Text Transformations

Need to quickly make text all caps, or title case, or something more exotic than that? This Text Palette solves all of those problems.

Video Transcript

Keyboard Maestro is also an excellent tool for text transformations and just dealing with text in general. This is another one where I've got a whole group of them. I'm going to put in the download for this video so you can download them and use them yourself and customize them to make them work the way you want, but I wanted to show off a couple. This is also one that is based on a Palette entry. So I use the hyper key, which is Caps Lock + T for text, and you can see I get a list of all my available text-related Keyboard Maestro Macros, and they're all contained in this folder. And I've talked about this in the Palette screencast, but just so you understand. The way it works is we've got a Palette Keyboard Maestro script. There it is: Text Palette. And it looks for all macros in the macro group called Text, which is the one we've got down here. So anything I add to this folder or this group will be added to that Palette. And I've been adding to them over time as I need them.

So let's just take a look at a couple of them. One is like All Caps. And the nature of all of these or most of these is it copies texts, and then it does a transformation to the texts using the Filter System Clipboard, and then it pastes the text back in. And the idea is you've got it selected, so it copies it, and because it's already selected, the transformed text just drops in right on top of it. And the real key action here is this Filter System Clipboard with Uppercase. And you can find that over here if you just search all macros for the term Filter. And when you put it in, by default, it's got capitalization. But there's a couple parameters here you can change. The first is what is it looking at. Was it looking at a specifically Named Clipboard (and I covered that in the Clipboard video of this course), or a Trigger Clipboard, or a specific variable or text? Like you could put specific text in if you wanted, but the real key here is the System Clipboard, because that's the thing you're going to use dynamically.

And then it's got, what are you going to do to it? You know, what's the transformation you're going to make? And there are a lot of them available. And you can go lowercase, lowercase for the first word. You can uppercase it all, uppercase the first word, title case, which is really useful, smart quotes, dumb quotes, French quotes. You name it, it can quote it. As you go down, it's got just a whole bunch of different processes you can use here, but it's ... it's just basically changing that Filter command to match whatever it is you want. So, this one is all caps. So I'm looking at the system clipboard, and I'm making it uppercase.

And let's just see that in action. I'll pull over some text. So, I've got this text drag in. I'm going to select the first sentence. I'm going to activate the Palette with the hyper key + T. And we want to make the thing all caps. So, I'm going to type A, and I've just transformed that sentence into all caps. All right, we've made it all uppercase. Now let's make it all lowercase. I'll hit Caps + T, and then you can see here I've got one for lowercase. That's just the letter L. I could also click on that. I'll go ahead and do that. And I've just made it a lowercase, which isn't exactly right either. Okay, I'm going to move that window off-screen and go back to look at some of these macros here in the text group. That lowercase, what I just showed you, was the exact same one as the uppercase, but all it had done is changed the filter to be lowercase. If I made uppercase first, I could have capitalized the first word of that sentence.

Title case is really useful. I have one of those as well. It was built exactly the same way. In title case, I always use to check things I'm going to post on the website. Okay, here's another little sentence I've gotten Text Edit here. I'm going to hit Command + A to select it all. Then I'm going to hit the hyper key + T, and I'm going to type the T for title case. And there was a conflict because there was two that had the T, so I'm going to hit the I now for a title case. And now it's made it a title case. So it-- it capitalized all the words except the word 'the.' This doesn't just work in Text Edit. I use this all over anything I can write text in on my Mac.

Another interesting one is smart quotes. Sometimes I get stuff that I've written in a text editor and it doesn't have smart quotes, and I want them for the document that I'm preparing. I just run smart quotes and it puts it in. Word count is an interesting one. It's a little different. What it does is it copies the text, it figures out the word count through that filter, and then it displays the text in large across the screen.

So now I'm going to bring over a document to test this on. All right, here is that text I was working on earlier. I'm just going to select it all, then hit hyper key + T to open the Palette, and word count is W, so I hit W. And I can find out that is 337 words. If you need a word count for whatever it is you're working on, this is a great little script to have in your pocket.

Another one that I find very useful is removing the format. And this just removes all styles from text. And anytime you pull text off the internet and it's got a bunch of formatting in it, this is a great way to clean it up.

But these are the ones I use. There's a lot available here as you see as you scroll through this list that you can do in terms of text transformations with Keyboard Maestro. So my recommendation is build your own text transformation group, or just use mine that you can download and start customizing it to the tools you use most often. And I really believe strongly in launching this from the Palette key because trying to remember keyboard shortcuts for each one of these would just make you crazy, and Caps Lock + T gives me all those tools. I couldn't be happier to have all of these tools available to me on one keystroke. So install them now on your Keyboard Maestro and make them work for you.

Downloadable Keyboard Maestro Scripts:

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