Feature Request: System Menu Bar in Contextual Menu

I make extensive use of applications that present application menu bars in a pop-up contextual menu, invoked by keyboard shortcut and/or mouse click, at the mouse location (see screenshot). I use two large monitors; having the ability to access the application menu quickly is very handy. The only applications I have found to implement this haven't been updated in quite a while and seem to be abandoned. In all these applications, keyboard shortcuts shown in each menu item are frequently incorrect. I learn keyboard shortcuts, or more frequently have my memory refreshed, by seeing them in the menus.

Perhaps there is a way to accomplish this with Keyboard Maestro, but I have not been able to figure it out. Hopefully someone knows how, If not, I would very much appreciate if the ability were added to Keyboard Maestro.

I don't know if that's feasible right now @DavidB. Would be an interesting extension for Keyboard Maestro.
I use BetterTouch Tool. You can start it there with all sorts of triggers.

The app is also constantly updated, so this function will certainly last for a long time to come.

Thank you for the reply. I do use Better Touch Tool, but it is one of the applications that display incorrect keyboard shortcuts. I've contacted the developer, but it's been an outstanding bug for quite a while. I was hoping Keyboard Maestro would "take it on"!

I'm sorry I don't understand what you mean by that "...that display incorrect keyboard shortcuts"
However, if you want to call the BTT action "Show Menubar in Context Menu" with a working shortcut, you can use the following AppleScript:

BTT Show Context Menu.kmmacros (1,7 KB)

in Keyboard Maestro. Is that what you were looking for?

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The attached screenshot shows the FInder's View Menu, specifically the Sort By submenu. Next to each of the menu items is the keyboard shortcut which invokes the menu item. I just now attempted to create a screenshot of Better Touch Tool's contextual menu of this Finder Menu, because the keyboard shortcuts it shows are not the correct ones. However, to my surprise, BTT no longer shows keyboard shortcuts in it's menus. I recently upgraded BTT, which is presumably the reason. The change is likely the developers response to my reporting the bug in BTT.

I had hoped this could be implemented in Keyboard Maestro; given the quality history of KM, I was sure that if it was, it would be done correctly.

Thank you for taking the time to respond and for the AppleScript tip.

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Thank you for the explanation @DavidB I haven't noticed that mistake yet.
If you want a full overview of the shortcuts, you could try the free tool CheatSheet, if you haven't already done so.

It's not so small and compact, but overall it's a bit clearer when displaying the shortcuts.

Don't forget KeyCue. It's commercial and not inexpensive but is significantly more powerful than CheatSheet and communicates directly with Keyboard Maestro.



Thank you, appleianer and ccstone, for the interesting referrals.

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This is such a cool hack. Thanks!

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There used to be an app that provided the functionality sought in the original post. All this time I have not been able to remember that app's name. But today I learned of a new app, Paletro, which isn't quite the same but may be better than nothing. A hot key brings up a Spotlight-style palette, and from there the user can type any menu command. More here:

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The long-forgotten app I was trying to remember is DejaMenu. Hasn't been updated since 2007. But without testing, it looks like MenuPop or MenuEverywhere provide the system menu bar in a pop-up. But it's hard to determine from the developer page if these are still functional on newer OSes since the last update was in September 2016.


NaOH - thank you for the suggestions. BetterTouchTool's implementation of the contextual menu bar has improved considerably; it is now what I use.

Please, how did you get that string in apple script?

Hi @hispanicus, you want to know how to create the AppleScript to the BetterTouchTool gesture/action?

Hi appleianer,
Yes, Iā€™m trying to do this.
I would prefer trigger BTT actions with KM macro,
Thank You!

Antonio Spagnolo
Inviato con Sparrow

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@hispanicus I have created a KM macro for this. As you can see in the gif, please do the following:

  • Select the BTT action (blue background).
  • Start my macro
  • Press the Space key to enter the BTT AppleScript into the KM action.

07)UUID AS <B85F 210401T211156>.kmmacros (25,2 KB)

07)UUID AS <B85F 210401T211156>

Of course, this also works with KM macros that you want to execute via a BTT touch gesture.

I had once created this for another user:

Video to call KM pallets via BTT:

10)UUID BTT <2A9A 210401T212208>.kmmacros (6,6 KB)

10)UUID BTT <2A9A 210401T212208>

BTT_#Keyboard Maestro <0A15 210401T212243>.kmmacros (2,2 KB)

BTT_#Keyboard Maestro <0A15 210401T212243>

In the Video again a tutorial how to call the single KM macros with a BTT touch gesture:

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Very cool!
Thanks, I'll start studying right away!

Schermata 2021-04-01 alle 22.01.23
When I launch the macro I get this warning. The content of the Clipboard is this: {
"BTTTriggerType" : 158,
"BTTTriggerTypeDescription" : "Corner Click Bottom Right",
"BTTTriggerClass" : "BTTTriggerTypeTouchpadAll",
"BTTPredefinedActionType" : 125,
"BTTPredefinedActionName" : "Show Menubar in Context Menu",
"BTTTriggerOnDown" : 0,
"BTTEnabled" : 1,
"BTTOrder" : 4,
"BTTTriggerConfig" : {
"BTTTouchBarItemIconHeight" : 0,
"BTTTouchBarItemIconWidth" : 0,
"BTTHUDText" : "OK",
"BTTGestureForceFeedbackPattern" : 2

@hispanicus have you already run AppleScript over KM or BTT?
That means the authorizations in BTT and also activated in the macOS system settings?

Yes, in KM.