Why Is "Find Image in Screen With Mouse" Option No Longer Available?

Tonight I am attempting to add another image variation to a search for an image on the screen. But the option I've been using for a year, "in screen with mouse", appears to no longer be available in the new update.

Is this a bug or a deprecated feature?

The images are in Facebook pages where my name has been highlighted by a browser search. Every few months Facebook tweaks its fonts, or does something, and the images are no longer found and I have to get the current version of the image from a page and paste it into KBM.

I've been limiting the search area somewhat by only searching the screen that has the mouse in it. I attempted to add another, but I can't; "screen with mouse" is no longer available. The best I can do is have:

If any of the following are true:
   The screen contains Image [...] in screen with mouse
   The screen contains Image [...] in screen with mouse
   The screen contains Image [...] in screen with mouse
   The screen contains Image [...] in screen with mouse
   The screen contains Image [...] in all screens
execute the following actions:


The only workaround I can think of is save the macro as XML and edit the XML to make all five options have the same structure, and then reload it. But that seems the LONG way around the barn and I've never done that before, so I'm pretty reluctant. I'm anticipating days of effort for what last time was a couple of minutes work to update.

Is there a compelling reason not to use "screen with mouse"? I could try "the front window" but I don't want to experiment with something that has been working just fine, except I have to because I'm not allowed to do it that way any more.

Is it a bug or a feature? If it's a feature, could someone please explain why?


In my post 18 days ago, I listed "screen with mouse" as one of the features I tested. So I guess that means it disappeared recently.

If you look at the v10.x releases, the only release that came out since that date was 10.0.2. (9 days ago)

The Update notes for KM 10.0.2 don't mention any change to this feature.

So my conclusion is that this feature changed in 10.0.2 and there was no notice of it changing. In fact if you read my post carefully, there are several other items from that menu missing now. Maybe you are the first to notice it. @peternlewis ?

I wonder what happens to any of our macro actions that were previously using those features. Are they broken now?

If you only have one screen, then other options are not shown related to which screen to use are not shown in the menu.

Well, I suppose it could also be some weird conspiracy related to mysterious undocumented changes.


Good retort. I did have more than one screen when I tested it before (via SideCar.) But I have only one mouse, which should qualify me for the "screen with mouse" option. (sarcasm)

This is frustrating to me. It means that I cannot debug or update macros while I'm travelling.

I've been developing my macro suite for a year, primarily at my desk where I have had a second monitor. But now I'm taking my laptop travelling.

I would hope that modifications that I made while I'm on the road would be "portable" when I have my laptop plugged in at my desk, but apparently that use case is not supported.

Yes, updates, debugging, enhancements, etc. that I make on the road will be usable on the road, but I would really like to not incur a large amount of engineering debt by having to update things to accommodate the new (actually, old) environment of having second monitor when I have that available again.

This seems to be a bit of unnecessary handholding. I can understand not wanting to confuse new users, but please don't go all MSWord on us. The whole point of Keyboard Maestro is that we really want to be able to build things for whatever situations may apply to us, personally.

Maybe there could be a setting where the default is the current situation, you don't show options for hardware that doesn't exist, and there's a toggle that lets you write for a second screen even it it's not plugged in.

Are there other situations that have similar assumptions made? Can I not program for a printer that isn't currently plugged in? Wired or wireless mice? Keyboards? Headphones? I can imagine lots of situations where I would have macros that I want to be able to run, and program options for, where the hardware in question may not always be plugged in to the system.


The question was not yet asked if you can create or run these actions when you don't have a second monitor present. You may be wrong with your assumption. Peter said "they are not shown in the menu" but that implies they still are supported and can still be debugged if you have them in an existing macro or if you've saved them in an action for use when you're away from your second monitor.

However I'm not sure how you would "debug" a macro that works with a second monitor if you don't have a second monitor.

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That's my point. I have a set of macros that use daily. The website that it runs on tweaks their fonts, spacing, design, whatever, such that every few months I have to update the images that I'm searching for on their pages to get my macros to work. I prefer to do that updating by adding another search image rather than deleting the older search images.

