Make expressions independent from app language
Since effects have different names in different languages (eg "slider control") expressions often throw errors if they were created on an installation with a different language than your own installation.
As an example:
Expressions I once created when I had AE set to German threw a bunch of errors when I loaded the project up after I changed the language to English, because the effect "slider control" is named differently in German.
This should not happen ... expressions should always work no matter the set language
> Until this happens, you can hold alt while pick-whipping. That will use universal expressions instead of local language.
That’s nice and really good to know for projects one is involved with. But what if you have to work with files you got no control over? Tell everybody to change their files? The problem becomes worse once you tinker with Motion Graphic Templates: Both Premiere and After Effects have to have the same language settings. Even Media Encoder needs to have matching settings if the workflow is After Effects Motion Graphics Template → Premiere Project → Render in Media Encoder.
Especially with the introduction of Master Properties even the simplest expressions are of big value. But it really is tiring to explain and (hopefully!) convince everybody to work with english language settings – especially because not everybody is that comfortable with the change and there is no easy way of just switching app languages – which for itself is a topic for another day.
Paul Conigliaro commented
> Why they don't just use universal by default is a very good question.
Having that as a checkbox in preferences might be good… But for something like Particular you end up with
which can be less than helpful for quickly scanning code… unless you're also placing comments in your code.
What might be nice is the option to declare a language (maybe this.locale("ES")) in the first line of an expression and allow AE to automatically translate at runtime. But I'm not sure how localization works in Adobe apps… if all languages are installed all the time.
Micah Haun commented
Until this happens, you can hold alt while pick-whipping. That will use universal expressions instead of local language.
Why they don't just use universal by default is a very good question.
Carlos Albarrán commented
Yes, but It'd be nice to have a setting so that AE uses the matchname instead of the name when using the pickwhip. It's such a hassle that I recommend my (spanish speaking) students to keep their AE's in english so they can work with the rest of the world without their files giving everyone expression errors...
If you refer to properties by their matchname or index, instead of their localized name, your expressions will work in any language. There is also a script available that will do that conversion automatically: https://aescripts.com/expressionuniversalizer/