Keyboard Maestro vs BetterTouch Tool

I've created keyboard shortcuts using BTT which I'm finding it much easier to use then Keyboard Maestro. I want to use KM more because I know that it has more capabilities.

I finally fixed my "Morning Routine" Macro I created in KM with a lot of help from this community. I needed KM in this situation because of the time trigger and wake computer action. All the automations below didn't need anything but the built-in Apple Apps and a trigger.

Between yesterday and today using BTT I created:

  1. Trigger for Applescript to turn Caffeine on/off (this script is also used in KM)
  2. Trigger for Applescript to hide all windows.
  3. Trigger for Applescript to unhide all windows.
  4. Trigger for Automator workflow application to hide all files on the desktop
  5. Trigger for Automator workflow application to unhide all files on the desktop

Therefore, I'm asking the community how can I put KM to more use? In a way where it isn't just easier to use BTT?

All your 5 “macros” seem to be just triggers for external scripts (AppleScripts or Automator Workflows).
KM also has dedicated actions to run external AppleScripts and Automator Workflows.

So, why precisely do you find it easier to create/use these macros in BTT than in KM?

Therefore, I'm asking the community how can I put KM to more use? In a way where it isn't just easier to use BTT?

Some things that come to mind:

  • KM comes with its own universal macro/“scripting” language. Many things you can do with AppleScript (or other languages) you can also do with native KM actions, and often they are easier to realize with KM actions. (And, I would say, KM’s macro language is easier to learn than AppleScript.)

    • BTT also has a range of native (stand-alone) actions like “Insert Text” or the Mouse Click actions, but by far not as complete as KM.
  • It seems BTT does not have any time-related triggers (?). KM has a Periodic trigger, a Time of Day trigger and a very versatile Cron trigger.

  • KM has very powerful triggers like the Folder trigger (which is a “folder watch” trigger).

  • KM has the Find Image action, which you can use as a last-resort action when all other fails. Hence, it allows you to “script” even the most awkward applications, where AppleScript and even Accessibility Scripting fails.

  • KM has the Palettes. These can be incredibly handy, if you don’t want to have to remember dozens of shortcuts/gestures.

  • KM has the Trigger Macro by Name. This works similar to LaunchBar/Alfred, and also allows you to quickly launch a macro without having to remember the shortcut/gesture.

I’m not a regular BTT user (in fact I have barely touched it in the last 12 months), so please correct me, if I missed something in BTT. (And certainly I also missed some important KM stuff.)

Some more advantages of KM:

  • I find the interface of KM Editor significantly cleaner/easier than the one of BTT.
  • KM has a very good documentation in form of the User Manual, the KM Wiki and the KM Forum.
  • BTT crashes here and there (even with the non-alpha version). KM Editor never has crashed for me, as far as I remember, and also KM Engine is not brought down easily.

Of course, also BTT has very useful things that are not present (or underdeveloped) in KM, like for example the sophisticated triggers for the Apple mouse, the good Touch Bar support and many more.
But you asked for reasons to use KM, not the other way round.


Hey Abdallah,

Keyboard Maestro is like any power tool in that you have to learn how to use it.

Once it starts getting more and more familiar it gets easier and easier to use.

Awkward ⇢ Comfortable ⇢ Competent ⇢ Proficient ⇢ Reasonable Degree of Mastery.

Keyboard Maestro is very deep and takes many man hours to move through this map.

That said – you can learn to do many things fairly quickly if you roll up your sleeves and put in the work.

@appleianer is one of the biggest BTT-users on this forum, and I'm sure he'll weigh-in when he has time.


1 Like

Hi @bocciaman, for me the question does not arise whether BTT or nevertheless rather KM.
It's the combination with both apps that makes my daily work easier.

Here is an example:
In the Finder, you can only access a Foto/Scan from the iPhone via the context menu. BTT does this for me. This BTT action is then executed via an AppleScript in KM.

Since my iMac is mainly connected via Ethernet, I have created a KM/BTT workflow that activates the Wifi - imports from the iPhone - deactivates the Wifi again at the end.

So that I can not only trigger the import on the iMac, I have integrated the KM/BTT macro into a Siri shortcut.


Try to create this workflow only in BTT :wink:

Mainly BTT allows me to use 90% of my KM macros without shortcuts, because I call the AppleScript contained in the KM macros via BTT gestures.