Keyboard Maestro blog postings

Keyboard Maestro Postings

Earliest: July 29, 2016Latest: May 22, 2018Total: 17

January 2, 2018

Keyboard Maestro Application Switcher

Apple's Application switcher is pretty cool, using Command-Tab users can quickly navigate to any open application. This is a fast way to switch around applications.

Keyboard Maestro takes it one step further. You have a lot more control. You can decide what applications that show up and the look and feel of the Application Switcher.

K M Switcher

Keyboard Maestro Application Switcher

Basically Keyboard Maestro Application Switcher gives you an extended Dock.

Macintosh users put applications in the Dock because they use the app a lot. They don't want to have to keep going to the Application folder to open up the app over and over. With Keyboard Maestro Application Switcher, you can add the application to the switcher. This helps declutter the Dock.

This is very useful for those applications where you don't need to drag and drop a document to open it for the first time.

How to Enable the Application Switcher

The Application Switcher is enabled as one of the Macros that you set up. Which is pretty cool because you can have multiple Application Switchers set up with different hotkeys. So you could have one set up for Internet Applications and other Application Switcher for the Graphics Applications.

Application Switcher Dialog

There's lots of information about the Application Switcher on Keyboard Maestro help site.

December 15, 2017

Keyboard Maestro Browser Version

Keyboard Maestro has a great integration with some popular browsers. Some macros that I created comes in handy when filing Jira Issues.

Note: This is similar to a tip I reported a couple of years ago - "Getting the Browser Version" for TextExpander.

Browser Version

When reporting an issue, often I need to include the browser that I used so that Developers can see if the reported issue is related to a specific browser version. Since most of the modern browsers auto-update it can be a pain to track them.

Chrome Version

Chrome Version

Execute the following AppleScript:

tell application "Google Chrome"
set theVersion to "Chrome " & version
end tell

So whenever I need to identify the version of Chrome, I just type in Chrome.Version and instantly the version of Chrome is deplayed. This saves me a lot of time to open up the 'About Chrome' and write the version number. Having this macro makes it easy to add this information to any Jira Issue or Slack chat.

I also have macos setup for Firefox and Safari.

Bonus Browser Version Macro

There's a 'super' macro that will display all the browser versions that I have. Again, this just makes it easy to identify the browsers that I am testing with:

Browser Versions

December 1, 2017

Headless Chrome and Keyboard Maestro

In May, Google shipped headless functionality with Google Chrome 59. Google description of the feature:

A headless browser is a great tool for running automated tests and server environments where you don't need to see the rendered output or have a visible UI shell.

Thanks to Google Chrome Autoupdate, everyone should have this feature by now.

Here's a simple script to take a screenshot of any particular website:

Chrome Headless

Shell Script Code:

cd /Users/cryan/Desktop;
alias chrome="/Applications/Google Chrome.app/Contents/MacOS/Google Chrome";
chrome --headless --disable-gpu --screenshot --window-size=1280,2696 http://www.cryan.com/blog;

Some Tips:

Chrome saves every file as screenshot.png. There's currently no way to change the filename during command run. So I added the Keyboard Maestro built-in file rename immediately after the screen capture.

The "window-size=1280,1696" is the size of a standard letterhead

The iPhone 8 browser window size is 375x667

The iPhone X browser window size is 375x812

The Samsung Galaxy S8+ browser window size is 360x740

Good Use of Keyboard Maestro v8 Cron Feature

I added Keyboard Maestro's cron feature so that the screenshot process would run automatically. Here some example uses:

  • Take a screenshot of your company website every morning. At the end of the year, you can see how the site has changed
  • Take a screenshot of your company website in different browser sizes. (What are Mobile users seeing.)
  • Take a screenshot of your website after posting a blog entry
  • Take a screenshot of your CNN, Drudgereport or MSNBC. What were the top news of the day?
  • Take a screenshot of Amazon and BestBuy homepage.

Setting this up as Cron feature allows you to set it and forget it. These will run as long as your computer is up and running.

October 27, 2017

Keyboard Maestro Global Macro Palette

In my first job out of college, I was using a Window's Terminal Emulator solution that allowed me to have floating button palette. Can't recall the name, but similar to PowerTerm . The buttons were configurable to type out anything I wanted. This made it easy to type out frequent commands.

Well you can pretty much achieve the exact same experience today with Keyboard Maestro. You can create a group that is only active for the application that you are using - in my case its iTerm2.

Keyboard Maestro Palet

Basic Configuration

Setup a New Group in Keyboard Maestro and call it 'iTerm' or whatever the name of the application that you want the button functionality to appear.

