Renaming to Never.

(Only applicable if you haven't updated to version 1.1 or newer ->) If you want to use version 1.0.6 or lower, you can also consider these tips:

  • Use no or as few locked layers as possible in your comp as they will have to be unlocked and then locked again during the execution of Refresh Layout and - depending on the number of locked layers - this can increase execution time quite a bit. (This issue has been fixed in version 1.1.)

  • In addition, you might want to go to Settings > Layout and disable When executing 'Refresh Layout', check Selected Layers for Unique Naming. This should reduce execution time when executing Refresh Layout while layers are selected. However, if you want to keep this option on, you can also deselect your layers before executing Refresh Layout. (The speed of Unique Name Checking has been greatly improved in version 1.1.)


Adjustment Layers, Group Mattes, etc. aren't refreshing although I'm executing Refresh.

The issue could be due to the fact that you're using Refresh Layout instead of Refresh Connections. Those are two different functions if you weren't aware of this yet:

Refresh LayoutRefresh Connections

Simply put, Refresh Layout refreshes the comp layout (indent, icons, labels) as well as very simple attributes (visibility, solo, and lock states, as well as group parents). But it features only a very limited refreshing of 'heavier' attributes like the ones of Precomp Clones, Linked Adjustment Layers, and Group Mattes. (More on this limited behavior below.)

Refresh Connections, on the other hand, refreshes those 'heavier' attributes. Every time layers, effects, etc. have to be created/copied/etc., Refresh Connections needs to be executed.

For example, when you add effects to a Linked Adjustment Layer, those effects will have to be copied to all Linked Layers, hence you will have to execute Refresh Connections for this.

Separating Refresh Connections from Refresh Layout is necessary in order to keep the performance of Refresh Layout as fast as possible. Since you will have to execute Refresh Layout quite frequently, it would interrupt your workflow too much if all connections would be refreshed every time you execute Refresh Layout.

That being said, since the v1.1 release of Workflower, there is some integration of Refresh Connections features into Refresh Layout: Connections of Group Mattes and Group Linked Adjustment Layers will be refreshed within Refresh Layout. (Compared to the regular Refresh Connections which will refresh all attributes no matter what, the Refresh Connections within Refresh Layout will only refresh connections if Workflower detects that a refresh is necessary.)

However, please be aware that this does not eliminate the need for Refresh Connections - it only applies when layers have been added/removed to/from a group, not when you add/remove effects on your Group Linked Adjustment Layer, or when you, for example, change the Referenced Group Matte Layer on a Group Matte. In those instances, you still have to execute Refresh Connections.

Additionally, since the initial release, there's already a limited integration of Refresh Connections for Precomp Clones within Refresh Layout. Please refer to the dedicated chapter for more information.

Can I copy-paste a Precomp Clone into another comp?

Please read up on this issue in the following chapter.

When I create a group or execute any other Workflower function, the label colors of all my other layers turn gray. How do I prevent this?

This is a feature and it is intended for when you mostly work with groups. All layers outside groups will be labeled to None by default whereas all layers within a group get a uniform color. However, when you don't use so many groups (or you just generally don't want to work like that), you can also change this setting. Go to Settings and in the Layout panel, disable Color Label Layers Outside Groups to 'None' by Default.

You can also change this setting for comps individually if you want to - some comps might be smaller without groups or with fewer groups where you want to color label your group-less layers, some other comps might be bigger ones with mostly groups where it's easier to see which layers are in a group and which aren't when group-less layers are labeled to None. To change this for comps individually, in the Layout Settings, enable Use Custom Color Label Setting for Active Comp. Or even quicker - click on the dedicated button on the relabel panel.

Questions about older Versions (v1.x)

Upon installing Workflower, I get this error: Did not find After Effects Shortcut File. After clicking Okay, it says: Function lowestFolder.openDlg is undefined.

This might be a known bug that occurs when you only have an After Effects version of a major version installed that has three numbers in its name, like After Effects 22.6.4. If that's the case, please try downgrading to a two-number version, like After Effects 22.6.

If that's not addressing your problem, please contact customer support.

I've updated to a new AE version and now Workflower shortcuts don't work anymore.

If you haven't done so already, please update to version 1.1.1 of Workflower which should fix this issue.

However, in case there are still issues, this is the general approach when shortcuts don't seem to work anymore after updating AE:

Please try to access Workflower's main menu (by going to File > Scripts > --- Workflower ---.jsxbin), then go to the shortcuts panel and click on Save. This will make sure shortcuts will be applied again.

If cannot open up the main menu, you might want to remove all shortcuts set by AE to the Workflower script/s. Go to Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts, then twirl down File > Scripts and remove all shortcuts associated with --- Workflower ---.jsxbin, as well as all shortcuts associated with all --- Workflower II Function XX ---.jsxbin files when you're on Mac or you're using Individual Scripts Mode on Windows.

If you still can't open up the main menu, you might want to reset AE's preferences. To do this, please press and hold the following keys while the application is starting: Ctrl+Alt+Shift (Windows), or Cmd+Option+Shift (Mac).

If none of these solutions work for you, please contact customer support.

I'm getting this error trying to execute the script: Unable to find After Effects Shortcut File

If you're still using version 1.0.5 or older, please update to the latest version as it will fix this issue.

In case you still experience issues, please contact customer support.

I'm a Mac OS user and the script crashes on startup.

If you're still using version 1.0.5 or older, please update to the latest version as it will fix various issues relating to Mac OS.

In case you still experience issues, please contact customer support.

If you want to use version 1.0.5 or older, please read the following:

The cause might be related to a Dropbox backup you have enabled on your machine. Please check out this article on the issue.

If you are a Mac OS Monterey user, the cause of the issue could also be another one, however: Unfortunately, there seems to be an issue with the update check that the script performs at startup and Mac OS Monterey. Please check out this page on how to disable the update check before launching the script.

Workflower seems to cause AE or other scripts/extensions to crash/freeze. Why is this happening?

If you're still using version 1.0 or 1.0.1, please update to the current version as it contains fixes for critical bugs that caused AE or other scripts/extensions to crash!

If the update doesn't solve your problems concerning crashing/freezing, please contact Workflower's customer support.

Can you make Workflower into a dockable panel?

As of version 2.0, Workflower finally offers a dockable panel.

Additionally, you have the option to create buttons in KBar and even batch-create all Workflower function buttons in KBar.

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