Please add *Insert Macro by name* GUI feature to quickly insert an *Execute a Macro* Action in current position of macro being building, with the macro name users selected auto filled-in in Execute a Macro action

In Keyboard Maestro 8 & 9, there are following features available:

  1. Edit - Insert Action/Insert Token/Insert Function/Insert Variable, which allows users to quickly filter out & insert the matched Keyboard Maestro building block into current position of the macro being built by simply typing out the keywords of the Action/Token/Function/Variable to use.

then there is
2. View - Select Macro - by Name... , which allows users to quickly filter out & jump to the user created Macro by simply typing keywords of Macro to jump to.

Both features shares the same GUI of a spotlight like popup where users could quickly filter out stuff by typing what is in their mind instead of going through nested menu to look for things. This is a great productivity feature.

Meanwhile, there is this specially featured Action called Execute a Macro, which allows users to reuse their own macro as a building block routine in any other macros to avoid the repetitive work Actions building and make building higher level of complex macro much easier, easy to write & easy to iterate later! This makes Exetue a Macro Action particularly powerful!

But, there is a huge usability problem remains in working with Execute a Macro too since Keyboard Maestro made Execute a Macro available!
In Execute a Macro Action, one has to select the name of the user created macro by going though a long popup list where every user created macros are listed there. Then user has to pretty much do an eye scan and move their mouse down the list to pinpoint the macro name they want. This interaction is too time consuming and tedius to users.

What if just put the abovementioned Edit-Insert Action... & View- Select Macro by Name together. When triggered in menu or preferred hotkey, a spotlight like popup would showup, then one could type the keywords to filter out the user created macro to reuse as a macro, then press Enter. Then this selected macro will be instantly inserted into the current position of macro being built as a Execute a Macro action instead of first insert a Execute a Macro action, then going through the long tedious list of macro to pick the macro to reuse!

This GUI feature should be able to greatly improve the Keyboard Maestro automating experience, saving time, saving brainpower.

Please consider adding this feature.


It is an interesting suggestion, which I will add to the todo list.

You do know you can just drag a macro in to the action list to create an Execute Macro action for that macro, right?

Fortunately, @DanThomas has built a macro to do exactly that:

MACRO: Pick and Insert 'Execute a Macro' (Spotlight)

Brilliant! I will look forward to this feature coming true!
Hopefully soon in v9 :stuck_out_tongue:

p.s. yeah, I am aware one could a macro into action list to make a Execute Macro action.
But this only seems to work well when the macro to insert is located in a Macro Group nearby the current macro being built, say inside the SAME macro group or open a separate Keyboard Maestro Editor window only to show the source macro to drag which takes several extra steps to be able to insert the macro into current macro as a Execute Macro action.

thanks @JMichaelTX
I will try the macro you suggested.
But I hope @peternlewis could implement it as a Keyboard Maestro native feature soon.

This will definitely increase Keyboard Maestro experience big time!

I gave this quick insert macro as action feature suggestion another thought. If we recall how we program in scripting editor or coding IDE.
We might see the following analogy between modern coding IDE alike(VS Code, JetBrain etc) and Keyboard Maestro Editor.

in IDE alike: define a function both as a main function executable to run and as a function/routine to be reused by other higher level of functions to call <--> in KM Editor: create a macro both as a standalone app to run & as a reusable function/routine to other macro to call
in IDE alike: call a defined function/api in current function working on with intellisense or smart completion for parameter & return value <--> in KM Editor create a Execute Macro action and fill-in the macro already created, with optional parameter & return value etc.

from this perspective, Keyboard Maestro has done a great job as define a macro as a standalone app sense. While Keyboard Maestro seems to be weak at some of the classical developer/user productivity/experience enhancing feature like intellisense or smart completion etc.

So adding feature like Insert Macro by name into current Keyboard Maestro Editor system should definitely be a very positive move leading to a more powerful & engaging overall Keyboard Maestro experience!

Maybe at a later time, it is also worth considering adding smart prompt on parameters & having builtin returned value into Execute Macro action per se, so macro created inside Keyboard Maestro could be officially encouraged to be reused more as function/routine/module so that users do not even have to create their 3rd party action, instead just create routine/module style macro & quickly reuse routine macro to build more powerful multiple-layer Macro.