What is the difference between "Is Running" and "Is Active" ("Application trigger")

I guess I do understand all the other cases of the Application trigger, but I, at best think there is an overlap between these two ("Is Active" and "Is Running") and it obviously can't be.

BTW, there is a typo on the wiki application trigger page. First paragraph:

... when an specified application...

Yes "active" is not very clear it should be at the front

The Finder is always running but as you are reading this it is not active (it's in the background)

I can understand your confusion. The KM Wiki does not completely correspond to what is actually shown when you add an "Application Trigger":

KM Editor Screenshot


KM Wiki

The Application trigger allows you to execute a macro when an specified application (or any application) does any of the following:

  • Launches.
  • Quits.
  • Periodically while the application is running.
  • Activates.
  • Deactivates.
  • Periodically while the application is at the front.

What confuses me is that "Is Active" is NOT an event. And KM defines triggers as "events":

Keyboard Maestro has a variety of triggers. A trigger defines what event causes a macro to be executed, provided that the conditions set by the Macro Group it is in are met.

@peternlewis, I suggest a major rewrite of the wiki application trigger page to clarify these issues.

Having said that, yes, @politicus, there is 'an overlap between these two ("Is Active" and "Is Running")'.

  • When an app "is running", it may, or may not be "active".
  • "Active" means that the app is the frontmost app.


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