You can set preferences for general application operations, editing operations, code and compiler operations, sync settings, and drawing and text options.

The General category in the Preferences dialog box.

Set preferences

  1. Select Edit > Preferences (Windows) or Animate > Preferences (Macintosh).

  2. Make a selection in the Category list and select from the respective options.

Set General preferences

On Launch

Specify which document opens when you start the application.

Document- or Object-level undo

Document-level undo maintains a single list of all your actions for the entire Animate document. Object-level undo maintains separate lists of your actions for each object in your document. Object-level lets you undo an action on one object without having to also undo actions on other objects that might have been modified more recently than the target object.


Undo levels

To set the number of undo or redo levels, enter a value from 2 to 300. Undo levels require memory; the more undo levels you use, the more system memory is consumed. The default is 100.


When enabled (the default setting), this setting saves a copy of each open file at the specified time interval, in the same folder as the originals. If you have not saved the file yet, Animate saves the copies in its Temp folder. The file names are the same as the originals, with “RECOVER_” added to the beginning of the file name. If Animate quits unexpectedly, a dialog box appears when you restart to allow you to open the auto-recover file. When you exit Animate normally, the auto-recover files are deleted.

Starting Animate CC 2015 release, Animate does not create unnecessary auto-recovery files. An auto-recovery file is created only if the document is modified after the last auto-recovery files were created. Auto-recovery file is removed only after completing a successful save operation. To avoid continuous loop of auto-recovery for short auto-recovery duration, snapshot for all files modified after last auto-recovery are created at each auto-recovery interval. Next auto recovery timer is started only after this process is completed. 

User Interface

Select your preferred user interface style, between Dark or Light. To apply shading to the user interface elements, select Enable Shading.


To have panels in icon mode auto collapse when you click outside them, select Auto-Collapse Icon Panels. To open a separate window when you select Control > Test, select Open Animate and Script Documents in Separate Windows. The default is to open the test movie in its own window.

Highlight Color

To use the current layer’s outline color, select a color from the panel, or select Use Layer Color.

Set Sync Settings preferences

In the Sync Settings tab, you can specify the settings for synchronizing Animate with your Creatve Cloud account and libraries.

Sync Settings tab in the Preferences dialog box
Sync Settings tab in the Preferences dialog box

Adobe ID

This displays the Adobe ID using which you have signed in to your Creative Cloud account and the date and time the last sync with your Creative Cloud account was done.

  • To view your Creative Cloud profile and library, or to login using a different Adobe ID, click Manage Account.
  • To sync your settings, click Sync Settings Now.

Sync Options

This displays the sync options that you have set between Animate and your Creative Cloud account. You can sync your application preferences; workspaces; default document settings; keyboard shortcuts; grid, guides, and snapping settings; sprite sheet settings; variable width profiles, and custom brushes.

  • Sync: Set the sync preferences by choosing among All (sync all the settings), Custom (sync the settings that you have selected from the options displayed below), or Disabled (disable all syncing).
  • To sync your settings with your Creative Cloud settings, click Sync Settings Now.

To learn about synchronizing preferences to Creative Cloud, and across multiple machines, see Sync Animate Preferences with Creative Cloud

To learn more about working with Creative Cloud libraries, see Creative Cloud libraries.

Set Code Editor preferences

In the Code Editor tab, you can set how you want your code to be displayed in Animate.

Code Editor tab in the Preferences dialog box
Code Editor tab in the Preferences dialog box

Under Editing Options, you can change the defaults for the following:

  • Font: Set the font and font size.
  • Style: Choose between regular, italic, bold, or bold italic.
  • Modify Text Coloring: Click this button to set text color for foreground, background, keywords, comments, identifiers, and strings.
  • Automatic code brace: Enabled by default. All code braces are closed by default.
  • Automatic indentation: Enabled by default. Turn it off if you do not want code indentation.
  • Code hints: Enabled by default. Clear the checkbox if you do not want code hints to come up as you type code.
  • Cache Files: Set the limit for the cache files. Default is 800.
  • Tab size: The default size of the code tab is set to 4. Enter a value if you want to resize it.

