QuicKeys has a simpler technique to Activate/Deactivate a macro

I’m a new Keyboard Maestro user, finally making the switch from 2 decades as a QuicKeys user.

My first customization of Keyboard Maestro was to temporarily deactivate two default macros whose hot keys conflict with my Safari usage. I’m disappointed with two aspects of Keyboard Maestro’s activate/deactivate UI:

  1. It’s a 3-step process: select the macro in the list + move the mouse cursor below the list + click the “check” button.

  2. The visual difference between activated and deactivated macros is too subtle: black vs. gray text.

Quickey’s UI is much easier and more obvious: the first column of the list of macros is On/Off checkboxes:

  1. Activating or deactivating a macro is a single click.

  2. It’s easy to scan the list for deactivated macros (those without a check mark).

It’s a 3-step process: select the macro in the list + move the mouse cursor below the list + click the “check” button.

You have also ⌘E. (Strangely it’s in the View menu.)

Tom, did you by chance add the ⌘E shortcut yourself?
I see the item, but not the shortcut in my KM 7.0.3, and pressing it does nothing.

Uhps, you are right. It was me :wink:

But if I remember well I added it, because it was there in earlier KM versions. But probably I’m wrong again…

Thanks for the correction.

Or was it a ⌘E shortcut for Editing? (in older versions) :confused:

Anyway, what I’m using currently is this:

OK, I like those shortcuts. I’ve added them.

Adding a keyboard shortcut for Toggle Enable still leaves the enable or disable action as a 2- or 3-step process (depending on how conceptualize it):

  1. Select the macro in the list.

  2. Shift personal focus from the mouse to the keyboard (which you may not consider an actual step).

  3. Press the keyboard shortcut.

Whether it’s 2 or 3 steps, the process is still not as straightforward as QuicKey’s clicking a checkbox.

BTW, I agree Toggle Enable does not belong in the View menu because it’s performing an editing action, not changing the window layout or decorations.

Welcome aboard @Ward.

Keyboard Maestro and Quickeys are very different and you will no doubt find some of the differences jarring. If you have not already, I strongly encourage you to read the Transition From QuicKeys article which will help the transition.

Enabling and Disabling a macro you do not currently have selected is not a particularly common action - adding a checkbox to every single macro entry would be a lot of clutter for insufficient gain. If the macro is selected, then it is already a single action, either the menu or the tick in the macro column or the tick at the top right of the macro edit view.

As for the display of disabled being too subtle, I guess that depends on your monitor settings perhaps, it seems pretty clear to me:

In the case of seeing which one is enabled and preferring a checkbox, I think that's just a case of what you are used to seeing rather than what is objectively clearer.

As for the View menu being misnamed, yes, it is. It is basically a catch all for various macro related activities. I would call it Macro, but that's not really accurate either as it applies to macro groups too, and if I did, then I'd have to have a View menu just for the Enter Full Screen and Sort options. And maybe the Show Actions, because that's kind of View like, or perhaps its kind of Macro like. And this is where things get confusing and unclear.

If anyone has a concrete suggestion for renaming the menu and reorganising the items in it, I'm happy to hear it, but I don't think it is as easy as it might appear at first glance. Someone might surprise me though, and that would be great.

If only there was a simple, correct, universal answer to every design decision, then this job would be a lot easier (and every application would look identical).

Keyboard Maestro doesn't use Command-E for the shortcuts because that is system wide for Use Selection for Find, but feel free to follow @Tom's method and give it a shortcut, Command-E or otherwise - it's your Mac, you get to choose.

Ward, welcome to the wonderful world of KM. I think you’re going to be really pleased that you have switched. :+1:

Yes, maybe some things are not as simple/smooth as you are used to, but I consider this a very, very, minor nuisance.

I rarely need to toggle enable/disable a macro.
KM’s system of Macro Groups allow you to use the same hot key for different apps, etc. That, combined with the popup macro selector if the same hot key does activate more than one macro, really eliminates most use cases for disabling a macro.

It is always a challenge when you come from something you know very well, to something new, even if the something new is better and more powerful. :grinning:

KM is going to do things differently from QuickKeys, so, IMO it is best to try to learn the KM way for a while, asking questions here when you need help. I think you will ultimately be totally amazed at the power and scope of KM.

Good luck, and let us know how it goes.

You are right. And it even works in KM. I should know my OS better … and now I have to look for another shortcut. Thanks :wink:

You can use Command-E if it works for you - in practice it’s rare to use Use Selection for Find outside of a text editor generally.

No, ⌘E may indeed be useful to quickly search for macros that contain a variable with the same name. Now that I know :wink:

⌘S was free, so I’ll try this one…

At the occasion I also changed the one for exiting Edit mode to Command-Esc. It’s easily reachable with one hand now, and more intuitive. And —so far— it doesn’t interfere with anything.

Peter, I think the answer is in your statement: “Macro”

Most, if not all, apps I use have at least one top-level menu that is specific to that app. Some examples:

  • Message
  • Note
  • Text
  • Card

Seems entirely appropriate for KM to have a “Macro” menu.
IMO, the “View” menu should be just that – actions that affect how you are viewing stuff.

But it’s nothing urgent. Can certainly wait, IMO, until V8.

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That is great, it seems like I came across that a few years ago and thought that was awesome and that I'll use that and here I am again thinking the same thing!

I currently have "Toggle Enable" set to Command+Option+Shift (⌥⇧) + t but my problem is that I would like to be able to assign a key command to always disable the current macro rather than whatever is selected (macro group, macro, or macro action). Is there a consistent way you would suggest to do this? The attached macros have what I use but thought I would check if there were a menu command already there to always enable or disable a macro.
Enable Disable Macros.kmmacros (172.4 KB)

What do you mean by the “current” macro if it is NOT the macro that is currently selected in the KM Editor?

Sorry I should have said curently selected macro, meaning even if it is not targeted/focused. So if you have a macro selected but you are focused on the macro group it would still disable the selected macros. Likewise if you have an action selected in a macro then the macro itself would be what is disabled and not the action like it currently does.

The macros I have work fine for this but just seemed like something that was already in Keyboard Maestro somewhere that I might be missing.

Clicking on the Tick mark at the bottom of the macro column will toggle the enable of the selected macro regardless of whether the macro group, macro, or detail view columns are currently focused.

Finding that button is less obvious since it moves as you resize the columns. I beleive @ccstone has a technique involving the accessibility API via AppleScript which can find that button…?


Thanks Peter, crazy I saw the check boxes for the actions but somehow missed the same boxes under macros and macro groups.

Here is an updated macro that can thankfully toggle multiple selected macros with a key command now.

Updated to Use @ccstone methode.
Toggle Enable Macro.kmmacros (73.3 KB)

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Hey @skillet,

That works nicely.

One tip though:

I get nervous when talking to UI-Elements by number and always prefer to anchor via name, description, accessibility-description, help-text, or whatever else is available.

Numbered items are too easily rearranged by developers and that can cause all sorts of mayhem in UI-scripts than rely on them.

Have a peek at my script and note how it differs from yours:

Toggle the enabled/disabled state of the selected macro(s)


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