What are your top used macros that you've made?

I am new to keyboard maestro and haven't seen a good thread like this so I am really curious to see how people use their macros. I suppose quite a lot of them will be personal and unique but I am really interested to see how other people use KM and what macros you guys use to automate and better your life.

Here is one macro that I made yesterday that I am quite happy with. I often do research with my browser and Ulysses open and this allows me to quickly paste highlighted text into an open Ulysses app. Here is the macro :

I didn't find a way to post the macro not as an image but it is pretty simple.

I really hope you guys will share some of the cool things you have built that you use very often. I have a lot of workflows in Alfred that I use every day but KM is new for me an I am looking for some inspiration. :smile:

Thanks for sharing.

Perhaps you will find this helpful:
How to Post/Upload Your Macro to the Forum

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Thank you for the link.

Will use it to post my hopefully more complex and useful macros. :smiley:

For amusement I looked at my most used macros.

My most used macro is a macro that files an email message away into my “Read” folder. I think I get too much email.

High use macros also include macros that fix the position of the Twitter window and hide it when its not at the front, and bring all the Finder windows to the front when the Finder activates (in other words, automatic macros that happen when applications are switching without me doing anything).

And then, unsurprisingly, my next most used macro is a text expansion from “kkm” to “Keyboard Maestro”.

I use the App key on a generic keyboard as a modifier for switching between applications. You can see how it works at the link below. I use it hundreds of times a day, at least.

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I know I'm late to this party, but still...

I have a bunch of macros I use with Final Cut. I'm automating workflows that are insane, and I'm really proud of some of the macros. Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of people who would appreciate them. Still, here's part of my most-used macro:

This is the prompt that controls my most-used macro. It's for making a compound clip from the timeline, using a standard naming convention. Everything is driven by config files.

The prompt has a drop-down for the standard clip names I use, and an MRU of the last n names used (because the list is really long). I can add new names to the list. Add a prefix to the name, and do a Regex to add something else to the name (that won't get stored in the ClipNames).

The image above produces a clip name like this: "_ND01 Animals 720p _LOGO - Monkeys".

Then it causes Final Cut to slice and dice, creating a compound clip. It checks to make sure all expected conditions are there, by doing some Find Image actions. It's really pretty cool.


@nikivi, you inspired me to do a fairly exhaustive blog post of my most often used scripts and macros. Rather than paste it all back in here, go ahead to the blog and read it for yourself. I’m happy to post any of the macros that look interesting to you.


@iNik oh wow this is great, thank you for that

Really opened my eyes on how useful selection palette can be, especially your ‘Paste’ palette seems really nice. I use quite a few similar macros myself but have them in Alfred.

I actually want to make my own sort of ‘smart paste’ hotkey where if I do press it, it will give me my personalised palette of sorts according to what I have in the clipboard at that moment. Would be nice if you could share your ‘Paste’ macros.

Thank you a lot for this blog post, was quite an informative read.

Nik, thanks for sharing. I would be very interested in the following macros/scripts. Perhaps you could post each to the “macro” category.

  • Outlook macro that breaks me out of search mode, goes back to the Mail view
  • Evernote: I have about twenty scripts I’ve written for Evernote
    • Even if these are just scripts, you can still post to the macro category
    • I’m sure we can make good use of them in KM macros
    • There are a number of Evernote macros here. See the evernote tag.
  • Finder: Send: Typing a “⌘→”, gives me a palette of operations I can carry out on the current selection
  • Paste Options: CTRL+OPT+V. This ends up bringing up a selection palette where I can paste in a variety of ways

iNik - Thanks for your bog post. I’m getting ready to attempt a video tutorial that shows some of the benefits of KM for the average user, and some of your macro ideas will really help. Thanks!

Paste special: Paste Palette Macros

Outlook “Go to mail no matter what”: Outlook - Go to mail no matter what

Finder send to…: Files "Send To..." macros

Most of my Evernote scripts can be found on older blog posts. Like I said, so many of them don’t work that I’ve pretty well stopped trying. This should get you to them:



Thanks for posting your macros, Nik.

I have a 15-item clipboard stack that I use frequently. Configuration requires several steps and some of the subroutines may be obsolete with the current version of KM, but the solution includes macros to add to the stack, paste from top of stack with removing, paste from bottom of stack with removing, paste from top of stack without removing, paste from bottom of stack without removing, preserve preliminary existing clipboard, reinstate preserved clipboard, and empty contents of all stack items. I’ll try to provide the solution and instructions if there is any interest.

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For sure, post it to the macros category. I’d be especially curious what you use the macro for.

Mostly for the OP @nikivi. The simple ones are the most used (according to KM’s sort), but are hardly the most valuable to me. Anyway:

  • Load LaunchBar to search Google with current clipboard
  • Delete all Junk Mail and empty Trash in Mail
  • Insert password I need to use a few times a day
  • Several boiler-plate text insertions
  • Many simple text insertions (emoticons, ⌘⌃⌥⇧←➞ ▹ &c.)
  • Many other simple text insertions (application names, email addresses, dates in different formats, addresses, &c.)
  • STOP ALL MACROS :blush:

Sorting by time saved brings the hundreds of macros specific to my work to the top of the list. These are almost all to automate specific exact processes I had to repeat on different data. This is when I started to use, understand, and appreciate KM.

There is one other logical group that didn’t show up in either of two sets above: macros that help me set-up and run programs I use regularly, such as Aperture (now, alas, defunct).

And a set I don’t use: clipboard utilities. But that is only because I use LaunchBar’s, and only because I used it first. Otherwise I would use KM clipboard utilities all day every day.

Hope that generates some ideas.


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iNik — thank you :blush: .

You say “Send to LaunchBar: For some of my most frequently used apps, I have an AppleScript that mimics LaunchBar’s “instant send” feature and just places the file I’m working on into LaunchBar.” What do these KMacros provide that LB’s “Instant Send” does not? That it gets the currently loaded file as a file, rather than a selection from the file?

Right. It’s like Instant Send from the Finder but for the document I’m working on, so I don’t have to switch apps.

It’s just a handful of little AppleScripts to get the current document path and then “open with LaunchBar” KM action.

Unfortunately every app in the world seems to have its own nomenclature for the path of a document, so I’ve had to hand-craft macros for each individual application.

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I’ve added the Clip Stack Macro group to the Macros category of the forum. Obviously, I didn’t correctly name the Macro group for the download file (it’s currently “Untitled”), but when I tested the upload by installing on a clean Mac with no previous KM installation, the solution appeared to be working as expected. I discovered that the only preparatory actions needed (If you can live with the default triggers) after double-clicking the Macro group download to install are to

  1. use Clipboards in KM preferences to change the contents of the new STACKEMPTY clipboard item to “STACKEMPTY” (no quotes, of course), then to

  2. press ⌃⌘F9 to clear the rest of the Clipboard Stack.

I think the explanation I’ve included in the accompanying post is adequate, but I discovered that explaining the concept was tricky enough even for me that I had to make several edits before I was satisfied with it. So please don’t hesitate to make suggestions. Thanks.

@nikivi - again, thanks for inspiration, try out this macro that changes your available macros based on your clipboard contents: Change macros based on clipboard type

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That is really great, can’t think of any use cases for it right now but this does look really interesting. I’ll try to incorporate it into my workflow in some way. Thank you for sharing. :heart: