Preferences object

app.preferences

Description

The Preferences object provides an easy way to manage internal AE preferences, such as you’d find in AE’s Preferences menu. These are saved in the After Effects preference files, and are persistent between application sessions.

Preferences are identified by section and key within the file, and each key name is associated with a value.

In the preferences file, section names are enclosed in brackets and quotation marks, and key names are listing in quotation marks below the sectionname. All values are strings.

You can create new preferences with this object, as well as accessing existing preferences.

As of Version 12/CC, preferences and settings methods now take a third argument to specify the target preferences file if Section/Key is not in “Adobe After Effects $versionNumber.x Prefs.txt”.

If the third argument is not passed, default value (PREFType.PREF_Type_MACHINE_SPECIFIC) is used and After Effects tries to save/get from the “Adobe After Effects $versionNumber.x Prefs.txt” preferences file.

The third argument is enum PREFType value, one of:

  • PREF_Type_MACHINE_SPECIFIC: Adobe After Effects $versionNumber.x Prefs.txt
  • PREF_Type_MACHINE_INDEPENDENT: Adobe After Effects $versionNumber.x Prefs-indep-general.txt
  • PREF_Type_MACHINE_INDEPENDENT_RENDER: Adobe After Effects $versionNumber.x Prefs-indep-render.txt
  • PREF_Type_MACHINE_INDEPENDENT_OUTPUT: Adobe After Effects $versionNumber.x Prefs-indep-output.txt
  • PREF_Type_MACHINE_INDEPENDENT_COMPOSITION: Adobe After Effects $versionNumber.x Prefs-indep-composition.txt
  • PREF_Type_MACHINE_SPECIFIC_TEXT: Adobe After Effects $versionNumber.x Prefs-text.txt
  • PREF_Type_MACHINE_SPECIFIC_PAINT: Adobe After Effects $versionNumber.x Prefs-paint.txt

Methods

Preferences.deletePref()

app.preferences.deletePref(sectionName, keyName[, prefType])

Description

Deletes a preference from the preference file.

Tip

It’s generally inadvised to delete internal AE preferences, however you can leverage this method to delete Settings object you have saved. Note that you’ll need to preprend "Settings_" to your section name.

Parameters

sectionName A string containing the name of a preferences section
keyName A string containing the key name of the preference
prefType Optional, an enum indicating which preference file to use

Returns

Nothing.

Example

If you have saved a setting named with the key name “trimPrecomps” in a section called “Precomp Cropper”, you can delete the setting by:

app.preferences.deletePref("Settings_Precomp Cropper", "trimPrecomps");

Preferences.getPrefAsBool()

app.preferences.getPrefAsBool(sectionName, keyName[, prefType])

Description

Retrieves a preference value from the preferences file, and parses it as a boolean.

Parameters

sectionName A string containing the name of a preferences section
keyName A string containing the key name of the preference
prefType Optional, an enum indicating which preference file to use

Returns

Boolean.

Example

To retrieve the value of the Flow Chart “Expand Flowchart Comps by Default” preference:

var expandByDefault = app.preferences.getPrefAsBool("Flowchart Settings", "Expand Flowchart Comps by Default");
alert("The setting is: " + expandByDefault);

To retrieve the value of the main preference “Javascript Debugger Enabled”:

var debuggerEnabled = app.preferences.getPrefAsBool("Main Pref Section v2", "Pref_JAVASCRIPT_DEBUGGER", PREFType.PREF_Type_MACHINE_INDEPENDENT);
alert("The setting is: " + debuggerEnabled);

Preferences.getPrefAsFloat()

app.preferences.getPrefAsFloat(sectionName, keyName[, prefType])

Description

Retrieves a preference value from the preferences file, and parses it as a float.

Parameters

sectionName A string containing the name of a preferences section
keyName A string containing the key name of the preference
prefType Optional, an enum indicating which preference file to use

Returns

Float.


Preferences.getPrefAsLong()

app.preferences.getPrefAsLong(sectionName, keyName[, prefType])

Description

Retrieves a preference value from the preferences file, and parses it as a long (number).

Parameters

sectionName A string containing the name of a preferences section
keyName A string containing the key name of the preference
prefType Optional, an enum indicating which preference file to use

Returns

Long.


Preferences.getPrefAsString()

app.preferences.getPrefAsString(sectionName, keyName[, prefType])

Description

Retrieves a preference value from the preferences file, and parses it as a string.

Parameters

sectionName A string containing the name of a preferences section
keyName A string containing the key name of the preference
prefType Optional, an enum indicating which preference file to use

Returns

String.


Preferences.havePref()

app.preferences.havePref(sectionName, keyName[, prefType])

Description

Returns true if the specified preference item exists and has a value.

Parameters

sectionName A string containing the name of a preferences section
keyName A string containing the key name of the preference
prefType Optional, an enum indicating which preference file to use

Returns

Boolean.


Preferences.reload()

app.preferences.reload()

Description

Reloads the preferences file manually. Otherwise, changes to preferences will only be accessible by scripting after an application restart.

Parameters

None.

Returns

Nothing.


Preferences.savePrefAsBool()

app.preferences.savePrefAsBool(sectionName, keyName, value[, prefType])

Description

Saves a preference item as a boolean.

Parameters

sectionName A string containing the name of a preferences section
keyName A string containing the key name of the preference
value A boolean containing the new value
prefType Optional, an enum indicating which preference file to use

Returns

Nothing.


Preferences.savePrefAsFloat()

app.preferences.savePrefAsFloat(sectionName, keyName, value[, prefType])

Description

Saves a preference item as a float.

Parameters

sectionName A string containing the name of a preferences section
keyName A string containing the key name of the preference
value A float containing the new value
prefType Optional, an enum indicating which preference file to use

Returns

Nothing.


Preferences.savePrefAsLong()

app.preferences.savePrefAsLong(sectionName, keyName, value[, prefType])

Description

Saves a preference item as a long.

Parameters

sectionName A string containing the name of a preferences section
keyName A string containing the key name of the preference
value A long containing the new value
prefType Optional, an enum indicating which preference file to use

Returns

Nothing.


Preferences.savePrefAsString()

app.preferences.savePrefAsString(sectionName, keyName, value[, prefType])

Description

Saves a preference item as a string.

Parameters

sectionName A string containing the name of a preferences section
keyName A string containing the key name of the preference
value A string containing the new value
prefType Optional, an enum indicating which preference file to use

Returns

Nothing.


Preferences.saveToDisk()

app.preferences.saveToDisk()

Description

Saves the preferences to disk manually. Otherwise, changes to preferences will only be accessible by scripting after an application restart.

Parameters

None.

Returns

Nothing.