Penpal is a vector path editor for Adobe After Effects with more powerful and precise control over shape layer and mask paths. Over 40 bezier-editing functions missing from After Effects make Penpal the only way to perform many common tasks without having to leave the application.

For the most part, Penpal will feel familiar - click and drag elements to move them around. Alt-click and drag to make tangents smooth or to break them. Hold Shift to constrain your cursor movement to axes. Points and tangent handles constrain and snap predictably. Not just to horizontal and vertical axes but also to other points and tangents, and their axes. Penpal enables you to edit shapes that are already transformed by groups and parenting as if they were still in their original state.

Penpal works on shape layer Path properties, and Mask Path properties, and nothing else. It never changes any other property in your layers.

Points are sometimes called vertices, and tangents are sometimes called direction handles or direction lines. We call them points and tangents.

Penpal is compatible with After Effects CC2018 and later and is localised for English, Chinese, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Download Penpal from


Download and install the free ZXP Installer from If you already have ZXP Installer we suggest you Check for Update… before installing.

Close After Effects. Open ZXP Installer, go to File > Open, then navigate to the Penpal.zxp file contained in your download, and install it.

Open After Effects and go to the Window > Extensions menu, then click Penpal. If nothing happens, you may need to follow these steps.

Licensing and trial mode

You can enter a license code for Penpal by going to the hamburger menu > About & License…

Penpal has a free trial mode which will only load paths with 10 points or less, and functions for 10 days.

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