Keyboard Maestro Interface

Learn the basics of the Keyboard Maestro user interface.

Video Transcript

Let's take a minute to look around the Keyboard Maestro user interface. Keyboard Maestro is set up like a lot of applications where you've got data sources on the left, getting more detailed as you go across to the right. And in the case of Keyboard Maestro, you'll see here on the left side of the screen, you've got your groups. And these are folders containing different Keyboard Maestro macros you've created. For instance, I've currently selected my Palettes group. And you can see there are my specific Keyboard Maestro palettes. If I click on one of those, then you can see there's the actual Keyboard Maestro script for my Finder Palette. Going from left to right, you've got the group, the individual script, and then the script details.

The interface can get a little confusing sometimes because the layout changes a bit. So when I click on this “Action” button, you'll see that this group of action slides up. And these are all the actions that you can add to a new script as you're building it. If you double click on one, that adds it to your current list. I'm going to select that and delete it now, since I don't want an alert on my Finder Palette. But this action group will pop up once in a while, you'll forget about it and get a little confused. You can dismiss it by just tapping on the “X” button. 

Across the top of the Keyboard Maestro application, you've got the toolbar. The first button allows you to share a selected macro. The next button that allows you to select from “recently used” macros. And this is a very useful feature you'll ... as we go through the course, you'll find we use that quite often. You can also go forward and backwards with the previously edited macros. You can select a recently edited ones, you just click that button and see it. And my favorite button in the toolbar is the “Play” button. If you tap this, it runs the macro you've selected. 

Over on the right of the toolbar, there's a Search bar, that's also quite useful as you're building your macros. On the bottom, there's some additional tools. You can create smart groups of macros in addition to the manually created folders that we've talked about. And to create a new folder or group of macros, by the way, you just hit the little “+” button. You can delete one by hitting the “-“ button. This checkmark is something you'll see throughout the Keyboard Maestro interface, and that allows you to turn a macro on or off. As you're building macros, sometimes you want to test them or they're still in development and you don't want them necessarily going off. 

For instance, this one right here goes off at 4:30 a.m., and it hides all applications and puts a little message on the screen for me. So when I hit my computer first thing in the morning, I don't have the stuff left over from yesterday. I've got a clear screen and a new day. But when I'm building that, maybe I don't want to make that work. I'll just hit the little checkmark. It turns into an X, which means the macro is not currently working. But with that checkmark down here, you can turn off entire folders worth of macros. You'll see I've got some great out here, on the side those have had that checkmark checked for me. I'll go ahead and turn that one back on. You've got a similar set of tools for individual macros, where you can turn them off and on below the bar here, you can add new macros and delete existing ones. And then once again, you've got the same tools again, for individual actions inside your macros. And you've got the ability to click the “Edit” button. So you can, you know, show it as it's done or hit the “Edit” button to work in it. Actually, keep the Edit toggle on most of the time. The “Try” and “Record” buttons are a little more advanced. We're going to use those as we work through the course. And you'll understand those a lot better as we get to it. But just for now, take my word that they're kind of cool. 

And finally, there's a little “Help” button here. If you click that button, it opens up the Keyboard Maestro Wiki on the Keyboard Maestro website. So there you have a nice overview of how this application runs. Really looking at Keyboard Maestro for the first time, it's a fairly simple interface. You've got groups of macros, macros, and the individual components of those macros, and a few buttons to turn them on and turn them off. As you'll see in this course, however, there is a lot you can do with this application. So understanding how all this works is a necessary first step.

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