I'm Not Understanding Gesture Triggers

I want to trigger a macro via a gesture. To try it out, I create a macro, click in the gesture box, then move the mouse to the right and then to the left and then click the mouse button. The box shows a right arrow and a left arrow.

I set the macro to display text when I do that gesture.

I move the mouse to the right then the left and nothing happens.

Obviously, I'm not understanding how it's supposed to work. What am I doing wrong?

Also, I want to know why this kind of macro wouldn't be triggered often.


Hello, PianoAl

From my view, due to the way of KM implementation the gesture triggers, I think KM is not excel at handling gesture. If you highly rely on mouse gesture, BetterTouchTools is the better choice. After assign a gesture in BetterTouchTools, the Keyboard Maestro Macro could be evoked as pic below:

I don't know how you designed your macro now. It is always helpful to attach a screenshot.

My mouse gesture works for me. Please move the mouse only in one direction (in my video - left)
If you want to have a trigger in both directions (left - right), then activate the checkbox.

Thanks for the video. I'm away from my Mac now, and I'll work on it when I get back. Until then, here's a question: So, you've created a macro that will trigger whenever you move the mouse to the left. Won't that trigger often, that is, every time you move the mouse to the left?

Hey @PianoAl,

See this wiki article if you haven't already:

How to Post Your Macro to the Forum


The mouse gesture is only executed if I hold down the control key at the same Tim @PianoAl. You can also select the option, command or shift key :wink:

Did you try the Help ➤ Practice Gestures to verify how to use them and that you and Keyboard Maestro are agreeing on what constitutes a gesture.

I was away, but now I'm back.

Ah, got it. Thanks.

I was hoping to avoid having to use the keyboard at all. On my PC, I had a mouse with lots of buttons, and I got used to deleting selected text with one of those buttons. It looks like that won't be possible on the mac.

Is there any reason you can't use that mouse with your Mac? I'm fairly sure you could assign KM macros to that mouse's buttons just as easily as you managed their functions on your PC.

No, no reason. I'm considering that, but my philosophy so far (just recently switched to Mac) is to avoid as many third party apps and devices as possible, since I see that as one of the failings of PCs. We'll see. I do miss those buttons.

The Mac is designed to work well with third party keyboards and mice.
I have used a Logitech KB, mouse, and trackball for years without any problems. One of KM's great features is to work with almost any USB Device Key.

A quick update: I have a macro that triggers when I move the mouse right, left, right, left (or the reverse). The macro executes the "Activate last application" action.

It works great and I use it frequently.

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Well, if often does not work. I can test and have it work ten times in a row, then it won't work at all. I'll share it in a new thread [how do I share to an open topic??].

Hey Al,

Press Shift? whilst on any page on the forum to see the help.

If that doesn't answer your question then report back, and we'll get into it further.