Feature Request: Nested Folders For Macro Groups (Macro Group Management)

specifically so they wouldn't break, the idea was to continue to reference macros/macro groups by name or id or however he s currently doing it. (if you move these things aroubd they still get found). nav tree as I suggested would be UI convenience only with no changes to ref ids internally.


Ah, I get it.

But a refid is an inscrutable thing.

the scrutiny is PNL's alone. we don't want to scrutinize any parameters
or fields, or add any feature-complexity to KM, simply to have a means
to UI visual organization of hundreds of Macro Groups, and also create
an analog in import/export.

each macro group quite obviously already carries some unique id number
since scripts can reference them. we just need an array in the prefs of
where these can live in a nested folder tree. it shouldn't break

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Just adding my +1 to this request as well. Even if there was a way to "tag" Macros or Folders, and then create some sort of Smart Folder system, that would be great for organization.

KM already has a “Smart Groups” concept available. Check it out here: https://wiki.keyboardmaestro.com/manual/Smart_Groups

Neither of these address the prodigy of ten years plus of KM development
since QuicKeys perished, and also the fruits of that preceding era.
Unfortunately the massive need is for a GUI solution within an app-based
development system which addresses real work.

I've just rebuilt my TV mixing template in Pro Tools which has also
grown beyond the limits of their GUI's restrictions - fortunately, a
number of Folder Tracks options have arrived in Pro Tools Ultimate and
sanity is finally achievable. These exact problems were also present in
necessary Pro Tools workflow: active/inactive, hiding/showing, fussy
naming, 'announcement tracks', colourizing, etc. Folder Tracks has
brought agriculture to the savages. Is being a savage the correct way to
live - I would say yes. But to remain competitive in 2021, I would say
no. :slight_smile:

I'm essentially asking for the same in KM. The audio track/MIDI
track/aux/master level is analogous to the Macro Group level in KM. The
solution is nested folders with disclosure triangles. Colourizing within
Macro Group lists/hierarchy is also a secret ticket. Humans (most of us)
respond to colour. Any quick review of the power of Folder Tracks in Pro
Tools (a specific $1200 upgrade to a version that addressed this, led to
much missionary-style videos on the subject)... will IMMEDIATELY bring
into focus the dire need for this in KM.

For those of you punters who have a couple of dozen Macro Groups will be
dismissive. But for those of us who have been serious with development,
and 'mode use alternatives', we have HUNDREDS of Macro Groups, even the
storage of ERAs of multiple tunings of multiple systems and have had to
rely on alphabetical naming hierarchy including cryptic shorthand
(including emoji ffs in my case) to get it all to fit into one
hierarchical level.

The scrolling takes forever, the time to destination is exhausting, and
the need for Nested Macro Group Folders is absolutely non-trivial.

A separate organization window, such as would be found in Firefox for
History or Bookmarks, would be an easy solution without breaking any of
the existing. Even a window like this that could pop up a New Editor
Window based on double-click in the Organization window. Naturally,
though, the first pane of existing 3-pane GUI wants upgrade to include
nested folders/disclosure of Macro Groups. The existing editor window is
really good. The organization window could also be detachable, as with a
Photoshop module. (I currently have no fewer than three simultaneous
Editor Windows open at any one time, dragging and dropping macro
references, copying and pasting blocks between macros. It's not
unrealistic to have an Organizer window among the fray.)

I can't take seriously the in-the-bin approach of tags/search/results
which offers no real visual organization, when multiple application
clusters, projects, mode-cases and workflow are at risk of disappearing
into a black hole.

As Macro development increases by an ever-expanding user-base, this
aspect of KM will also increase; addressing this need is unavoidable

To give an example, last night I again came upon Defaulter from Quiet
Art NZ who offer in-built KM scripts via a button on the plugin.
Naturally, they put their Macros in a Defaulter Macro Group.

But this doesn't suffice for an incoming KM asset - what is required is
to move it into its proper home upon installation:

Macro Groups/external/Quiet Art/Defaulter/210329-1805/Defaulter/v10

and with their next update:

Macro Groups/external/Quiet Art/Defaulter/210330-1815/Defaulter/v11

There is tremendous potential in the power of this organization - none
of the hidden KM Macro IDs need to change, things don't need to break -
it's just organization within the app. Just an additional meta-grid
against which the Macro Group knows where it lives. This folder
information need not even be imported/exported. (Again, Pro Tools is an
easy reference for how to do import/export of hierarchy as well.) I
don't see this as a ground-up rebuild thing, just a GUI write/read to a
multidimensional array in a preference file.

One additional note: Using Folder Tracks in Pro Tools, there is
hierarchical and logic based active/inactive on the Folder Tracks as
well as content tracks. There is an interesting logic to this, and also
great potential for power. A folder containing some active, some
inactive children, will remember these settings and revive those states,
so a folder remembers whether it itself is active/inactive and also
governs its child content.

