After Big SUR Some Macros Don't Behave as I Intended Them To

I created several macros some 3 years ago and they have all worked fine even after macOS upgrades. Now some dont, mainly those that rely on a "captured" part of the screen.

to better learn Big SUR, I wanted to create a very simple one, to function as shortcut for 'system settings/ keyboard/ text', simply by using 'Record'... but it does not work. It never progresses beyond the first screen.
What am I doing wrongly?

kind regards
(I'm 77)

Untitled Macro4.kmmacros (6.9 KB)

Hey @Palle_GreyT,

You're using Record...  :wink:

Record is a very iffy proposition when doing anything complicated. You have to understand that much editing and tweaking will likely be required when using it.

Here's a macro that does what I think you're wanting to do.

You could never get this from simply recording...


Activate System Preferences > Keyboard > Text.kmmacros (7.8 KB)

looks interesting , but does not work fully, maybe because I run the Danish version of Big Sur?
this is all I get: the first page of "system indstilinger"

I'm sure.

Translate the English terms in my macro to their appropriate Danish equivalents.

The click location might have to be tweaked as well.

I'm still using Sierra on this Mac and won't have access to B.S. until I upgrade my hardware.


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Major obstacles for me :wink: not really remembering how I did it those years ago, but anyway I did it in danish, and trimmed the clickpoint as attached, which now works via hotkey

I am a bit more optimistic now on the much more complex macros's I made...
thanks for your help (once again)

Activate System Preferences ver DK > Keyboard > Text.kmmacros (20.2 KB)

one more thing, about selecting color for text, I may chose the hotkey ctrl cmd C but the small pallette/window is elusive, it disappears from view when clicking other places, so normally I put som tape on screeen and mar the spot, then I can refer to this inkspot when selecting where to click... however I am not sure how to designate this 'place' in KM. Would there be a clickfree color-option where I could just ask for 'Black'???

That's clever but unnecessary.


See the Get button on the lower right?

Click it, and you have 5 seconds to switch to your desired application and reposition the cursor. Keyboard Maestro will then record the cursor location for you, and you can decide whether or not to change the "relative to the" criterion.


Oh, know this way, very nice, but as I experience it, the system color selector presence slips away the moment I activate some other app, here KM, therefore the tape. :innocent:
Sometime it has happened that such a system thing suddenly prefer a different 'permanent' place, the I use tape and after that the "Get" button

still it would be nice if I could get the action here without click-actions


Illustrating the quirkiness of macOS.
shift cmd C will bring up the colorpicker... it is labeled as my default language (danish) thats ok
when I then change to my app (Scrivener) the same keys will bring up an english version and place at a different position.
I attach 2 screenprints to illustrate the situation.
In my actual situation I got the macro to work after using the 'Get' option to the spot on the monitor (selecting Black).

Skærmbillede 2020-11-27 kl. 17.49.10  Skærmbillede 2020-11-27 kl. 17.49.00

How odd...

It can probably be done without any click actions by using AppleScript and System Events, but I don't have Big Sur to test with – so I can't be certain.


I have tinkered a bit more and my somewhat special macros are now back on. I have not done apple scripts and hesitate to venture that path, but special of Big Sur, for me, is the slightly/somewhat changed visual appearances that have forced me to re-capture the areas I use for defining action-clicks-offset. once I did this it was fine, mostly. in some places, for the app used, it seemed better to find a new well defined string of characters (=black) rather than the more defused ones that will bring up more than one ’target’. knowing this , now, makes confidence come back in designing macros.
One thing though, I have set the General option for screen to “light”… Using the fancy “Automatic” kills the macros that rely on graphic areas, in the evening :slight_smile:
I know there are new options in KM to work around this, but for now I am satisfied.

In general I find Big Sur to be faster and nicer looking than Catalina.


Glad to hear it!

None of my hardware currently supports it, so I'm stuck with Sierra on my MacBook Pro and Mojave on my MacBook Air.


One question. here... sometimes the 'Get' button is not active, only the 'Go'. Would you have an explanation? My only guess is that the screenarea selected is not 'seen' as one singular possibility ... so there is nothing to get.

The only time I know of that this occurs is when the click action is a click-at-found-image action.

If you know of another case please post a screenshot of the action in question.


Ok Sounds logical
Thanks for Quick response.
Macro is working even I don't fully get it.

Send fra en iPhone 11 Pro :+1:

Hey @Palle_GreyT,

Well – I wen't for simple instead of bombproof...

The macro does the following:

  • Opens the System Preferences.
  • Waits until the System Preferences app is frontmost.
  • Further waits until the Keyboard item in the View menu is enabled by path.
  • Selects the View>Keyboard menu item.
  • Waits until the front window's title is "Keyboard".
  • Then it clicks on the "Text" anchor button to open that panel.

I would normally rather do all of this with AppleScript and System Events, but I don't have access to Big Sur to test – and I've seen that some people have having issues UI-Scripting preferences this early in the B.S. lifecycle.

There's no reason to not use the click at found image action to click the "Text" anchor, it that works for you.


Had a second look. I will try one thing out 'soon': "Pause until..." seems there are many splendid 'elastic' options there...
Before, whenever I have encountered macro stumbling I have inserted a delay, which often needs adjustments and can make execution quite long...


Yes. I started out simply using delay actions myself, but once I discovered pause-until I try to always use them if I can.


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Keep an eye out for - I hope eventually he'll also make a Big Sur patcher. I've used his patches on several older Macs to make them run more recent macOS versions. Just read the notes what doesn't work well first. Ideally, install the patched macOS on a separate partition, so that you can always go back to your original one if needed.