How To Turn A Secondary Keyboard Into A Macro Keypad?

So what I'd like to do is basically use a second mac keyboard and use it exclusively as a macro keypad.

So for example, I'd press the 'a' button on the secondary keyboard, and it'd trigger some combination like ctrl + shift + f without it actually printing the 'a' key.

P.S. I understand that Karabiner Elements can provide this kind of functionality, however there's a really bad bug for M1 macs which prevents sleep functionality, so I'm looking for alternate ways of going about this.

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Only works if the keyboard is detected by KM as a different device.

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Right, so what action would I use to do that?

Also, what action would I be able to use to prevent it from signalling the initial key that I pressed i.e. not type a when pressing a key?

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Hey Juliu,

Look at the USB Device Key trigger, and see if that can do what you want.



BetterTouchTool assigns actions specific to a particular keyboard by default. You can easily assign actions through BBT, or BBT's action can in turn be to call a KM Macro.

This is a valid approach. Before StreamDeck I did this with an external Apple number pad - on my then 2015 MacBook Pro.

I took time to do create a paper template - though that's hard for a keypad because of its depth and width.

(Macros were to drive Audacity - before I switched my podcast editing to Ferrite on iPad.)

Amazingly doing a search of this forum for “USB” turns up a wealth a threads that touch upon this question (and, of course, many that don’t). I’ve just spent 20 minutes looking at the search results and there are many that are relevant to your question.

As a taster, look at this one:

Investing a bit of time to look through what’s in this forum will go some way to helping you out. Good luck.


Hit me up if you want help with this. Happy New Year! Keep safe...


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