Switching Between Applications

Hi all–

I’m relatively new to KM. Has anyone else found that if you switch away from the application you’re using and then return to it, your macros won’t fire?

I’m a composer using KM on a Mac Pro with a music notation program, Finale 2014.5. I’ve set up a bunch of macros which work brilliantly UNTIL I switch away from Finale into any other application. When I come back to Finale, KM doesn’t respond to my macro commands unless I quit Finale, reopen it and load my document. Then it works fine… until I switch away from it. Clearly this has become a major annoyance.

Does anyone have any idea how to fix this?



Hey Paul,

That's quite peculiar.

Please post a screenshot of the group you've set up for these macros.

It should look something like this:

You can drag the screenshot image from the Finder into the forum editor.


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Hey Paul! Fancy meeting you here! I’m just starting with Keyboard Maestro, too, having used QuicKeys for a long time. Now in Finale 2014.5. I’m finding that macros that access Finale’s Tools menu give a “menu unavailable” error message when I return to Finale from another program, but that some other macros work ok. I have a macro that brings up the Playback Control window, for example. If I come back to Finale from another program, and run the Playback Controls window macro that I made, it runs fine, and THEN, the other macros seem to work properly, but it seems the Tools menu in particular is not recognized when coming back to Finale from checking email, or some other program. Not ideal, but better than re-starting Finale. Any other solutions?

That sounds pretty strange, and must be a peculiarity of Finale. If it were me, I’d try something like this:

Create a macro that fires when Finale gets “Activated”. Have the macro:

  1. Select the “Tools” menu. It should drop open but do nothing else.
  2. Pause for .2 seconds (or something like that).
  3. Have the macro type the “Escape” key.

That’s it.

If it doesn’t work with the Tools menu, try a different top-level menu.

Let me know if this works.

Good suggestion! I just tried that, and get the error message that the Tools menu is “unavailable.” So, I changed it to select the File menu, and then type the Escape key, and it works! After that macro runs, the other macros then run fine.

It seems there’s something strange going on with the Tools menu in Finale. It’s odd that it never was in issue with QuicKeys. This is a workaround that helps at least for now - thanks!

Just landed at LGA. Will get in touch soon.

This workaround seems to have done the trick:

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Cross platform applications, including Finale and many Adobe applications, do not necessarily update or even build their menu bar until the menu is selected with the mouse. When asked for the menus via the accessibility subsystem, the menus are either not there, or not currently correctly built for the context (eg, menus may be disabled or invisible when they should not be).

Options to force the application into updating its menus include:

  • Switch out and back to the application, and then use the Select Menu Item action.
  • Simulate a click in the menu bar, and then use the Select Menu Item action.
  • Desperate measures, simulate a click in the menu bar, and then use arrows and typeahead (Insert Text by Typing) to select the menu item.