Newbie alert! Question on basic functionality

Greetings. So I am a current user of iKey (which apparently became ‘yKey’ recently). I basically use it to turn a program’s keyboard shortcuts into mouse clicks. Unfortunately, yKey hasn’t been updated in a while, and I can’t get it to work with my new wireless mouse. I installed Keyboard Maestro as a potential replacement, but couldn’t seem to find how to do what I want to do. It seemed like you had to choose from a list of existing macros like “open mail program” etc. So can you use it to convert a given program’s keyboard shortcuts into mouse actions? And if so, can someone point me to the proper online documentation on how to pull that off?

Thanks in advance!

If you haven’t already, use the menu item Help --> Tutorial, and let it walk you through the basics. I suspect that will answer some of your questions. Then post again, and we can help you through what you want.

Eric, welcome to Keyboard Maestro! You going to love it!

There is a small learning curve, but once you get over it, you will really take off.

Getting Started with Keyboard Maestro

  • Read the Quick Start.
    • This is essential to become familiar with KM terminology
  • Do the tutorial (Help ➤ Tutorial) in the KM Editor.
    • Gives you a live walkthrough of creating a macro in the KM Editor
  • Review/Browse the Available Macro Actions
  • For Help with an Action in your Macro, click on the gear icon at the top right of the Action, and select "Help"
  • Start small, and grow your macros organically.
  • Be prepared for some trial and error in the beginning.
  • Make good use of this Keyboard Maestro Forum
    • Search for existing macros
    • Post your questions/issues if you get stuck
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Thanks for the tips, guys! I’ve been looking around, but it seems like all the macros are on a universal level, outside of any given application. That or they merely control the opening of applications. I can’t seem to figure out how I would assign a series of keystrokes (while in a particular program) to a mouse function. For example, say you wanted to make it so that, while working in Word, you take the ‘Paste Special’ command (Control-Command-V) and trigger that with a mouse button. How would you go about that?

Generally speaking, trying to control mouse clicks is the last choice you want to make because it is so hard to place the mouse pointer where you want it. Instead, use "Select a Menu Item" or "Press a button" type actions.

Let's use your MS Word case as an example:

  1. Create a new Macro Group named "Word" (I actually use "MS Word")

  2. Set the Group to activate only when Word is the frontmost app

  3. Create a macro in this Group that uses the "Select or Show a Menu Item" in the "Interface Control" Category in the Actions List:

###Here's the Macro:
MACRO: Paste Special in MS Word

Paste Special in MS Word.kmmacros (26 KB)

Please feel free to ask any questions.

See if this helps:

  1. Make a macro group - that’s the column on the left, in the KM editor - click the Plus at the bottom. Let’s call it Word.

  2. In the place where you name it, which is on the right of the editor, there’s “Available in all applications”. Select that and change it to only available in Word.

  3. In the middle column, click the plus at the bottom, to create a new Macro. Name it whatever you want.

  4. Now in the macro at the top, there’s “Triggered by any of the following”. Change it to a hotkey of your preference.

  5. Now add a mouse click action: Click the green button. You can try to navigate to the action, or easier is to use control+command+A, which is Edit->Insert Action->by Name, then type “mouse” and pick the action.

Now that you have the action, click on its options and see what’s there. Then give it a shot and see if it works!

Let me know if that helps.

Excellent! I’m getting there! Thank you so much!

1 Like

Keep asking!

Okay, next question. If I have a series of actions that I want a mouse click to trigger, can that be done? iKey would let you set a series of actions to be done in sequence.That’s gotta be in here somewhere!

Well, probably, but why don’t you tell me what you’re trying to do, just to make sure there isn’t an easier way.

You don’t normally do that, but I wonder if you’re perhaps using a second mouse like an extra set of function keys?

How would this work? Surely you don’t want every time you click the mouse for the macro to fire? How would you tell KM (or any app) when to fire?

Here's an example, as set up in iKey. I use the audio software Pro Tools, and there are several multi-step actions that involve several keyboard shortcuts performed in sequence. I have it so the three things occur when I hit button 3 on my mouse. See attached...

Instead of using a hotkey trigger, I believe you can use a "USB Device Key Trigger":

Then fiddle around until you get to your mouse button.

As for multiple actions, just keep adding them to the macro, one after the other.

By the way, I use Final Cut Pro X, and am quite familiar with needing to automate audio (and video) tasks!

This might work as a trigger:

Just build a macro with the actions you want, and trigger it with the USB_Device_Key.

We really need to stop meeting like this. :slight_smile:

Actually, I’m out for a while, so don’t stop answering on my acount! :smile:

1 Like

Thanks again! I couldn’t initially figure how to add more actions. But Now I’ve got it. I oughta be up and running soon, thanks to your help!

Oooh, never say “famous last words”. LOL. But we’re here when you need us.

Glad to help!