Main tabbed views

Main tabbed views

Press 1 to 6 to switch between the main tabbed views, where 1 selects Inputs, 2 selects Outputs, 3 selects Options, 4 selects the Library, 5 selects the graph Hierarchy and 6 selects the Console.

These shortcuts require the graph window to be active, and that no other control be handling keystrokes (click on an empty section of the graph, if needed).

The first three tabs display Inputs, Outputs and Options for the selected node only. When no nodes are selected, the UI displays Inputs, Outputs and Options for the container node, i.e. the node that hosts all nodes you see in the graph. Every composition has a root node, one that you cannot see but which contains the entire graph.

The Library, Hierarchy and Console sections are unaffected by the current selection.


Press command ⌘ F to activate the search UI within the active tab.

When the Inputs or Outputs tab is selected, you can search for any input or output ports that match the given text.

When searching the Library, you can find any nodes that match the given text. The search includes the node description, keywords or other hidden, internal details such as the Core Image filter names.

When searching the Hierarchy you can find any nodes in the graph that match your text. If you have customized a node’s title, you can quickly search for, and select, any given node:

Searching the node hierarchy

Searching the node hierarchy

When a node is selected in the Hierarchy tab, the graph window will jump to that node and select it, making it easy to locate.

Press command ⌘ G to find the next match.


In a nod to Quartz Composer, press command ⌘ return ⏎ to switch to the Library tab and activate the find UI, allowing you to search for specific nodes to add to the graph.

While browsing the Library, click the heart shape next to any node to make it a favorite:

Favorite nodes

Favorite nodes

Favorite nodes appear at the very top of the contextual menu that you get when right-clicking on an empty section of the graph window:

Adding nodes via contextual menu

Adding nodes via contextual menu

Output Window

Press the spacebar to start/stop playback. Press command ⌘ R to reset the animation time to 0. Press the and arrow keys to move time forward or backward.

3D Camera

All shortcuts that control and reset the 3D camera are accessible and customizable through the Settings window. The 3D Camera affects only output generated by a 3D renderer, such as Sprite. The 3D camera has no effect on output produced by any Billboard node in the composition.

If the Allow scroll gestures to shift time forward or backward option accessible through the Settings widnow is on, you can also move time forward and backward simply by placing your mouse cursor over the output window and scrolling.

While scrolling, hold the shift ⇧ key to change time 10x faster. Hold down the option ⌥ key to change time 10x slower. This technique allows you to pinpoint specific moments of your animation for debugging.