I got a request to share my favorite Keyboard Maestro macros and so I put a few of them together here. Keyboard Maestro (KM) is a Mac app that allows you to create complex automations to control your software in almost any way imaginable. It’s incredibly powerful, but it can also be useful even in simple ways.
I should note that while I developed some of my macros from scratch, others were shared by other users and I’m using them now or have adapted them to my use. I also have, no kidding, 181 macros so I won’t be sharing them all. Here are some of my favorites.
I use a KM palette to access several frequently used macros at the press of my caps lock key.1 If you have multiple macros have the same hot-key as the trigger, KM will pop up a little window to let you select which one you want. My actions including Omnifocus action, which opens another palette with common Omnifocus actions; Activate Moom, a window management utility; Omnifocus – Quick Add, for creating a new to-do; Invoke PopClip, Trigger Macro by Name, invokes any macro by typing its name; Move active window to center of iMac display, which because I multiple monitors will move whatever window is frontmost of any of the monitors to the center of my main iMac display; and Fix URLs, which if invoked in Ulysses changes Markdown format URLs to Ulysses native links and if in BBedit, changes them from a specific way that Jimmy Akin types them in Word docs into HTML format2.
Another frequently used macro will take the currently active browser tab and extract the Page Title and URL and format it as Markdown —
) –for pasting in any number of places. Because each browser handles this differently I have separate macros for each one and then have specified they’re only active in that particular browser. But since they all have the same hotkey, I can just invoke the macro and the correct macro is always chosen.
Macros can also be invoked by changing conditions, such as the detection of a USB device, so when I turn on my mixer, this simple macro launches Audio Hijack and then starts an Amphetamine session for 3 hours to keep my computer from going to sleep while I’m recording.
This next one was inspired by Dr. Drang. This set of macros will take the currently active tab in the current web browser and open it in another. For example, my default web browser is Brave, but I usually want to use Apple sites in Safari, or vice versa.
I’ve recently started using an El Gato Stream Deck and I’m just figuring out how to use it best, but one thing I’ve done is create KM macros for certain Adobe Audition audio editing actions that usually require multiple keypresses and then assign those to Stream Deck keys.
This is one of my most recent ones. It works with my Philips Hue Smart Sensor to suggest when I should turn up the heat or AC in my office (which tends to be either too hot or too cold), because I often don’t realize until I’m either freezing or sweating. It checks the outside temperature via the Dark Sky weather service then gets the temperature as reported by the Hue sensor in the office. The two temperatures are compared and if the conditions for winter or summer are met, it gives me the appropriate prompt through a notification.
That’s probably enough for now. If you want to dig deep into Keyboard Maestro, I recommend David Sparks’ Keyboard Maestro Field Guide, which is a video course that will take you from the basics to advanced concepts of KM.
And if you would like specific help with implementing any of these macros yourself, let me know in the comments.