Keyboard Maestro “Record Quick Macro for ⌘F1” Macro doesn't work for me

Continuing the discussion from Quick Macro Doesn't Work Inside Keyboard Maestro:

I've been meaning to figure this out for a while. I can't get quick macros to work at all. (Recording does work when I am building a macro.) It is very strange that I didn't track this down a long time ago because I am used to recording 1-off macros in other environments, and do so extensively in Emacs. Seeing the above post motivated me to pursue my problem at last.

I have the following macro. (I changed the modifiers slightly from the documentation. I added a beep so I can confirm that the macro gets executed, and it does.)

In TextEdit (for instance, but I don't think the application matters) I type ⌥F1, “abc”, ⌥F1, ⌘F1 and nothing happens. What obvious thing am I missing?

Looking at ~/Library/Application Support/Keyboard Maestro/Quick Macros.plist (thank you, I didn't know about that file), there is no evidence of my typing. Just to be sure, I saved the file to another path and did the same thing but typing “d” this time, then compared the file, finding no differences. Yet, the file modification time does change when I do the recording.

Whenever a macro does not fire when expected, the troubleshooting process is the same (as described on the wiki Troubleshooting page).

Here is what to do:

  • Ensure the Keyboard Maestro Engine is running - the Keyboard Maestro status menu should show in the menu bar on the right hand side (unless you’ve turned it off).
  • Ensure you have accessibility enabled (click on the status menu and Keyboard Maestro will tell you if there is a problem).
  • Ensure the Macro Group is enabled, and is active in the application in question.
  • Ensure the macro is enabled.
  • Ensure the macro actions are enabled.
  • Add a status menu trigger, and verify that the macro is active by checking for its name in the Keyboard Maestro status menu.
  • Add a Display Text action to the macro to verify that the macro is firing.
  • Choose Start Debugging from the Status Menu, ensure Pause New Macros is turned on, and trigger the macro. Step through the actions to see where it is going wrong.

Basically, you have to discover if the macro is active, if the trigger is firing, or if the actions are failing.

√ on all the steps, as far as the recording macro goes. The Quick Macro Hot Key (⌘ in the above) does not trigger a macro according to the debugger. Both the recording and the recorded macros are on the status menu. The recorded macro's name is odd, making my suspect that my interpretation of quick macro recording is wrong.

My interpretation of the macro as I show it above is that it records actions until the same keystroke is pressed again, then later, the Quick Macro Hot Key is supposed to execute the recorded macro.

(This interpretation would imply that there could be several macro recording macros, each triggered by a different key and with a different key specified for activation.)

In the macro you have, the trigger to record the macro is Option-F1. The trigger to play back the macro is Command-F1.

When you press Option-F1, if the “Record Quick Macro for ⌘F1” macro is active, then it will be triggered and that will show in the Engine.log file or the Debugger. If that is not showing, then the macro is not active.

When the macro is triggered the recording window will appear, and the macro will continue recording until you press Option-F1 again. When you then press Command-F1, the recorded macro will play back.

The Recording macro should not be in the status menu since you do not have the status menu trigger for that macro. So somewhere you have gone wrong and what you are showing and saying do not match.

The recorded macro should be in the status menu because the status menu is ticked in the action.

The recorded macro name includes the “[Quick Macro]” in the name.

That is correct. For example, you could have variants for F1 and F2 and F3.

In any event, until you can actually trigger the macro, everything else is irrelevant.