How to Save a Text Description of a Macro as its Action Titles

I have a somewhat complex macro that I'm trying to debug as well as document. I haven't touched the KBM code for few months and I was having a little trouble figuring out my original logic.

To get a text outline of the macro's definition, used Collapse Action and Expand Action to get the overall Action titles and the Actions within groups to show the outline I wanted.

I used a simple macro based on Minimalist OCR macro not working to read from and write to clipboard to capture the image of the Action names to the clipboard and run OCR on the clipboard. I pasted that into TextEdit, made everything into Bullets, and then used Tab to set all the desired indenting.

The resulting outline was very useful to me and suggested a couple of organizational changes and groupings, helped me find where I had a couple of Actions in the wrong order, and helped me isolate what was not working.

Sweet! I might want to do this with all my macros, not waiting until I needed to debug them, if was a bit easier to do. And then I had a vague memory of seeing something that did this kind of thing already in KBM, a macro or a built-in feature. I remembered having the option of saving a macro as text or as an image. And I remembered that the text was a little verbose, for my taste, in how it presented text for things like If-Then-Else, image matching, etc. but, as I recalled, it was still pretty usable.

But I haven't been able to find anything.

The Share option to share a macro to the Forum provides the option to upload an image of a macro.

And if I share the macro to Notes or another such app, I get the image there as well. But that's it. A text outline of the Action Titles and If-Then Group functions eludes me. If it's there, I'm probably using the wrong search terms in the Wiki and the Forum.

Or did I imagine it?

Any ideas?

Hi @August - have you tried clicking the Edit button at the bottom of the KM editor?


It'll turn your macro into a textual representation, e.g.


Is that any good?


THANKS! That's exactly what I was looking for. Right in front of me!

I think I had a blind spot to it because it's labeled "Edit Mode" but the display is Read Only, as far as I can tell, you cannot edit anything in that mode. I was thinking in terms of Sharing or Exporting, and finding nothing.

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Not exactly intuitive the way you get to it!!


And it's pretty verbose. Things like
after the first line are pretty superfluous for my purposes.

I use the KBM Editor in Dark mode so when I first copied the Edit display and tried to paste it into a Comment field, the text was white on white. Pasting it into TextEdit, then changing the display mode from Dark to Light, copying it again, and then pasting that into the Comment field got me readable text.

That conversion plus the time it takes to strip out the verboseness, I might end up using my original method. We'll see, I'll be trying it both ways with different macros.

Thanks again!

It is an Edit button, and it toggles, on/off.

Sadly, Apple have reduced the visual difference between the two states over the years.

This is what it looked like in High Sierra:

On: image
Off: image

This is what it looks like in Monterey:

On: image
Off: image

I can't imagine why anyone can't tell the difference…

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I use Dark Mode so the colors seem to be reversed from those above. If I now understand the two modes properly, ON is contrasing with the app background and OFF is similar to the background.

The default mode, that I have been using exclusively for years, not even knowing there is a choice, is Edit ON, where I can make changes to Variables, Logical Flow, Add and Delete Actions, Macros, Groups, etc.

When/if I click the Edit button, I see a text display, which is Edit OFF, Read Only.

Is that correct?

I know that the appearance of the edit button is important and conveys information, but how the KM editor looks on your screen is so obvious to me that the subtle shading of the button is almost unimportant. Or am I missing something here @August?

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Peter brought up the change in the change in the button image and I was pedantically noting that in dark mode it was the reverse of what he had noted. Yes, the nature of the screen display does make it obvious, even on systems where the two modes of the button are similar.

My quibble, such as it is, was based on my earlier comments in this thread about the use of the Edit button not being intuitive. I was trying to point out that it actually makes lots of sense if you recognize that the default mode that we all use for creating and editing macros is the EDIT ON mode, the button does not turn anything else ON, it actually turns OFF the mode that has boxes around actions and editable name fields and value fields.

As for intuitions, the usual counterpoint to EDIT is READ, but the non-Edit mode is unfortunately not nearly as readable as I would like. Small wonder, considering how little it is actually used.

Since making the Prose Mode, Outline Mode, non-Edit Mode (whatever) more readable is very likely a very low priority for Peter, I'll use it as I described above, as a starting draft for my own "About This Macro" comment outline of the macro's function.

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It's a button that has two states, "On" and "Off" and toggles between them. Apple, in their infinite wisdom, has essentially made the two states largely indistinguishable.

But as noted, the display difference is pretty stark anyway, so the button state’s appearance doesn't really matter too much.

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Instead of changing from Edit mode or other workarounds, select the Macro in the Macros column and from the Menu choose, Edit>Copy as>Copy as Text

You will also see that just below that option is Copy as Image - this will put an image of the Macro on the Clipboard exactly as you have it (i.e. whatever Actions are collapsed will be shown collapsed etc).


That's great tip @Zabobon !



You're right. As you say, no need to go out of Edit Mode and copy the text through scrollng, etc. It's just there on the clipboard.

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