KM Overly Aggressive in Enforcing Macros?



Hello everyone,

Recently, I’ve noticed that KM enforces application-specific macros also in situations where that designated app isn’t the active one — but a “faceless”, non-dock app (it doesn’t have a menu bar) is the one in focus. Those apps are numerous — Cardhop, Fantastical, 1Password Mini and more.


  1. Using FastScripts or the built-in “App Shortcuts” section in the macOS System Preferences, I’ve set CMD+F (instead of CMD+OPT+F) to the “Filter Processes” command in Activity Monitor. It works, and when I pop Fantastical 2 and type the built-in CMD+F shortcut to perform search, it works well too.

  1. However, using Keyboard Maestro to set CMD+F to do the exact same thing in Activity Monitor, results in being unable to trigger CMD+F in Fantastical, or any other “faceless” app. If you’ll look at video closely, you’ll see that the search box in Activity Monitor is in fact “triggered”, but nothing happens since F2 is in focus — it wouldn’t be a problem if the shortcut would work in F2, but it is “swallowed” by KM/Activity Monitor. To me, it makes Keyboard Maestro unusable in many cases!
    Examples are numerous, and since this undesired behavior doesn’t happen in FastScripts or the “App Shortcuts” in System Preferences.



Have you tried EXCLUDING those "faceless" app in the KM Macro Group:



Keyboard Maestro macro group activation is based on the foreground application that is at the front, that is, the one that has the menu bar displayed.

If there are other faceless things that surface within the application, they do not affect the foreground application as far as Keyboard Maestro is concerned, so they do not affect macro group activation.

While anything is possible in the future, I don't anticipate this changing at this time.


Thanks @JMichaelTX, but the problem with this solution is that it will essentially make the macro in question a ‘global’ one (except in apps like FastScripts in your example), instead of Finder-specific.

@peternlewis, so I guess that for the time being, I’m better off using FastScripts for such kind of tasks?
I have Finder macros that use CMD+X, and I do lots of cutting (CMD+X as well) and pasting of texts, and this KM behavior breaks down my workflow completely.


Yes, if you want to override keys that are going to be used in overlay background applications (like the standard edit menu keys), then using a different tool that differentiates between background application overlays and the current front application may be more suitable to your needs.