How to Work with Panels in Adobe Animate

As with most Adobe design programs, much of the functionality resides in panels. There are a lot of panels, and over time, users develop a sense of which panels they use the most. This tutorial will show how to customize the arrangement of panels.

  1. The default setting shows panels appearing on a "dock" at the right of the Animate window. The panels are arranged into three columns. At the far right is the Tool Panel. Next to it is an expanded column of panels. To the left is a column showing only panel icons.
    Default Panel Dock
  2. Animate has a lot of panels, so like many Adobe design programs, there are built-in "workspaces" that activate different configurations of panels based on task. The Workspace menu can be accessed in the menu bar above the panel dock. For this tutorial, I'll choose Designer.
    Workspace Menu
  3. The Designer Workspace arranges panels on both the left and right of the stage.
    Designer Workspace
  4. Custom workspaces can be created by first rearranging the panels to the desired configuration. In this example I want just the Tool Panel on the left, with all other panels arranged in two columns to the right. First, I'll click and hold on the panel name, Properties, and drag it over to the right of the CC Libraries Panel. A blue highlight appears, indicating that the Properties Panel is being grouped with the Library and CC Libraries Panels.
    Properties Panel Being Grouped
  5. I also want to close a panel, so first I'll detach it by clicking and holding on the panel name, CC Libraries, and dragging it away from the panel dock so it's free-floating. Now I can click the Close button.
    Detached Panel
  6. To maximize the stage area, I want the Tools Panel on the left to be configured as a single column of icons, so I'll hover over the right edge of the panel so that the cursor changes to the "pull" icon, then click and drag to the left.
    Single-Column Tools Panel
  7. Additional panels can be brought out by going to the Window menu.
    Window Menu
  8. The Actions Panel is a fairly wide panel. To collapse it down to just the name, I'll double-click the bar at the top.
    Actions Panel
  9. To create a second column on the panel dock at the right, I'll click and hold at the top of the Actions Panel and drag it to the left edge of the panel dock on the right until a blue vertical highlight appears.
    New Panel Dock Columm
  10. The custom workspace can be saved by going back to the Workspace menu and choosing New Workspace.
    Workspace Menu
  11. A dialog box opens where the workspace can be named.
    New Workspace Dialog Box
Author: Kate Cahill

Kate Cahill is a graphic designer, writer, and creative director who has developed content for print and web. As creative director, she has produced award-winning work for agencies focused on the pharmaceutical and health and beauty aid industries. She has also served as production manager, with responsibility for the successful fulfillment of long-run print contracts. Kate has been delivering training for Webucator clients since 2010. Her enthusiasm for cutting-edge technology, combined with hands-on practical experience, brings an added benefit to her classes. Kate teaches real-world techniques and integration of Adobe software, as well as Microsoft PowerPoint, to produce a fully developed and cohesive brand identity.

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