Touch Bar suggestion

A suggestion for Touch Bar support:

It would be great if Keyboard Maestro would support adding macros as buttons on the forthcoming Touch Bar.

Such support would rock my computing world. :smile:


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Send a feedback report to Apple. As far as I am aware there is no API for doing that, only the front application can add Touch Bar items.

And Apple already know of the need, since Xcode does exactly that, adding a debugger button whenever it is debugging. But I strongly doubt we will see any third-party API to add entries to the “Control Strip” section of the Touch Bar any time this decade.

Complain to Apple if you want this feature.

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This is really awesome for macro triggers- can we hope to see it supported in KM soon?

(I really can’t imagine even purchasing a device that lacks an Esc key. What were they thinking ?)

I can imagine remapping my Esc kay to caps lock. :grinning:

Thanks – yes I’m sure that there will be all kinds of workarounds, but I’m personally not in any great hurry to abandon 35 years worth of highly-trained muscle memory :slight_smile:

(I’ll just buy an instrument that suits me)


Like some of Apple’s “brilliant”, “innovative” ideas, they sometimes overlook the obvious use case, or dismiss it thinking “users will adapt”.

If they get enough complaints, maybe they will add a System Preference to always show certain “keys” in the Touch Bar. It’s probably a long shot, but who knows what Touch Bar V2 will bring?

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The latest version of Sierra lets you directly map Caps Lock to Escape.

Sadly it does not let you directly map Caps Lock to Command-Control-Option-Shift (Hyper Key). Which is a shame, because this would significantly reduce the need for function keys, you could use the Hyper-1 through 9 for example, as well as Hyper-letters.

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I’m not that impressed by the Touch Bar, though it is better than a stagnate set of Function keys.

I just published an article about my views of the Touch Bar in which basically I contend that using string triggers and BTT finger gestures is better than looking down at the keyboard to tap Touch Bar items. I wouldn’t get a MacBook Pro just for the Touch Bar.

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Touch Bar will stop me from buying a new MacBook Pro.
I don’t want it.

I read @Bakari45’s article mentioned above.
Here are his thoughts + my editing:

[quote=“Bakari wrote”]
When typing I don’t want to stop and look down to push or tap buttons.
I want to keep my eyes focused on the screen … not reach up to the Touch Bar if I can simply use trackpad or finger gestures and string triggers.[/quote]

I agree.

As for KM, I don’t care if it ever supports Touch Bar.
(I know, I know, most Mac buyers want whatever is new.)
But Touch-Bar above the keyboard, not for me.

That said, will there will ever be a Touch-Bar on the Track-Pad?
Programmable buttons built into the Track-Pad, with a colored display.
Accessible to KM through an API.
That I would buy today.

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@Mark, I’m with you. :smile:

I can see the potential utility of the Touch Bar for stuff like Final Cut Pro Video editing, and Photoshop image editing, but not so much for tools like KM.

I agree, and to me, it doesn’t make sense to see this on a MacBook only. Who wants to do FCPX work on a MacBook? I need monitors, and firepower. Even my 21.5" iMac’s monitor is too small. I have an external monitor also, but it’s still barely enough when doing video editing.

Give me an external keyboard with a Touch Bar, and then I’ll try it.

Dan, I’m with you. I used to used iMovie a lot back when I shot wedding, I couldn’t imagine editing an entire wedding video on a laptop. I could use it as a backup or onsite editing tool, but a desktop is faster.

The Touch Bar is just another feature that Apple adds to sell their products. I can’t see it being that useful to power users.

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I think BetterTouchTool is the closest we get to triggering actions using the trackpad. Apple should be supporting those type of features in the trackpad and mouse, and helping users learn to make such features as part of their workflow.

It’s weird how Apple will create some features and applications but then let them sit on the shelf. It’s like Automator. They started it and then let it go. Good thing we have KM to pretty much replace Automator.

And the same goes for voice-to-text dictation. Why hasn’t Apple just put Dragon Dictate into the system so people could get full support for voice dictation? Having to click a shortcut to activate dictation shouldn’t be required. And Apple dictation should be as good and even better than Dragon by now.

Lol, I know it’s like weird. You’re typing along, and then you have to look down at the keyboard to find buttons. That’s ridiculous. It’s only a few people who probably could reach their index finger to the Touch Bar without looking down. Most of us will have to look down, and as a result waste time. String triggers are the fastest way to trigger actions when you’re typing.

I have added a FAQ entry to cover my understanding of the Touch Bar situation.

The API for the Touch Bar does not appear to allow non-front applications to affect the Touch Bar, except that Apple does this themselves in Xcode and Screen Capture and the like. So Apple knows and understands the need, but have not made the facility available for Third Party macro trigger style applications.

The Keyboard Maestro editor may support the Touch Bar in the future for use within the editor.

To use some sort of Touch Bar trigger will likely require an application to come to the front, steal focus out of the current application, and then allow you to trigger the macro and return to what you were doing. This is not ideal, but will likely happen at some point.

In the mean time, asking Apple to add Third Party APIs for the “Control Strip” section of the Touch Bar would be a good idea.

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I would be interested to hear Bret Victor’s reflections on this touch bar.

(Bret Victor was one of the architects of the finger-on-glass Apple UI which became iPad and iWatch, but he has no illusions about the tactile poverty of flat glass – so acutely mismatched with the data-hungry intelligence of the fingers that reach for it and tap it. Even a physical key tells the fingers more …

See his ‘humane representation of thought’ at )

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Hey Folks,

I too am not a fan of the Touch Bar as demonstrated.

I use Apple’s full-size wired chicklet keyboard precisely because it has 19 function-keys.

I use them all with many modifier-keys for macros, and I’ve been doing much the same thing for 30+ years.

Much muscle-memory is invested in that, and tactile feedback is crucial.

Then again the MacBook Pro is hardly a pro-level machine anymore. Thinner, and lighter do not make a professional laptop – they make a mediocre consumer machine Apple can charge usurious prices for.

A couple of interesting counterpoints:

After Apple’s Disappointing MacBook Pro Refresh, What’s an Engineer to do?

Clark’s Tech Blog: The Future of Apple Hardware



Peter, will the “Use F1, F2, etc. keys as standard function keys” option remain in Touch Bar Macs, allowing each such function key to be used with modifier keys to trigger various Keyboard Maestro macros? This is critical to me.

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No idea. And even if it does, who is to say it will remain unchanged. You’ll need to ask Apple about that.