Create some tutorial videos?

As I read through various posts, I continue to be amazed at the things KM can do that I didn’t realize. Or seeing explanations of how other people use features, that I never thought of. Case in point: The current discussion of palette uses. I had no clue, even though I read up on them, I just didn’t get it until Peter posted some images.

I keep wishing there was a way to learn all these things - specifically, see them in action, because I don’t usually “get it” until I see it working.

I enjoy making tutorial videos. I’d love to make some (usually short) videos to help show interesting uses of features, and perhaps explain some complicated tasks.

The problem is, I have no idea where to start. My neophyte status with KM itself is a problem. Also, like learning KM itself, the thought of knowing where to start is completely daunting because there’s so much material.

I’m not making any promises, but if anyone has any ideas on how to start “eating this elephant”, I’d consider giving it a shot. I’d like to create something that would be appropriate to include on this site (via YouTube of course), or in the wiki, or something like that.

So what do you guys think? Is this worthwhile? I’m retired (I retired early), so I actually have the time for this. Of course, I might give up if it gets to be too complicated, but I’d at least like to consider the idea.

Let me know what you think.

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Thanks for the suggestion and the offer. I’m sure many users, including myself, would find videos helpful.

My suggestion to get started is to just pick topics you are familiar with, and can be a simple example. Don’t worry too much about what order to produce them, or how to categorize them at first, other than to put them in a Keyboard Maestro Playlist on YouTube. After you have created a few, then you can organize them (maybe we can help with tags here), and move on the the more complicated topics.

Good luck, and let us know how it goes.

Thanks for the response. Yeah, that’s what I was thinking also. I’ll just have to wait until I get an “aha!” moment. Once I get going, it’ll be easier to keep up the momentum.

Sounds great, people often ask for videos for how to use Keyboard Maestro. I’d especially love to see a few more really beginner videos as often people do not even get started with Keyboard Maestro which is a shame as it really is not that hard to get the basics.

For some example macro ideas, see the topic:

Good ideas, and I was thinking the same thing.

Question: When creating beginner tutorials, it would be nice if I could “revert” my system so that my KM setup looks like it would when I first installed it. Then, of course, I’d want to revert it back after doing a video. Perhaps, even, keep multiple “states” of KM for different types of videos.

Ideas?

Make a new user in OS X for each KM setup that you want to use for tutorials. Log into a user account to create a tutorial. Log back into your main account when you want to go back (revert) to your normal setup.

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Thanks. I thought of that, but it would require be setting up the screen recording software, and anything else I’d want to use. I’d really prefer not to do that.

I was thinking more along the lines of save and restoring preferences.

I think that if you make a backup of the Keyboard Maestro folder in Application Support you have all the settings. You could then delete the folder and KM starts as new.
But let us have @peternlewis to give his input for this.

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Yeah, I was thinking the same thing - all of it. :slight_smile:

I would recommend following @Jim’s advice. Create a clean user, then it can have a clean desktop, clean desktop picture, pristine menu bar, standard defaults, etc. Record your video and then do your editing in your normal account.

But failing that, you can use Keyboard Maestro’s Help ➤ Open Preferences Folder, then quit the Keyboard Maestro editor and engine, then go up a folder to the ~/Library/Application Support folder, and simply rename the Keyboard Maestro folder out of the way. Launch Keyboard Maestro to get a clean setup, then when you are done, repeat the process, but this time trash the Keyboard Maestro folder and rename your original back.

This approach has a bunch of similar issues to the clean user approach in terms of issues, for example you lose your clipboard history during the period, none of your normal macros work, etc.

An alternative is to have a second Mac, then you can screen share in to that and do your stuff there, but that may introduce other issues.

Sadly Apple does not (I believe) allow you to screen share to another user on the same Mac (which is a nuisance since you can screen share to a user not currently on the Mac screen from another Mac, so there is no technical problem with it).

Just to be slightly clear - there are other settings and files:

~/Library/Preferences/com.stairways.keyboardmaestro.* (3 files)
~/Library/Logs/Keyboard Maestro (folder)

But for this purpose, they probably aren’t interesting, although they do control things like window positions.

Thanks for the replies. I’ll see which works best for me.

I’m collaborating with a friend for a video tutorial. The video(s) are not up yet. This is still too early.

Right now we are putting up a landing page for you to check out. We’re going to describe what we’re going to do, and you will be able to pay a discounted price, if you choose to pay now. Our hope is to get enough people interested so that we can realize this project.

I have wanted to do a Keyboard Maestro tutorial video for about 3 years now, in fact I have been working on it already, and I’m really really happy to finally see it taking shape. I think many in the Keyboard Maestro community know me well, and my Markdown library.

At the moment I have not a lot to offer though. I can put you on a list so that we notify you when we’re ready with the landing page. Yes, we are that early in the project. Right now we are working on the most important things first. That is a lesson plan for the videos, and a small page. It’s pure luck and coincidence I have seen this thread in the mail today.

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Dan this is a great idea as I get so far and just get stalled. In fact I have paid before and would gladly pay for video tutorials as software without an understanding of what it can achieve is not a lot of help.

Also, what would be useful is not just how to’s but the logic or thought processes behind it.

Michael

Interesting. Thanks for the post.

There are other tutorials out there, so be careful not to duplicate something. On the other hand, if you can do it better, go for it!

Right now I’m planning the following tutorials, which will probably not conflict with what you’re planning (but you never know).

A short “Why would you want KM?” video. More like a TV commercial - “hey, look at these shiny things you can do!”.

A short tutorial designed for people who install KM the first time. I’m going to cover how to disable (or change) everything there’s a hot-key for, out of the box, so if something conflicts, they know right away how to fix it. This was an issue for me when I tried KM the first time (a while ago).

It will also cover the UI briefly. Basically, the things that are confusing right at the start. Just so people know how to jump in, which column does what, what the +, - and check buttons do.

After that, I’m going to do some tutorials on using KB with Final Cut Pro X. Things that can speed up your current workflow, and also things you really can’t do easily any other way, like search-and-replace through a list of clip names.

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What screen recording software do you use?

ScreenFlow.

I’ve done a lot of installation testing before, so I’m used to the concept of saving a “state” and restoring it. Honestly, for me, my mind leans towards renaming/copying/whatever the preference files. It’s easy to get back to the beginning, whereas that’s not the case with a new user.

The way I’m most used to doing this kind of thing is using Virtual Machines, where reverting the state is simple. But I’m not going to set up a Parallels VM of El Capitan just for what will amount to one video, and a short one at that. Not to mention that the last time I set up a VM of OS/X, it was iffy at best.

That would be awesome if the wiki had associated links to youtube videos on how something works!

I would love to see a few more videos on the use of variables and how to properly use the debugger.

This is how I feel about the debugger and variables, though I have already implemented both I feel like there is so much more I can get out of both of them. Especially the debugger when things don’t work as expected.

Here’s the start of my wiki: https://github.com/dagware/DanThomas/wiki

It’s funny, but I don’t use the debugger at all. As a developer, you’d think I would, but I just never got around to it. The two things I use most for debugging are:

  1. Preferences->Variables. I prefix the variable names for all my macros, so I just type the prefix in the “search” box, then when I run a macro, I can watch the variables change.

  2. I drop a standard “Prompt for user input” action anywhere I want to pause the action, or see if a certain condition is ever met. I also use it to display variables or whatever might help.

I’m sure there’s better ways, but this is what I’m comfortable with. Also as I said, since I’ve been a developer since the '70s, I’m pretty good at desk-checking my code. I make plenty of errors, but I can usually catch them by eyeballing things. Usually.