Make sure under 'Available in these Applications' that the application you want the pallet to appear in is selected.

Create a bunch of Type Macros of common tasks. Think of different queries that you run on the command line. Make sure to have a good Macro Name so you can identify the action.

Enable the action to be triggered by the Global Macro Pallet. What's nice is that you can have an icon in the palette which makes it easy to identify actions.

iterm Adwords Report2
Sample Entry

Super Productive

Having the floating pallet is great. It's nicely hidden away until I mouse over the floating icon. So the screen isn't cluttered and the pallet appears only when I need it.

My pallet is small - for now, but I suspect that I will add things as needed. Certainly a time saver.

The pallet is better for me than to have to remember the various text trigger actions. The action is just a point and click away!

September 29, 2017

Keyboard Maestro Date Formatting

Last week Keyboard Maestro was upgraded to version 8. It?s packed with a lot of features, and I thought it would be time to do a change up and switch from TextExpander 5.1.4 to Keyboard Maestro.

Note: I didn't upgrade to TextExpander 6 because I didn't like to have to pay for a yearly subscription for a Macintosh utility program.

I have been moving a lot of my TextExpander Snippets to Keyboard Maestro's Macros. It?s been a slow transition as it?s a bit hard to get used to Keyboard Maestro?s interface. It?s complicated for a reason - they're so much more you can do using Keyboard Maestro.

Date/Time Variable Reference Chart

Here?s a handy chart to convert Day/Time data from Text Expander to Keyboard Maestro. This is useful when converting your snippets to Keyboard Maestro and want to keep the same date format.

DateTimeChart_sm.jpg
Click on image for a larger version.

Date Time Display

This is a sample Macro that I have set up to display the current date time.

USA Date Format

I have three macros to easily display the current date in the following formats:

  • Standard US Date
  • European Date Format
  • ODBC Date Format (Database Format)

Try Out Keyboard Maestro

Try out Keyboard Maestro 8 as its more user-friendly. Watch the YouTube videos to get an idea on how best to use it. The forum is a great place to get ideas and tips from other users.

December 17, 2016

TidBits #259

A "blast from the past," this is from TidBits #259 (January 17, 1995)

**Peter Lewis** comments regarding the heat-sensitive paper we mentioned in TidBITS-258_: Now what we really need is paper that changes colour when you run it through a laser printer, and then changes back after a few days. That way you could print out stuff, read it, and then reuse the paper the next week after the print had faded. Think of all the saved trees. Not to mention the fun you'd have using it for contracts.

In case your wondering, yes this is famous Peter Lewis - the author of Stairways Software's Keyboard Maestro!

I am surprised that Epson/HP hasn't come up with this yet. This would seem like a perfect product to be announces on April 1st.

July 29, 2016

Apple Keyboard with Numeric Keypad

Macintosh Keyboard

Apple currently manufactures two kinds of keyboards - a wireless version and a wired version. I have had the chance to use both for about a year and here's my thoughts on them.

Wireless Keyboard

I was very excited that Apple came out with a wireless version as it makes it easy to move the keyboard around. The wireless keyboard and mouse are a nice addition to the USB real estate. On my iMac, I only have 4 USB slots, so it's nice knowing that my mouse and keyboard isn't going to use up my USB slots.

The nice thing about the wireless keyboard is that it's very easy to move it out of the way when I am not using the computer. The bad part is that it needs a battery and about once a month I need to replace the battery. Not a big deal since I do keep a spare set of AA batteries so that I don't encounter any downtime.

Wired Keyboard

The wired version is very handy at work. I find that I use the 'Home' and 'End' buttons frequently in Chrome. They are great when navigating large web pages.

Recently I discovered that I could use Keyboard Mastro to assign actions to some of the F keys that I don't use in any of my applications. Keyboard Mastro also lets me assign actions to the numerical keys, which I don't use at all.

I am not concern about the USB slots at work since I don't really have any external devices.

Recommendation

I think the wired keyboard is the way to go. Using Keyboard Mastro, and some AppleScript knowledge, I can be much more productive with the Wired Keyboard.

Since I have a 10 slot USB hub at home, I am no longer worried about the keyboard using up a USB slot.

There's no problem with moving the keyboard around when I don't use it, the USB cable is long enough for me to move it out of the way for anything that I want.

I have pulled out my old Macally iceKey Slim USB Keyboard for a few times that I wanted to use the extended keyboard. As much as I like the Apple Keyboard with Numeric Keypad, I can't justify spending $49 when the Macally keyboard works perfectly fine.