In the Defaulter case, imagine being able to choose:
Macro Groups/all_my_stuff/(macros)
Macro Groups/incoming/Quiet Art/Defaulter

And being able with one button to shut off everything except just the
test macros. Fantastic for troulbleshooting.

Sure, you could select all groups, with the exception of the
"downloaded incoming apps dubious problems Quiet Art Defaulter v11
210330-1824-" Macro Group, and then disable all but focus.

But if you HAD the option to do it in a more delightful, less
hours-consuming way, would you? The whole ethos of KM is 'person-hours
saved', why would we not do this on a meta level as well? :slight_smile:

The towering culmination of human endeavour thusly defeating our
original aims. If Folder Hierarchy creates time wasted for people, then
absolutely don't include it. If it helps KM speed us all up, in
development and also daily use, then it's a vital aspect which simply
must be included.

Hey Renton,

Now you've gotten that off your chest again...  :sunglasses:

I refer you to post #2.

I get where you're coming from and have some 164 macro groups myself.

I was wishing again just yesterday for nested groups, but Peter says we're an extreme minority – and it's not worth his development time, effort, and dollars.

Put up a cool million US dollars, and you might incentivize a change in his perspective – but your considered arguments aren't likely to build any ships.

So... We have to live with what we've got.

These macros by @DanThomas are worth looking at if you haven't seen them and might just ease your way a bit.

MACRO: [KMFAM] Favorite Actions and Macros

MACRO: Go To Group by Name (Spotlight)

Go To Macro by Name (Spotlight)

MACRO: Execute (Trigger) Macro by Name (Spotlight)


Thanks for the links, Chris. I've got my flow, it's not ideal, but
obviously we're all productivity/workflow nuts. (I'm probably a little
greedy not doing a monthly pack-away of Macros I'm not using. It's just
nice to have the whole history available for when something jogs

Interesting USD figure - doesn't feel like we're talking about Avid
behemoth-style steerage, just a wee read/write to the existing prefs and
a bit of GUI work. It would incentivize upgrades to KM10. I do realize
software dev is always 100x what it looks like on the front end.

It's the ideas that bring the real value, and I've provided many
scenarios for this, gratis. I did appreciate the thorough MIDI build-out
which may have been partially inspired by my notes. If it opens up
options for a portion of the community that's a beautiful thing.

Just trying to help; hope it doesn't read as whining.

I've got a script that lets you export selected macros instantly – date-stamped, so you can save multiple versions if desired.

With a bit of work I could make them save to folders named for their Macro Groups, and I'll do this when I have a little time.

That makes the pain of saving versions and exporting things much less.



+1 for groups within groups. I think it will benefit all in some way or another, even those who don't have tons of macros.


Just today I was proliferating visual icons on macro groups in order to, once again, create some kind of grouping hierarchy among the overwhelming classifications and modes of use.

It's true that while organization can be a wasted effort when implemented before necessary, it's never too early to get things organized.

Somewhere out there is a tech admin who is organizing Keyboard Maestro on multiple computers for multiple users and who wants a crystal clear, bulletproof organization, semantic also in its organization, to make everything dead simple in a high pressure situation. This person is dying for KM folderized macro groups. Again, this person is the minority. But most everyone would benefit from the discipline of setting things up like this, except where setting it up requires more time and brainpower than it saves.

As one gets older, one wants to waste as little extra time as possible - including searching through long lists of flat-list deactivated things. This brings up the idea of...

=== Searchable Folderized Macro Groups ===

Whether integrated into the existing Search scheme (macros) or a separate Macro Groups search plan, an all-encompassing search tool which would could locate instances of:

Macro Group Folders
Macro Group Folders (Nested)
Macro Groups

Ye Olde finding anything you're looking for 'search results appear as you type' in any layer of hierarchy. We don't need tags (tags feels overly complicated here but some would prefer this, and I can immediately imagine use-cases).

Macro Group Folder and Macro Group level search would be so great. Imagine searching by Macro Group name, or modification date range, or by Available In/Activated When/Palette descriptors... with a Folder structure hierarchy in place, Macro Group names could get longer and be more descriptive again, making intuitive searching more easy, especially when one's brain is full of 10 macros and 5 variables and 'where the heck did i do that thing three years ago'.


Very-very-very need this nested groups! Already have a complete mess in my hierarchy with no option to nest groups :frowning:

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I understand the complexity Peter.

That said – the new option to display a Macro Group in the menu bar is fantastic – and the ability to then include nested groups within such a menu bar would add even more to the usefulness.

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Nested ”folders” for Macro Groups.

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Oh man, add me to the list...I would love to have nested folders!


BIGTIME ++++++1 for nested groups here !!!! :pray: :pray: :pray:

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+1 folder and subfolder structure needed.
i have more than 500 macros. need more functions to manage them.

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yes. i have 273 macro groups and growing. any overarching folder structure should also have the same folder icon control, and also OSX Classic style colour-band labels at all levels of the hierarchy - so helpful!

Firefox has for its bookmarks an inelegant but functional basic organizer. It represents an easy place to crib from.