What's the obscure property? There may not even BE a keyboard shortcut for it if it's sufficientlly obscure.
And just so you know, I agree that wading through all the different keyboard shortcuts is no fun, especially if you're unsure of the category under which it should fall. It can be a right royal pain to track down.
Assume there's no keyboard shortcut... how do I close all other properties?
How do I reopen all properties and add one property to the "do not close" and then close all the rest?
Is this possible?
Sure, you can close all the modified properties -- keyframed ones included -- by hitting the "uu" key sequence until they all close. Then for example, if you want position only hit the "p" key. If you want keyframed effects only, hit the "e" key. Every blessed effect property you've keyframed becomes visible.
Can you make just the Brush Size property in the Stroke effect visible with a keyboard shortcut? Nope. That's too obscure.
Having a solo/hold switch so that you COULD specify a certain property to not be twirled up (or, more useful, a toggle that would make it be revealed when a certain keyboard shortcut was pressed) would be a useful feature request though! Adobe - Feature Request/Bug Report Form
I don't think there is a way to do exactly what you want, but I can point to some other ways to reveal/hide properties and property groups:
You can use the search bar in the timeline panel to reveal properties by name (and hide everything that doesn't match your terms). You can search for multiple terms by separating them with commas, and if you select the layers before typing the terms, it will only reveal properties on the one layer. But be careful not to clear the search terms using the "x" at the end, since this will hide all the properties in the comp, even if you only some layers selected.
Option-shift-clicking (Mac) or alt-shift-clicking (Windows) on a property will hide it. This can be tedious with lots of properties, but it also works for property groups.
So no modifier key + click property closes everything?
I've tried everything I can think of, and (wrongly) assumed that this would be an innate aspect of AE. In fact, from the first time I ever tried AE I assumed there'd be a way to save opening states of Layers, and to "collapse all others" would be a shortcut somewhere that leaves only the desired properties open for subsequent editing.
There must be something like this, right?
Surely Adobe can't be this inconsiderate of their users and the actual use of AE.
I know UU, and many of the predefined shortcuts, hence me referencing them in the first expression of this question. They're not helpful in this situation. I'm trying to specifically have only the very few layers I want open to be open, not all the others that have keyframes etc on them.
The u key reveals all keyframes. Pressing u twice reveals all changed properties. Pressing the e key twice reveals all expressions for selected layers. a, s, t, r & p reveal transform properties. m reveals masks, f reveals mask feather. Holding down the Alt/Option key while pressing one of the property shortcut keys sets a keyframe for that property or removes a keyframe if one is resting under the CTI. Other than that it's kind of a drill down thing. Sometimes I will add an expression that just says value to a property that I want to animate so I can reveal just that property by selecting the layer and pressing the e key twice.
If you want to reveal one of several effects on a layer you can give the effect a specific name and search for it. This will give you a twirly for all the properties in the effect. For example I renamed Radio Waves to Radio Waves 1...
Has nobody thought to add this functionality before?
I also know that Shift + one of the short cut keys adds that to the currently visible properties.
They surely cannot have thought of that shortcut and not thought of an equivalent reversal.
I know it might not be perfect, but with a little practice and careful use the timeline panel search bar might get you close to what you are looking for. Does it not?
It's nowhere near close to the experience I'm looking for.
Baffled by how anti-quated AE actually is.
It's as if they've got a monopoly on creative software.
Oh, yeah... right.
Is there even a shortcut to jump to the Layer Search box, so I don't need to mouse around, can just start typing characters?
If so, I'll rename the layers I want to letter combos that are all under the left hand, and odd, so I can get at them as fast as possible.
But what a contrivance that is.
And it doesn't really isolate the results, instead showing the entire "tree", whereas when getting a transform shortcut to reveal itself in isolation, it's in isolation.
Thanks Rick. Seems this is as good as AE gets for user consideration.
Ridiculous. I don't know how you put up with something this inconsiderate of its users.
SS is a third of the way to the goal.
1. Showing ONLY the selected items. It shows their trees, too.
2. If the item is the top of the tree, one might expect the use desires to see all in that tree. NO. Tree is selected and shown with shortcut, but closed. Even if it was previously open.
3. As soon as you start editing keyframes, the selection state of these properties is changed, so this is a One use shortcut. After that you're going to get lost, and need to open all properties, Shift-Select the desired ones and SS again.
4. There's no way to save Selection Sets. And certainly no way to re-reveal them.
Imagine the joy of being able to Tap: SS4, for example, and bring up the properties stored in this preset?
"But how would you store a selection set?", I hear you ask.
Easy, like radio stations of old, in car stereos. Select Desired Selection Set. Tap SS4........ holding the 4, until there's a "BEEP". Selection Set is now set.
Come on Todd, it's 2015.
How hard is it to put property selection sets in AE, and correct for the rest of the issues above?
To the person that decided Todd's answer was correct, you're wrong.
The correct answer is: IT CANNOT BE DONE!