Under Format Code, you can set the following preferences and check the preview pane for how the change willl be applied to your code:

  • Script Language: Select the default script language as ActionScript or JavaScript. A sample code is displayed as you select an option.
  • Brace style: Select your preferred brace style, either in the same line as control statements, in a separate line, or only the end braces in a separate line. 
  • Break chained methods: Select it to display code lines as broken up logically.
  • Keep array indentation: Select to keep the arrays indented logically.
  • Keep space after keywords: Selected by default. Change it if you do not want a space after each keyword.

Set Script Files preferences

The Script Files tab allows you to set the import options for the script files:

Open: Select UTF-8 Encoding to open or import using Unicode encoding, or select Default Encoding to open or import using the encoding form of the language currently used by your system.

Reload modified files: Specifies what happens when a script file is modified, moved, or deleted. Select Always, Never, or Prompt.

  • Always: No warning is displayed, and the file is automatically reloaded.
  • Never: No warning is displayed, and the file remains in the current state.
  • Prompt(Default): A warning is displayed, and you can choose whether to reload the file.

When you build applications with external scripts, this preference helps you avoid overwriting a script that a team member has modified since you opened the application, or avoid publishing the application with older versions of scripts. The warnings let you automatically close a script and reopen the newer, modified version.

Class editor: Select the editor for editing classes. The options are Animate, Flash Builder, or Ask.

Set Compiler preferences

The Compiler tab in the Preferences dialog box allows you to set the following compiler preferences for the language you have selected. You can browse to a path or an SWC file or specify a new path:

  • SDK path: The path to the folder containing bin, frameworks, lib, and other folders.
  • Source path: The path to the folders containing ActionScript class files.
  • Library path: The path to SWC files or folders containing SWC files.
  • External library path: The path to the SWC files used as runtime shared libraries.

Set Text preferences

You can specify the following preferences for text display the Text tab:

  • Default Mapping Font
  • Style
  • Show font name language
  • Show font preview
  • Font preview size

Set Drawing preferences

Pen tool: Lets you set options for the Pen tool. Select Show Pen Preview to display a preview line from the last clicked point to the current location of the pointer. Select Show Solid Points to display control points as small filled squares instead of unfilled squares. Select Show Precise Cursors to display a crosshair cursor instead of the Pen tool icon when using the Pen tool. This option lets you see the exact target of clicks more easily.

IK Bone Tool: Autoset Transformation Point is selected by default for the Bone Tool.

Connect lines: Determines how close the end of a line being drawn must be to an existing line segment before the end point snaps to the nearest point on the other line. This setting also controls horizontal and vertical line recognition—that is, how nearly horizontal or vertical a line must be drawn before Animate makes it exactly horizontal or vertical. When Snap To Objects is turned on, this setting controls how close objects must be to snap to one another.

Smooth curves: Specifies the amount of smoothing applied to curved lines drawn with the Pencil tool when the drawing mode is set to Straighten or Smooth. (Smoother curves are easier to reshape, whereas rougher curves match the original line strokes more closely.)

note: To further smooth existing curved segments, use Modify > Shape > Smooth and Modify > Shape > Optimize.

Recognize lines: Defines how nearly straight a line segment drawn with the Pencil tool must be before Animate recognizes it as a straight line and makes it perfectly straight. If Recognize Lines is off while you draw, straighten lines later by selecting one or more line segments and selecting Modify > Shape > Straighten.

Recognize shapes: Controls how precisely to draw circles, ovals, squares, rectangles, and 90° and 180° arcs for them to be recognized as geometric shapes and redrawn accurately. The options are Off, Strict, Normal, and Tolerant. Strict requires that the shape be drawn very close to straight; Tolerant specifies that the shape can be somewhat rough, and Animate redraws the shape. If Recognize Shapes is off while you draw, straighten lines later by selecting one or more shapes (for example, connected line segments) and selecting Modify > Shape > Straighten.

Click accuracy: Specifies how close to an item the pointer must be before Animate recognizes the item.

Restore all preferences to default settings

  • In the Preferences dialog box, click Reset to Defaults or press and hold Control+Alt+Shift (Windows) or Command+Option+Shift (Mac OS) as you start Animate.

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