Keyboard shortcut conflicts with other apps (hotkeys)

Had set KBM to show "Trigger Macro By Name" field when I press Ctrl-Opt-Cmd-M.

Now I installed a new email app. Turns out that app uses the same shortcut for one of its functions.

I'd like to keep the shortcut assigned to KBM, and would like to disable it for this new app.

Do you guys know of any way to do this?

What I have tried so far:

  • I looked at KeyCue. It seems this tool can only display available shortcuts or add new shortcuts. It seems that it cannot "disconnect" a shortcut from a particular app.
  • Apparently one can use the OS' keyboard preferences or even Terminal to remap an existing keyboard shortcut "out of the way". But it seems this would only help if I wanted to make a particular shortcut unavailabe to all apps. It apparently does not help in disabling it for one app, but leaving it available to another.

You could add this action to an action group that only functions when this application isn't active.

In the Keyboard system preference pane, you can create/remap shortcuts either for one app or for all apps. In the Shortcuts tab, select App Shortcuts in the source list on the left, then click the '+' button below the pane on the right. (This is in High Sierra; it may be set up a little differently in other OS versions.) At the top of the sheet that comes up is a menu to select which application the shortcut applies to. The default is All Applications, but you can choose any installed application. Of course if you take this route you'll have to repeat the process if a different application implements the same shortcut for a different command, but for ⌃⌥⌘M it's unlikely that you'll run into many conflicts.

To disable it in the app itself go to Preferences > Keyboard and select App Shortcuts. In the popup, click on All Applications and select your application, then reassign the menu key.

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@rosemaryorchard You mean there is a way to set up a macro so that it will only be triggered if a certain app is running (or is not running)? I didn't know that. Can you tell me where I find that function? I often wished a particular macro hotkey would only work in a particular application (rather than running the macro every time, and only putting the actions inside under the condition that the app is running).

@eurobubba & @mrpasini Thank you!

There is indeed such a Trigger option. Here's what it looks like for Safari:


This is a basic feature of Keyboard Maestro. It's called Macro Groups. I think this link to the KM wiki should answer your questions. If not, just let us know.

Example of Macro Group


A Macro Group can be setup as simple as Available in only one app.
I've chosen a real example of mine that utilizes two key features:

  1. Available when any of 3 apps are frontmost.
    • In this case my "Browsers" Macro Groups is set for use with Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.
    • I could easily remove and add other apps.
    • I could also chose to make Available in All apps except for a specified list.
  2. It is always activated when condition #1 is met, meaning that you can trigger any of its Macros (by Hot Key or any trigger).
    • You can also optionally show a palette of all of its macros by using the indicated Hot Key.

There a number of other options, and many combinations you can use.