Launch Macro with fuzzy search box

Feature suggestion: ability to launch a macro by activating a fuzzy search box (similar to OS X spotlight bar) where I can type fuzzy portions of the macro name, see them filtered to matches in real time, and eventually select the desired macro to launch it.

There’s only so many macros I can design and remember specific keyboard shortcuts for. This would be nice for those more occasional tasks (especially monthly, quarterly stuff).

Another reference example of a similar feature would be the Atom text editor command palette or the equivalent in Sublime Text.

I use two approaches to deal with this issue:

  1. Make good use of the Keyboard Maestro Status Menu
  2. Use the same hotkey for a group of related macros
  • This will show all of the macros in a popup, and you can select one by a single character or by clicking on it

An example of #2 are my macros for dealing with Evernote tables.
I have about 5 macros, and all of them (in the "Evernote" group of course), are triggered by CTRL-T


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There is an action named "Trigger Macro by Name", which gives you a Spotlight like window for triggering macros.

Keyboard Maestro “Trigger Macro by Name” Macro

Trigger Macro by Name.kmmacros (1.5 KB)

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As suggested by @JimmyHartington, the Trigger Macro By Name option is a good one, that I always forget about. But were it to become 2nd nature, would obviously speed things along nicely. Of course - it requires one to still have an inkling of what you need to search for, i.t.o. the naming convention - so does give one a bit more pause for thought in what you name the said Macro (which is probably a good thing!).

Personally, the other option by @JMichaelTX is very useful, but does require (AFAIK??) one to take the fingers off the keyboard, to get the cursor ‘into’ the menu, to make the selection… So for a budding-keyboard-warrior, it’s a 1st-world-problem annoyance, which is obviously easily overcome…

Ah, awesome. I had either forgotten about that or never found it before. Exactly what I need!

No, it doesn’t. You select from the palette typing the highlighted letter. If more than one letter matches you then type the 2nd differentiating letter, which appears in the subsequently narrowed list, etc. Definitely a keyboard ninja friendly technique!

Did not know that - thanks! Will have a look at this feature again, since - who doesn’t want to be a ninja! :slight_smile:

Apologies for the re-hash - but battling to get this to work.

No doubt the ‘issue’ is this side, given how I’ve set things up.

I have a floating palette that is ‘always visible’ in Outlook. It is set to “shrink”, and all three of “Icon”, “Text” and “Trigger” are selected.
In Outlook, with my message selected, if I ‘cursor-over’ the floating palette icon, it expands to show all my possible macros.
Typing anything on the keyboard to try and select one of them, does nothing.
Similarly, using the cursor-keys moves to the next email message in the background, which show I’m clearly not getting the Palette to be ‘active’ in the foreground, for interaction with my keyboard…

What settings would I need to tweak to get me using the keyboard to invoke the Palette in the 1st place, and then allow me to also use the keyboard to select the applicable action listed in the floating Palette?

Any suggestions would be appreciated!

[Edit:] I gather I need to allocate a trigger to the particular Palette, and use that to make the palette ‘active’, which would then allow keyboard selection? Is that correct? If so - I’m now trying to work out where the trigger is set up?

[By way of background - I use Categories in Outlook extensively. The Mac version doesn’t provided nearly the same functionality as the PC version, which is making the allocation of Categories to my emails tedious to say the least. KM to the rescue. There are too many to allocate individual shortcuts to, which makes the Palette ideal in this instance. Being able to select a Palette action and apply it to the selected email, all from my keyboard, would be amazing!]

Macro Palettes never have keyboard focus. They do not have selections, and you cannot interact with them with the keyboard.

The exception is the Conflict Palette which appears when more than one macro is triggered with the same trigger (usually a hot key trigger, but Typed String and USB Device Key triggers can conflict as well). When such a conflict occurs, Keyboard Maestro displays the Conflict Palette and automatically generates temporary hot keys based on the names of the macros. The Conflict Palette still does not have keyboard focus, nor does it have a selection, but you can use keys to narrow down and/or select a macro from the Conflict Palette.

The other “exception” is that macros that are displayed in a palette are active, and therefore if they have a trigger, that trigger is active. So you can assign them a trigger and use that to interact with them.

Note that a macro palette is still active, and the macros it contains are still active, even if it is displayed as an icon - that is, you do not have to hover over it and expand it for the macros to become active.

I hope that helps clarify the situation.

Generally the best way to use Keyboard Maestro when you want a palette full of macros that you can select with keystrokes is to simply assign them all the same hot key and let Keyboard Maestro generate the palette for you and the hot keys to filter/select the desired macro.

Peter - I appreciate the quick reply, and thorough clarification.

Huge light-bulb just went off inside my head this side, thanks!
This will work a treat - and makes complete sense now, since I’m essentially only having to add one hot-key, and then get to make my choice manually, which suits my particular scenario perfectly.