How Do I Record Macro to Capture Hot Key Trigger?

Trying the very first simple macro from David Sparks new book. I can't get a Hot Key trigger to record the keys I want to use to trigger the macro. I thought maybe TextExpander was eating the keystrokes so I turned it off and it still will not capture the keys I want.. What else can get in the way of recording a Hot Key Combination?

What key combo are you trying to use?

TIP: If you choose a title that's more descriptive to the problem rather than "God I hate asking a newb question", it helps people decide whether or not they want to click on your post, and therefore increases the likelihood of getting the help you want.

Good point thank you...john


There are a couple apps out there which will show you what's in use.

KeyCue is the best one that I've seen.

There's a demo. Maybe worth checking out.

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

God I hate asking a newb question( Trouble defining Hot Key triggers)

How Do I Record Macro to Capture Hot Key Trigger?

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.


I'm not sure I understand your question.

The KM Macro Recording Tool will only capture the manual steps you take as Actions in the macro. You must then manually set whatever Trigger you want to assign to the recorded macro.

If I have misunderstood your question, please provide more details, like step-by-step actions you are taking, concerning the recording of a macro.

To be honest, I'm not a big fan of the Macro Recording feature. It mostly captures mouse clicks at specific locations, which you almost always will need to replace with more general Actions. But it can also capture useful things like menu selection. So I rarely use it. Perhaps if you stated the object of your macro, we could offer some suggestions on how to create it.

Also, if you have not completed this checklist, I recommend doing so:

Getting Started with Keyboard Maestro

  • Read the Quick Start.
    • This is essential to become familiar with KM terminology
  • Do the tutorial (Help ➤ Tutorial) in the KM Editor.
    • Gives you a live walkthrough of creating a macro in the KM Editor
  • Review/Browse the Available Macro Actions
  • For Help with an Action in your Macro, click on the gear icon at the top right of the Action, and select "Help"
  • Search the Keyboard Maestro Wiki for detailed help.
  • Start small, and grow your macros organically.
  • Be prepared for some trial and error in the beginning.
  • Make good use of this Keyboard Maestro Forum

The most common cause of this is lack of accessibility permissions, and since Keyboard Maestro complains about this unless the system lies and tells Keyboard Maestro that it has permission but does not actually grant permission, the most common actual cause of this is you need to toggle the accessibility permissions (System Preferences, Security & Privacy, Privacy, Accessibility) for Keyboard Maestro and Keyboard Maestro Engine off and then on again.

I had not thought of that, when I checked Keyboard Maestro was in the list of Apps alowed. So I'm still stuck trying to capture the "hot key key" to trigger the action. I switched to "Typed string trigger" and that worked fine in MS Word. I know this is something trivial I just cant figure it out...thankyou john

But did you do as Peter instructed?

Yes, I did follow Peters procedure. I also found in the user manual about third-party apps that cause problems like 1Pasword. I shut that one down and I still had problems. Next, I plan to kill off all my third party apps to see if I can resolve this....john


    May 28

had not thought of that, when I checked Keyboard Maestro was in the list of Apps alowed.

But did you do as Peter instructed?

You might try startup of your Mac in "Safe" mode to disable all processes that normally are run at startup. Then test KM.

If KM works fine in "Safe" mode, then you can launch other tools, one at a time, that you suspect, and then retest KM. A slow and painful process, but it should lead you to identify the process/app/tool that is causing the problem with KM.

So I tried this and it did not affect the ability to define Hot Key Trigger. So Now I wondered if I'm just not doing it right. I've reread the User Manuel and I can't find a problem with my proceedure. Is it possbile one of the apps installed a foreign keyboard driver that just creates a problem for KM?

First, check the Assistance (Help ➤ Assistance), Something expected is not happening. Verify that Keyboard Maestro detects no problems.

Then create a new macro, add a hot key trigger (so it is lit up blue and says Type), and then type a regular character, like “A”. If the character appears, all is good, delete the macro, and carry on. If the character does not appear, then you have a problem, and it is almost certainly a problem with Accessibility. Open the System Preferences, unlock the System Preferences with your Admin password, open the Security & Privacy, select Privacy, select Accessibility, and toggle off Keyboard Maestro and Keyboard Maestro Engine, and then toggle them back on, and then try again.

If you still have troubles as above, then your accessibility permissions are more screwed up than the normal level of screwed upness. In the Terminal, run the command:

tccutil reset Accessibility

That should reset all your Accessibility settings.

Restart, and then try again.