Abbreviations Input like Butler or SlickRun

In the next version of KM, can we get a text input box like that found in Butler or SlickRun? Maybe it could be incorporated into the Macro Palette and then the palette entries get narrowed down as we type?

I have no idea what Butler or SlickRun do.

SlickRun and Butler are both utilities somewhat similar to KM but with not nearly as many features. SlickRun runs on Windows and Butler runs on the Mac. Both have a textbox that are called up with a hotkey and then you can type in your own abbreviation to launch an application, etc. For instance, I could assign the abbreviation 'ff' to launch FireFox or 'dt' for DevonThink. The problem with Spotlight right now is if I type in 'disk' I will get a bunch of entries when I really want Disk Utility and sometimes, if my computer is lagging, and I type in 'disk' followed by the return key, it will show some other app named 'disk...' between the time I hit return and it launching that unintended app. And sometimes, if Spotlight is really acting up, my apps won't even show up and I'll get something like the definition of 'disk' show up or some wikipedia entry or whatever. I'd rather just have KM select from my own list of abbreviations. SlickRun: Butler:

Some sort of Launcher is a possibility in the future, but really Keyboard Maestro is not currently a Launcher.

However, you can use the Trigger Macro by Name action, together with a group of macros of your own choosing to accomplish the desired task in a way that is explicit and thus not surprising.

If I just implement a launcher, then you may well just end up with similar issues of launching unintended applications - generally I prefer you to be explicit with what you want to do.

The Trigger Macro by Name uses machine learning to determine what you want to do, so if you type “disk” and select the desired macro, and repeat that a few times, then typing “disk%Return%” will get a guaranteed result going forward.

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I'm so embarrassed... Yeah, Trigger Macro by Name is absolutely what I'm looking for. I've been using KM for years and I still haven't used it to its full potential. Thanks a bunch, Peter, and Happy New Year!

Hey @BenH,

Don't feel bad. Peter himself doesn't use Keyboard Maestro to its full potential.  :sunglasses:

Me neither – and I've used it at a high level since 2004.

Don't forget about the Prompt With List action.

You can do many things with that as well.



I've used KM for years and I constantly find myself thinking that there's probably so much more I could do with it.

I'd love to get about 20 of us in a room together to watch each other use KM and see what makes each other ask "Hey, wait a minute, how did you do that?!?"


As mentioned above, you can use KM Trigger by Name, and in that macro launch the app of interest.

I am a huge KM user, but I prefer LaunchBar to launch/activate apps and other stuff. There are a number of other experienced KM users that also use LaunchBar.

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