One of the most used tools in After Effects, along with the Pen Tool, is the Text Tool. So, if you are thinking of typing paragraphs, titles, and sentences and adding effects to make them more striking and dynamic, this tutorial is for you.
Let's start with the basics: that is, by getting to know the features that will allow you to change the font of a text in After Effects so you can stylize and animate them later with cool effects.
Remove the Effects and Presets panel on the right side of your screen by right-clicking and selecting 'Close panel.'
Go to the Menu, select Window, and click on the Character option. You can activate this panel by clicking Ctrl + 6 or Cmd + 6 if you are on macOS.
Once you have the Character panel available, create a New Composition. Then activate the Text tool by clicking Ctrl + T or Cmd + T, clicking anywhere on the canvas, and typing to start a Text layer. This way, you can edit and add changes to your text in one place. Remember there are two other ways to do this:
By clicking Ctrl + Shift + Alt + T (or Cmd + Shift + Option + T for macOS).
By following the route Menu > Layer > New > Layer.
Changing the font of a text in After Effects
Once you have typed your word, select everything traditionally or by holding Ctrl + A or Cmd + A to update the text.
Now, here is how to modify its font:
In the Character panel, open the first tab and select your favorite font. Remember that you can download other designs from the Internet and install them on your computer to have more options available.
In some cases, on the left side of each font, there is not only a star but also an arrow. This icon indicates the font has more styles; you can choose in the tab below the font.
If you selected font with the arrow we just talked about, open the second tab and choose your favorite style: regular, Italic, or bold, among other options.
How to change the color and size of your characters
The character panel will not only allow you to change the style and font of your texts. If you look closely, next to the tabs we just mentioned, there are two colored squares:
Select all the text and change the shade of the first box to choose the fill color of your text.
To change the border color of your letters, click on the hollow square behind the previous one and choose a new shade.
If you have trouble seeing this last change, try thickening the border of your letters by increasing the pixels of the Stroke Width option: you will recognize it because its icon is three horizontal lines.
Next to the Stroke Width option, you will find a button that says Stroke over Fill: the border will be on top of the fill of your characters. If you change it to Fill Over Stroke, it is the fill that will stand out. Choose the option you prefer.
To change the size of your text, locate the two capital T's under the font tabs: increase or decrease the value you see next to it with the cursor held down to scale it up or down.
The character panel also has more customization options. Familiarize yourself with the ones we have just shown you before trying the ones we will show you in the following tutorials.
Andrea Mercado is a tech-focused journalist and copywriter with over 5 years of experience covering innovation, edtech, AI, and internet trends across media outlets. She is passionate about how technology can democratize access to education and is an avid learner when it comes to emerging tech like AI. Her articles and webinars help readers stay informed on the latest tech developments.