First off, this may be just something about the settings on my Mac so I admit this might not be an issue for anyone else.
In case it isn't, here's the problem: every time I clear a search field in Keyboard Maestro by clicking the X on the right, I have to click in that search box again to regain focus and allow typing the next search. Since I'm not expecting it, I get a string of error sounds as I start typing. I don't think this is usual Mac OSX behavior; it seems like often when you clear a search box you can begin typing immediately. Usually an X means "clear contents of this box and retain focus for continued typing."
Mail works exactly the same way, and it’s not something I explicitly do, so I think it is how the search field works (weird though it may be).
If you are going to type in something new, why click the (x)? Why not just Command-F, and then type?
Thanks for the quick response! I’ll do the keyboard shortcut from now on, thanks. You’re right, now that I dig deeper, Fantastical, OmniFocus, and Airmail all behave the same way and I just hadn’t noticed. Maybe I use the search function, clear the search, and try again sequentially in Keyboard Maestro more than in those other apps because I have a lot of content and try different search strings to find what I need.
For the record, Ulysses and DevonThink Pro Office both allow immediate typing - not sure what coding wizardry is going on there. Thanks for the clarification; it wasn’t so much machine-specific or app-specific behavior, but user-specific!