Keyboard Maestro Tutorials for the Uninitiated?

Is there a good getting started tutorial that doesn't make assumptions about familiarity?

I've seen enough to know KM must be a superlative product, but I keep running up against my own limitations. Searching this forum will be more helpful once I've gotten past certain hurdles.

For instance, you will see (or not see, or something) an undefined gizmo called a global palette if you put something in it.

As far as I can tell, it is not possible to "put something in it," but if a macro is active for the context you're in, the global palette will appear if any eligible macro has a trigger to be activated by clicking the global palette.

You enable clicking in the global palette whether or not the global palette exists, then it exists with what you wanted. I think.

I know this post may liable to ruffle some feathers. I honestly don't mean to. Please review my initial comment about KM being a superlative product and allow me to illustrate my confusion by example.

I want to pay $100,000 for better documentation. You get the money as an automatic bitcoin transfer. Just click the defibrillator icon in the hyperbolic confabulator palette and the money is yours.

I know. It would be nice to know what that word salad means in terms of where to put the mouse cursor. :smile:

The smile and my respect for KM's awesomeness is genuine. I'm very glad to have the product.

Any suggestions on tutorials for the rank beginner? The ones I've found so far seem to assume I know what things like that global palette are without pictures or description.



Amontillado, welcome to Keyboard Maestro (KM) and its Forum.

KM is one of the best Mac automation tools available, its Forum is one of the best and friendliest forums on the Internet. Whenever you reach a tough stumbling block trying to use KM, please feel free to post your question/problem here for help.

Maybe the below steps will help you get started. They were written assuming the user is brand new to KM, and does not require any programming experience.

Have you viewed the video on the Keyboard Maestro Home page? It should give you a quick overview of KM.

If you find that the below does not help you get started, please let us know how we cold improve things.


Getting Started with Keyboard Maestro

For more help, see Getting Started with Keyboard Maestro and the Forum .

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If you like video instruction, you might want to drop $30.00 on a course by David Sparks ( Keyboard Maestro Field Guide)
He discusses palettes as well as many other topics and it is pitched at beginners. I have enjoyed the few pieces that I have watched but have watched only a small part. I generally do better by having a problem that I want to attack use this forum and experimentation to get a result I need and then moving on.

Your request prompted this reply because palettes happened to be one of those things that I had never bothered to understand. The KM Field guide gave me the push I needed in this area.

If you are at the stage that you sense KM is a great app (and it is), but have difficulty grasping exactly what sort of things it can do, you might like this resource.



I am a beginner as well, loaded down the trial version and was pretty frustrated.
I tried Mac automator several years ago, created a couple of macros but automator didn’t seam to work reliable – probably my fault.

Thanks for the list of resources JMichael, they and the forum are great but looking here and there for bits of information, was pretty tedious.

Without a structured tutorial there was a risk that I would give up. Therefore I enrolled in MacSparkys field guide a few days ago and got excited creating macros.


Hello, my first post here.

As an addition to this thread and questions: is out there any tutorial / in depth instructions available in German language? I have difficulties in understanding spoken words and minor problems in Reading English docs.

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Thank you all for your suggestions.


From my brief experience, both in not understanding certain facets of KM and in watching it do cool things, I believe it's worth getting familiar with KM.

I keep a Devonthink database for notes about computers. I sometimes forget how to change a vertical vim window to horizontal, or something like that, and my DT notes are very helpful.

I've started a section on KM, and for me that's going to be a key to happiness.

I think part of enlightenment is going to be getting a few terms straight, which will help my understanding of the documentation and tutorials.

Kudos to all for their help!

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Welcome @rdb
This is my second post here :smile:

macsparky has video transcription in his tutorial.
May be this helps:

Then scroll down

Hallo @rdb, ich habe Dir eine Direktnachricht geschickt.

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Thanks, @RickT.

But missing the German part in my question. I will have a look at it, as the combination video / transcript might work for me.

I suspect that the Field Guide by MacSparky is the best intro to Keyboard Maestro out there.

Having said that, it's not just a tool for "newbies" either. I learned things from it myself because people have different ways of solving problems. So it's an investment that you can return to as you get better at Keyboard Maestro too.

this is an interesting quandary. I’ve been using keyboard maestro for maybe 8 to 10 years, and I literally could not begin to do my daily work without it. For beginners, just understand that KM is both the most powerful thing you’ve ever tried to use and the simplest, the simpleness coming from the fact that it’s just replicating steps you’d be doing normally, but automatically and with total reliability.

The top things you can make it do might be

a) type or paste text for you at a keypress or when you type a string
b) tell this or that app to open using Apple Events (Apple’s built in command system)
c) do things like, type a key or choose a menu for you
d) often very important, PAUSE fo 1.3 seconds, whatever you need, so your script steps don’t into each other, or do things like waiting for a website to load
e) run Applescripts inside KM scripts, something I do a lot for scripting Filemaker Pro
f) there’s much more but you can start here. Basically think of it as a tool that can take 10 steps you do would do manually, but something that automates them so you can do something else during that time.

The system of columns can seem confusing, but stick with it. Make some test scripts and ask for help here. This is literally the most helpful community I have ever found, and I wish I could buy everyone here a beverage of his or her choice.


In addition to the resources available from the Keyboard Maestro website, as detailed by JMichaelTX, I've found beginning and more advanced help at these sites (some have already been mentioned):

David Sparks Field Guides (including the Keyboard Maestro Field Guide). I took this course well after spending time at other sites (all of which are free) and still learned a lot:

Envatotuts (lots of good beginner tutorials for free):

iMore (several articles on how to solve specific problems with KM):

MacAutomationTips (again, articles on solving specific problems with KM):

There are many other resources available as well, though many of them are advanced.

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