How To use text / number formatting

This is ALL that I can find re formatting of a numeric result. Any examples available?

I must complain here. So many times the KM docs seem to drop you off in the desert. Here is an example. No explanation in tokens, nor in functions, nor in anywhere while date formatting is well doc’d.

As can be seen by the blue shade of the action gear menu there is an additional option for the action, specifically you can Format the Result using Unicode Number Format Patterns such as #,##0.##.

Thanks for the feedback. We want the Keyboard Maestro Wiki to be very helpful.
You are correct, the Wiki does NOT provide clear information about how to use number formatting.

See action:Set Variable to Calculation [Keyboard Maestro Wiki]

You can help yourself and other users, if you can provide specific changes to the Wiki that are clear to you. Please post any specific changes/additions to the above Wiki that will address this issue, and we will make the appropriate updates to the Wiki.

Thanks for your help.

Documentation can always be improved, and is never perfect for everyone as different people have different needs and different amounts of knowledge coming in.

The help on the formatting takes you directly to the unicode Number Format Patterns reference.

@peternlewis - I never knew this option (“with format”) existed, and I really wish I had, because it really would have been useful. I’m actually kind of ticked off that this incredibly useful option is hidden.

I’ve mentioned this before (I think), but I think the decision to hide these types of “options” in the the context menu is a mistake. I’m not talking about the kinds of things most options have, like timeouts and such - I’m talking about options like this one, that are fairly unique.

It reminds me of one of the first-generation graphic PC games, where you had to move the cursor around until you got lucky and stumbled across some hidden treasure. That’s if you’re smart enough to look for the treasure in the first place.

Please consider having these types of options be visible by default. If you think it just clutters up the interface, personally, I don’t care - I’d much rather know an option exists than worry about a few extra pixels being take up. If you really care about the “clutter”, add something to toggle the options visible or hidden - the presence of the toggle glyph itself would be clue enough that more options exist.

Is there any chance you could supply a list of actions with these types of hidden features? Because if not, I’m going to have to go through every single action and look for them. Once I’ve found them, I’ll add them as separate “favorite actions” using my KMFAM macro. But that only solves the issue for me.

I have some plans to adjust this, but remember that any action that has extra options shows a blue circle in the gear menu to alert you to that fact.

As for a list, here is something like a list that hopefully you can translate into actions:

  • ExecuteMacro
  • ExecuteScript
  • InsertText
  • MouseMoveAndClick
  • OpenURL
  • ScreenCapture
  • SetClipboardToText
  • SetVariableToCalculation
  • SetVariableToText
  • SimulateHardwareKey
  • SimulateKeystroke
  • SimulateModifiers
  • WriteFile
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I will remember, although this is the first I’ve heard about it. :slight_smile:

As for a list, here is something like a list that hopefully you can translate into actions:

Thanks! That will definitely work. I appreciate it!

Thanks, that would really help.

The blue circle is barely noticeable, especially when you’re not looking for it.
Please consider using some image/color that really stands out.

Another approach is to provide a KM Pref setting to automatically show these type options when the Action is added.


You guys (as in @DanThomas and @JMichaelTX) need to remember that you are in a very small minority of Keyboard Maestro users.

For most users, Keyboard Maestro is initially overwhelming, they take one look an run off without realising how much value they could get out of it. Choices like this are designed to improve things for them (and yes, at your expense because pretty much all choices benefit someone at the expense of someone else). Folks like you who are experts at Keyboard Maestro can train yourself to pay attention to the blue circle or learn the features other ways - that is not an option for novice users.

On top of that, there is a strong and steady trend out of Apple to make things cleaner at the expense of being less discoverable, and whether you like that or not, I have to follow Apple’s lead or be left behind.

So I would not hold your breath for anything that “really stands out”.

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I’m not sure that you "have to follow Apple’s lead or be left behind."
Of course, you have to make the design decisions that will benefit your business, but within that I believe there is considerable leeway.

I believe that a balance that can, and should be, struck between aesthetics and functionality. Apple is also famous for the statement “form follows function.” I personally believe that some Apple UI designers have strayed to far from this fundamental UI design principle.

So, with a combination of KM Preferences and balanced design, I believe you can keep the UI “clean” but still offer great functionality. Some apps even offer a “simple” mode and an “advanced mode”.

If a Mac user has no experience at all in programming, then I can see how the KM UI might be initially intimidating. I would suggest two things to address this issue:

  1. More videos on getting started, and on creating basic macros, and then some videos on advanced usage.
  • While there are a number of 3rd party videos, they are not structured to lead the user properly
  • They need to have a consistent style and process
  1. Provide wizards to lead the user through the construction of a macro:
  • A great example is the interview wizard used by TurboTax
  • This would ask the user a series of questions, each based on the previous answer, to help the user identify the purpose/objective, and then the data sources and triggers.
  • I know this is much, much easier said than done, but I really believe it could be a big help to non-programmers.

####One final thought. KM suffers from a name (“Keyboard”) that immediately causes the potential user/customer to think it is very limited, when in fact it is quite broad:

  • Text Expansion – Provides extensive text expansion capability, from simple text substitution to complex snippet generation using scripts and user interaction
  • App Launcher – from simple to complex (think of using @DanThomas’ search macros)
  • Workflow Designer – from a few simple steps to very complex, multi-macro, multi-scripts
    • Built-in integration with all Mac scripting languages
  • Web Page Control and Data Extraction – From simple page display to auto-fill of online forms to scraping of data both visible to the user and hidden in the HTML code.
    • Built-in integration with access to and control of Safari and Google Chrome
  • Custom Web Applet (i.e. HTML Prompt)

I know I’ll telling you what you already know, but you need to find a way to clearly communicate and market this to potential users (and existing users). :smile:

It just hit me that maybe it would be helpful to move from a primary terminology of “macros” to “workflows”. Just a thought.

Sorry for the long post. Hope you find it helpful.

I know about the text formatting because I needed it for a (now unused) macro when I first got KM… but I forgot about both it AND the blue circle until right now. :blush: