Animate CC 2019, layer naming restrictions and EDAP Tools

Adobe introduced Animate CC 2019 in October 2018 and one of the much talked about features in this release are the so-called Advanced Layers. They allow layer effects, layer parenting and layer depth (for now only on the main timeline).

Advanced Layers are switched on by default for all new files, but if you open a file created in older versions of Flash or Animate they will be off and you can switch them on from the Modify menu > Document…

The new Advanced Layers mode imposes on users very strict requirements for the Timeline layers names. Only letters (upper and lower case), numbers and underscores are allowed.
Previously the layer naming model was much more relaxed and users could have spaces and any kinds of special characters.

When you open an old file and switch Advanced Layers on, Animate will automatically convert all spaces and non-letter characters to underscores.
For example == head turnaround 3 will be become ___head_turnaround_3

If you switch Advanced Layers off your original layer names will not be restored.

EDAP Tools and the Strict Layer Naming model

EDAP Tools have always relied on certain layer names for some of its functionality.
For example we use our service layer names to quickly identify the locations of Magnet Targets or Center Markers; or for specific suffixes like //no key to identify layers that users want to be excluded during a keyframe operation.

The switch to strict layer naming model by Adobe required us to change the names of our service layers in order to conform to the newly imposed limitations and maintain full EDAPT functionality.

At present (EDAP Tools v.4.0.2) this only affects Animate CC 2019 (and future versions) users.

If you start work on new files in CC 2019 the EDAPT service layers are already created according to the strict model so you don't need to do anything.

But if you have older FLA files created in previous versions of Flash / Animate you will notice that some of the EDAPT functionality is broken. This is due to the fact that the service layers are named according to the old relaxed model.

To restore full EDAPT functionality all you need to do is run EDAPT Service Layers Renamer from Commands menu once per file.
The command will automatically rename all service layers.

For example Magnet Target(s) will become MagnetTargets, Center Marker will become CenterMarker and so on…

If you need to work on those same CC 2019 files in older versions of Animate, you will need to run EDAPT Service Layers Renamer again, but this time choosing the Strict to Relaxed option from the drop-down.

Video demonstration

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