How Do I Ensure Menu is Enabled?


I installed the trial version today, made a few macros, worked well, but now they stopped working, when I press the shortcuts gives me this message:


In the program they look as if they should work:

I'm on Mac OS 10.14.6

Any help will be appreciated

Hi @nickcarl, welcome to Keyboard Maestro (KM) and its Forum.
KM is one of the best Mac automation tools available, its Forum is one of the best and friendliest forums on the Internet. Whenever you reach a tough stumbling block trying to use KM, please feel free to post your question/problem here for help.

The problem and solution is shown right there in the error message:


The menu item you are trying to access is disabled, so KM can not use it.

I have no idea why since I don't have or use your app. But you'll need to do something to cause it to be enabled.

You can avoid this by putting this action in an If Then Else action, with a Menu condition.

Please let us know if you need help with this.


You will also find this helpful:
Tip: How Do I Get The Best Answer in the Shortest Time?

Getting Started with Keyboard Maestro

For more help, see Getting Started with Keyboard Maestro and the Forum .


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Here's an example Macro to show how you can test for the Menu Item being enabled.
You may need to change this to set the proper App in the Select Menu Action.

MACRO:   How to Check for Menu Status [Example]

**Requires: KM 8.2.4+   macOS 10.11 (El Capitan)+**
(Macro was written & tested using KM 9.0+ on macOS 10.14.5 (Mojave))

#### DOWNLOAD Macro File:
<a class="attachment" href="/uploads/default/original/3X/f/1/f15080088ddfd7a076e380e4dd5d198d2eeb5933.kmmacros">How to Check for Menu Status [Example].kmmacros</a>
**Note: This Macro was uploaded in a DISABLED state. You must enable before it can be triggered.**


<img src="/uploads/default/original/3X/6/c/6c3c1a0f7e4a365914a2a9c9422c42bf83124e24.png" width="526" height="790">

@nickcarl, I hope you don't mind that I have revised your topic title to better reflect the question you have asked.

All macros cancelled in Trial Version

How Do I Ensure Menu is Enabled?

This will greatly help you attract more experienced users to help solve your problem, and will help future readers find your question, and the solution.

Really appreciate your help, Michael!

I restarted the computer and the macros are back! I think what I missed is that the macros only work when the Keyboard Maestro Engine is active and visible in the toolbar:


Is that correct?

If so, how do I activate it without having to open the KM program?


It is correct that macros will run only when the KM Engine is running. The icon you show is the icon that shows that the Engine is running. The KM Editor and KM Engine are separate programs. You can run the Editor without running the Engine.

Hmm, I'm not sure if you can run the Engine without the Editor. Your last question is "can you run the Engine without running the Editor?" I don't know the answer. Why would you want to do that? It's a fair question but I've never had the need to try that myself.

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Yes. It is the KM Engine that does all of the processing for KM Macros.

If you had a normal install of KM, then it should happen automatically.
You should find the Keyboard Maestro Engine in your Mac account login items:


If you do not see the KME in login items, then you should consider turning on the “Launch Engine at Login” preference in the General preference pane to ensure all of Keyboard Maestro’s facilities are available to you as soon as you login or startup your Mac.

I think that was the culprit, it was unchecked.

Everything is good now.

Thanks for your help!

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Cross platform applications, including Finale and many Adobe applications, do not necessarily update or even build their menu bar until the menu is selected with the mouse. When asked for the menus via the accessibility subsystem, the menus are either not there, or not currently correctly built for the context (eg, menus may be disabled or invisible when they should not be).

Options to force the application into updating its menus include:

  • Switch out and back to the application, and then use the Select Menu Item action.
  • Use the Show Menu variant (leave the item field blank) of the Select Menu Item action to show the menu item first, and then the Select Menu Item.
  • Simulate a click in the menu bar, and then use the Select Menu Item action.
  • Desperate measures, simulate a click in the menu bar, and then use arrows and typeahead (Insert Text by Typing) to select the menu item.
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In AppleScript you can usually do this by telling the top menu to perform action "AXPress" or "AXShowMenu". But then you often need to apply a pause (delay in AppleScript ).

Peter, unless you changed this in KM9, do you realize that you are a developer guilty of using dynamic menus in the status menu? Makes using AppleScript a real PITA.