Why isn't Macro with Show Menu working?

Select or Show a Menu Item.kmmacros (2.0 KB)

When I try to run it, it says the menu item is "disabled" when it is clearly NOT disabled. Also, I have it set as an application specific macro (Finale 2014.5) and hitting the hot key brings up a small box with the two macros, from which I need to select one. I don't want that to appear as it takes more time to do that than it takes to select the menu item directly.

What am I doing wrong?

Without Finale 2014.5 to test with, it’s hard to say. Can you post screen shots? Did you spell the menu names correctly?

The reason you’re getting a Conflict Palette is because you have the F2 hotkey assigned to more than one macro.

Isn’t assigning a macro to a specific app something KM can handle w/o throwing up the conflict palette? The menu items are spelled correctly and are being selected in the KM editor from the dropdown intended to do so.

Thank you for your response.

BTW, I am on a 2013 Mac Pro trash can running Sierra 10.12.3.

I did a test in another app (Digital Performer) and when I hit the “Try” button in KM, it calls up the menu item. When I invoke the hot key in the target app, I get the same results as in Finale, so it isn’t the app(s) that are the problem. Again, what am I missing here? Selecting a menu item is straightforward enough… or should be.

Select or Show a Menu Item-2.kmmacros (2.1 KB)

OK, I played around with it (you can look at the changes) and it is working, but I am still getting the conflict box. Is there any way to override that and just have the menu selected?


And now it has stopped working. This is such a frustrating app.

My workaround is to setup a mouse click (although frankly, the menu selection should work…). Now, again, I would like to forego the palette appearing and just freaking click the mouse. Is that possible, of does KM not understand app specific macros are intended for specific apps and will always insist on displaying the conflict palette with multiple choices?

I can assure you that the conflict palette and app-specific macros both work if you configure your macro groups correctly.

To fix the conflict palette, ensure that Finale 2014.5 is the only approved app in that macro group, ie:

Then, track down the other macro with the same hotkey. It is either in your Global Macro Group, or it is in a group that is "available in all applications."

All right, I downloaded that app. Here's your original macro in action. What's Speedy Entry supposed to do?

Yes, but it depends on you, and how you have setup/configured the KM Macros in your system.

The Conflict Palette appears ONLY when:

  • More than one Macro has the same trigger
  • These macros are active for the current front most app
    (this would apply to Macros in your Global Macros group as well)

From the KM Wiki article on Conflict Palette

Conflict Palette

When you use a trigger (hot key, device key, or typed string trigger) that is assigned to more than one macro, and all of these macros are active, then Keyboard Maestro will display the Conflict Palette listing the triggered macros and let you select the desired macro, either by clicking on it or by typing a letter that narrows that palette down until only one macro remains at which point that macro is triggered. You can use the Conflict Palette to limit the number of hot keys you need to remember by give a bunch of similar or related macros the same hot key and then selecting the desired macro with a further keystroke based on the now visible palette.

So, you can prevent the showing of the Conflict Palette by any of the below:

  • Assign different triggers to each Macro that is showing in the Conflict Palette
  • Assign different Apps to the Macro Group of Macros that have the same trigger.

Please let us know if you have any questions about this.

Most importantly, thank you both for your help.

Both applications are set to run ONLY that trigger when they are running. They are in separate Macro Groups. Frankly, I give up on trying to understand the logic behind KM. Frankly, I don’t have time to devote to figuring out how to work around what should be a very simple procedure to set up. The conflict palette will apparently not go away. If I am required to dismiss that every time a app specific macro is triggered, it simply adds an extra step, which, again, I could just as “efficiently” select the menu item in the first place.

Setting the menu for mouse location clicks works. I’ll either get used to the dame conflict palette or I won’t. After a few years of working with KM, I have not gotten used to the way it has been implemented for the end user.

In your second macro, you've got these settings for the Finale 2014 folder:

I wonder if that's not the issue. Maybe another macro group is set to be available "when running" as opposed to "in these applications." You're working in Finale, and have the other app open as well, and thus the conflict palette.

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.

If you are running both applications as the same time, then both macros would be active and so the Conflict Palette will appear. Configure your macros in different macro groups, each available only in their specified application. Not available when the applications are running, or if so, you will need to ensure you are only running one application at a time and quit the other one.

Also, application-specific macro groups do not override global macros, so if you have a macro that is in an application-specific macro group and another with the same trigger in a macro group that is always active, these will still conflict.

I’m confused as to why you’re confused. LOL

It is actually very straightforward. If two macros have the same trigger, and both are active, then the Conflict Palette will appear.

Solution: Change the trigger on one of the macros in the Conflict Palette. It is that simple. :wink:

Does that make sense?

No, it doesn’t. If you have an app specific macro, why would you want to add the extra step of the conflict window. At the very least, it should be an option. IOW, if I have Function 2 set in Finale to open a specific tool, and another in Word to bring up a text format box, why would I even consider being asked to bring up the text box for Word when I’m in Finale?

It’s OK. That’s the way it is and I’ll have to live with it… for now.

Again, the solution is simple:

Put the macros for Finale and Word in separate Macro Groups, with each Group being restricted for the target app. For example, here is my Word Group:

And, for example, here is my Evernote Group:

So, a macro in the "MS Word" group with the same trigger as one in the "Evernote" group will NOT cause a Conflict Palette, because both macros CANNOT be active at the same time.

Make sense?


Thank you, JMichaelTX. I think part of the issue here is that I am using a triggers to launch apps and trying to use the same trigger as an app specific macro as well. Quickeys does this well. Once you set a macro to trigger an app specific macro in QK, it just does what you told it to do. If the app is running, it’s triggers rule. Not so in KM, which wants to remind the user that the macro might be for something else. I understand the rationale behind that, I just don’t agree with it.

Hey Mike,

A lot of people switching from QuicKeys to Keyboard Maestro experience culture shock – myself included – and I ran KM concurrently with QK for years. (QK-user from v1.0.)

The two utilities have very different UIs and very different design philosophies, and that made me crazy on more than a few occasions when something that was easy to do in QK was hard to do in KM.

The fact remains that QK is a dead product (the programmer actually died and has never been replaced). The last update was in 2009.

Keyboard Maestro is without question the best-of-breed automation utility available for the Mac (under active development) – period.

So. If I want the level of automation I’m accustomed to I have to take the bitter with the better.

To date I have 98 macro groups and 990 macros, and that doesn’t include the hundreds of AppleScripts I run with FastScripts.

I’ve gotten used to (most of) Keyboard Maestro’s idiosyncrasies – even the conflict palette – which I didn’t like at all to begin with.


1 Like

Ha ha ha! Thanks, Chris, I needed that! Misery loves company.