I created the macros when I had an external monitor, so I limited the image search area to the screen with the mouse. Now and for the next few weeks,or so, maybe months, I won't have the external monitor. I would like to be able to update my macros to keep up with recent changes on the target website but I cannot do that in a consistent style because KBM does not provide the menu choice that I had previously used unless I have a second monitor plugged in at the time I am doing the KBM programming.

I would like to do the updating of macros once, as needed, instead of incurring what's called "engineering debt", changes to code that are necessary but postponed until later because it can be gotten away with.

In the current situation, I will have to update my macros when I can set up a second monitor again, if I want to make the various search images consistently structured. I would rather do that now rather than having clean up to do later.

In practical terms, this is not a huge problem. The macros work now and will continue to work, whether or not I have a second monitor plugged in. "Compatibility" is more the esthetics for me of wanting all the choices in a set of options to have exactly the same structure, not have inexplicably different options just because of the month that I programmed them.

If I could attach a comment to each image option, as has been requested elsewhere, that would help, because it would allow me to at least caveat the difference right at the site of the difference.

My current situation is just about my programming esthetics, not function or features. But other people do a LOT more complex things with KBM than I do, and I can imagine that this feature of not being able to program for peripherals that are not connected could be more of a problem. That's why you debug edge cases, because they expose assumptions that could bite you later.

I'm not unsympathetic to your plight. I try to see things from both sides.

I trust you are aware that you can attach notes to any KM action now.

Hi @August
Putting aside for a moment the discussion on why Keyboard Maestro has implemented the Actions this way, I think I have a fairly simple solution, that is built into Keyboard Maestro 10 - Favorite Actions.

  1. Duplicate one of your Actions that has the menu item you want showing (in this case "in screen with mouse"). You can do this on either your laptop or your desktop as the option still shows once it has been selected. Clear out the images you have pasted, and any other specific stuff to make this Action generic.
  1. Rename this duplicate Action to something like "If All Conditions Met Execute Actions - (Find Image, Screen with Mouse Option)" using the menu item Actions→Rename. Maybe color it, so that it stands out.


  1. Optionally, add some "tags in the form of the notes section of the Action (these will come up in a future search) Actions→Set Note... (I would probable add words like "monitor external second desktop" that kind of thing).


  1. Save this Action as a Favorite - Actions→Add to Favorites - its new name will be what it is saved as and makes searching for it in the future easier.

Now if you want to get a new Action with the "in screen with mouse" option when building a Macro on your laptop you insert your saved Favorite Action and the "screen with mouse" option will be there.

To quickly use the Action, use Actions→Insert Action→By Name... (⌃⌘A)

This brings up a search field and you just begin to type the name of your favorite (or one of your "tags" that were saved in Notes) and you'll quickly get your Action. Double-clicking it, inserts it at that point in the Macro. Also - Favorites have a star as their icon.

I've just tested this on my desktop (which has an external monitor) and my laptop (which doesn't have a second monitor). The option is still there when the Action is inserted on the Laptop.

One other thing about Favorites - they are saved by default as the name you have given the Action. If you ever want to edit the Favorite in the future, just insert one in a Macro, edit it in any way (change color, options, default variable name, notes) and when you go to save it you will be given the option to overwrite the original saved Action.


Hope that helps! :slightly_smiling_face: Anyway, it's good to get into making Favorites - they are very powerful especially as a single saved Favorite can be a combination of Actions all with the settings as you like. If I have a series of Actions that I find I am using a lot, I enclose them in a Group Action, rename that enclosing Group Action and save that as the Favorite. In effect I have built my own custom Plug In Action.


If this is saved as a Favorite when in collapsed mode, it will come in llke this:


EDIT - I forgot to mention (and this is important and good) If you have Syncing turned on in Preferences the same saved Favorites are available on all of your Macs.

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Hey August,

I understand your frustration, although I'll be surprised if it convinces Peter to change his design aesthetic.

Sidecar is a possible solution, but I don't know if that's an option for you...

Use an iPad as a second display for a Mac


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