A Little Clipboard Hand-Holding

To the geniuses of this forum,

Greetings, and a plea for patience and understanding. I am an older guy with just enough knowledge to be dangerous to myself. I have a pretty good handle on inserting text macros, but no clue as to how to use clipboards, clipboard switchers, clipboard filters and the like. I see there are many pre-written macros in Keyboard Maestro (I have just updated to version 10.0), and I am anxious to learn what they all do (read: "what some of them do") and how I can utilize them in my work. But for the life of me I just can't figure out how to test them to see what they actually do. I think if someone would be willing to take me step by step through just one or two of them I would get the idea and be off and running. For example, I see in the Clipboard Filters Group there is a macro called "Capitalize":

Screen Shot 2021-11-16 at 11.13.15 PM

There, you see? I can't even show you what's confusing me! (unless I just now successfully uploaded a screenshot without knowing it) Basically I look at the script and it's Greek to me. What do I do with this macro? I'm sure that it's probably more than useful if I could just figure out how and where to apply it. But I'm afraid I'm the type of person who has to be shown how to do something in order to learn. My apologies. I really do like macros. I just would like to get beyond my basic understanding of them for once. I know this lacks the specificity of other requests, but anything ... Anything will probably help.

Can we start with clipboards? Visually? Somehow? Poke this key. And this happens. That kind of thing.


A mildly frustrated old man.

This means that this macro works with Clipboard History Switcher. And it will appear at the context menu of the item as shown in the picture.

One way to learn is to copy the macro, and then modify it for experiment (eg rename it, display text), then it will become more apparent at how it works.


1 Like

Hi @Polyvox - Keyboard Maestro is a collection of lots of "lego" blocks (Actions) which nearly all have some form of customisation depending on how you want to use them.

I think the best way to learn is to think of a real task that you actually want to automate and then experiment in Keyboard Maestro putting something together to achieve this task. When you hit a block, do a Google Search for that specific bit (like "Keyboard Maestro how to put text into all Capital Letters"). That will almost always take you straight back here to where someone has asked a similar question and someone else has explained the solution.

The example Action you posted (Capitalize) takes text that you have copied and puts it into capital letters before you paste it back somewhere. It has few settings such as whether to work on the current clipboard or a previous selected clipboard and where to save the capitalised text back to prior to pasting. While I was typing all that, I see @macdevign_mac has just explained very well what it does in the post above...

But this action is not of much use to you unless you are actually wanting to Capitalize Text for some real purpose. When you have that need, a little bit of experimenting in Keyboard Maestro and asking a few specific questions is the best way to get there (in my experience anyway). I don't think there is anyone out there who knows every single Keyboard Maestro Action and all their possible settings (apart from the developer, @peternlewis).

The younger generation are fearless when it comes to experimenting with computers - my little daughter would just hit all the keys until she found one that worked but my dad was worried he might "break" the computer by doing the wrong thing. Keyboard Maestro is all about experimenting and tinkering until an elegant solution is found. Being "dangerous" is part of the fun! :grinning:


Hey @Polyvox,

Don't worry too much about that.

As you gain experience with Keyboard Maestro your understanding will improve.

Keep asking questions.

Use the help items – Opt key held down in menus – Help button in Insert Action by Name dialog – etcetera.

Use the Keyboard Maestro Wiki.

Look at the default macros, make copies and dissect them to see how they work – same with 3rd party macros on the forum.

You'll get there.