General Pane

The General Preferences pane contains global settings grouped into the following categories: Startup, Interface, File Browser & Library, and Media.

Figure. Motion Preferences window showing General pane.


This section of the General Preferences pane allows you to define what Motion does when first opened.


This section of the General Preferences pane allows you to set some general options for the interface.

  • Drop Menu Delay: Determines how long you must wait before the drop menu appears when dragging to the Timeline, Layers list, or Canvas. The drop menu provides additional choices for editing and importing objects into the project.
  • Show Tooltips: This checkbox turns tooltips on and off across the application. Tooltips provide explanatory information such as names and basic usage techniques. They appear when you pause the pointer over tools and controls.

File Browser & Library

These settings in the General Preferences pane affect how the File Browser and Library display their contents.

  • Show preview icons: This checkbox turns preview icons on and off in the File Browser and Library. For example, when looking at replicators in the Library with the “Show preview icons” checkbox selected, thumbnails of the replicators are shown.
    Figure. Preview icons in the Library file stack.

    When the checkbox is deselected, the generic icon for each item type is displayed.

  • Play items automatically on a single click: This checkbox controls whether the preview area plays the contents of the item selected in the file stack.


This section in the General Preferences pane contains the “Automatically manage unused media” checkbox. When the checkbox is selected, Motion removes unused media from the Media list when you delete that media from the Canvas, Layers list, or Timeline. If you want to retain (in the Media list) a copy of media that is no longer used in your project, deselect this checkbox.