How Are Multiple Tap Triggers Possible?

Simply in terms of computing and logic, how are multiple taps even possible?
Let's take Ctrl-F-F
Won't the computer execute Ctrl-F before the second F ?
thanks very much

The “taps” feature of the Hot Key trigger (or USB Device Key trigger) is described on the wiki.

You can configure the hot key trigger to execute when the key is tapped (press and released quickly) each time, the first tap, double tapped, triple tapped, or quadruple tapped (v7.0+). Keep in mind that Keyboard Maestro cannot see the future, so “tapped once” will fire even on the first tap even if you tap the key twice (“tapped” would fire both times).

And you are exactly right, Keyboard Maestro cannot know the future, so a hot key of any form (when pressed, when released, when tapped 4 times, whatever) will swallow the hot key.

What the facility does is restrict when the macro will execute.

So a trigger of “Control-F tapped twice” will swallow the Control-F key at all times, and will trigger when you press, release, press, release Control-F in reasonably quick succession. Note that this might be part the way through a sequence of three or four presses, the macro will still fire (again, Keyboard Maestro cannot see the future).

With that in mind, there are a number of places you can use this facility:

  • With the USB Device Key trigger, to detect when you have pressed a modifier or mouse button multiple times. For an example, see Double Tap Control.
  • When you have a job that sometimes wants extra done, you can have two macros, one for tapped once, and the other tapped twice (note that you will need to be careful that the second macro waits for the first one to finish, perhaps with a Pause Until or Semaphore Lock action. An example of the latter might be say Type the Date and Type the Date and Time macros.
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thank you.
Are double taps

  • only of the Ctrl-F press release, followed by Ctrl-F again,
    or can they be of the type:
    Ctrl-F press, release the F only, following by pressing the F key again.


  • Control Down, F Down, F Up, F Down, F Up


  • Control Down, F Down, F Up, Control Up, Control Down, F Down, F Up, Control Up

Both would be “tapped twice”.

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thank you