A way to boost your productivity with Karabiner

Hey there,

Here is my way to give back to this great community for all help you have provided me and all the little macros you’ve shared. Most macros are sadly very km centric it seems but I suppose all our automation needs are different.

I use a lot of macros, alfred workflows, hotkeys. This creates a problem of trying to remember all these hotkeys and trying to break my fingers activating them as I have filled all my caps lock bindable hotkeys, my command hotkeys are app specific and generally it was quite a pain to get everything working as I wanted.

Thank god I have found Karabiner. What a wonderful piece of software that is.

I now use something called ‘sticky keys’. Here is my repository with my config file for Karabiner. I have also put a readme in there to show how I use it and what for. You can just clone the repository and use the settings and change them to what you consider best for you.

I hope you will like it too. Tell me what you think of it and if you managed to get it to work. You can ask any question you have about the config file I have as it is pretty lengthy.


Thanks for sharing, nikivi. I’m sure many will find this very helpful.

You must have an incredible memory. I could never remember all those shortcuts.
I use Spotlight to open most of my apps. A quick ⌘SPACE and then just a few characters of the app name gets it selected.
Even with KM macros, I find I’m using the “Trigger by Name” more and more often, even though I have hot keys for the macro.
But that’s just me, and I’m probably in a small minority. :wink:

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I’m also an active member of that minority :thinking:

Ditto. That’s why I use palettes.

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Yep, the flexible palettes are the killer feature of KM, much more than any hotkeys. IMO.

Unfortunately the name Keyboard Maestro is rather misleading. Should be renamed to something like “UXMaestro”, “MacroMaster”, “AutomaXor”, “iUX”, … :blush:

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There’s other apps with misleading names. “Script Debugger” is at the top of my list right now. I never even bothered to find out what it was, until one of you guys here forced me to go look. Glad I did, even if I don’t use it as much now, since I’m into JXA so much.

Yes, horrible name. Fossilized testimonies of the initial ‘core feature’ of the software. The same with “LaunchBar”, “GraphicConverter”, “iTunes”, … Ah, yes, and “Windows” :wink:

So, when you release a new software, probably the safest bet is a non-descriptive (or cryptic) name, like “Alfred”, “Acorn”, “Chocolat” or “Ukelele”…

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But, I find, in the case of Keyboard Maestro the misnaming is especially grave (and maybe even bad for business). The keyboard in the name implies that it is a tool geared to the keyboard-heavy user type. But in reality almost the contrary is true: with its palettes, menu bar menu, timed triggers, folder triggers and whatnot it is the best friend of the keyboard-shy user type. It saves him from the need to remember dozens of key combos.

A little anecdote:

Some years ago I recommended Keyboard Maestro to a collegue. He was rather the mouse-using type, and from his point of view I was clearly a keyboard type. As I told him the name of that nice application, and he heared “keyboard”, I could see it written on his face: Alright, a geeky keyboard thingy. Maybe good for you, but not for me. — And he never checked it out, as far as I know.


No argument from me, but then, I didn’t chose the name in the first place. My previous application was named “Anarchie”, later renamed to “Interarchy” - suitably ambiguous. But changing a name is a very difficult challenge, and these days, perhaps even more so as gaining any kind of notice is extremely difficult, and life outside the App Store requires a level of reputation/trust that is very hard to garner and would be very hard to transfer to a new name.

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That brings up the obvious question…

Hi @nikivi,

I’m new to Karabiner.

Can you explain what I need to put in the XML file to have a sticky W + I that would simulate a control + option + command + I keystroke in Keyboard Maestro? I tried to modify your XML file but, somehow, I can’t get it to work properly :frowning2:



Put this into your private.xml and activate it in Karabiner. This should work.


Thank you very much for your quick reply but I get this error when I reload the XML:



Write this line somewhere above before your items.

I used both of them Peter, still use Interarchy :slight_smile:

Thanks again!

Now the XML is ok but the sticky key does not work properly. When I hold the W, the character is typed. I’m probably missing something in the Karabiner preferences. The “Sticky Modifier Keys” and the “Launcher Mode” options are enabled though :sob:

Well, I understand why it does not work. In fact, I have an AZERTY/French keyboard and it seems that Karabiner works as if my keyboard is QWERTY. Therefore, I have to type Z+I instead of W+I for the sticky key to work properly. Is it possible to notify Karabiner that my keyboard is AZERTY? Or something?

Well you can specify your keyboard layout, and have two items, one for QWERTY and one for your french layout.

Thank you and excuse my lack of Karabiner knowledge but… how can I do this?

Have something like this at top of private.xml. You can see what input source is in event viewer. Then just do only or not tags and use the definition.

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