⌘ Alfred or Keyboard Maestro? Productivity at it’s finest.

Since they overlap, which tool should you get, Alfred or Keyboard Maestro? Yes to both. Even though they share some features, they provide enough different and complimentary functionality that you won’t regret using both. Use Alfred to quickly launch apps, find files, and perform focused searches. Use the Workflows feature to unlock snippets, clipboard history, quick calculations, access to handy system functions, and customized autocomplete. Those features are built in and ready to use. If you want a bit more power, download application workflows or spend a little time with Shell, Javascript, or AppleScript, and write your own. This is a bit more complex, but can yield some incredible results. Even with a small bit of AppleScript, you can accomplish a lot. Just as easily, call out to Java, Groovy or Python for more complex tasks. Next, use Keyboard Maestro to build custom workflows and application macros. Add batch processing to applications that don’t natively support it. Use the building […]

⌘ Using Rsync and Keyboard Maestro to Merge and Purge thousands of redundant files

A perfect example of combining the power of the Shell and Keyboard Maestro. Quite some time ago I removed my individual external drives from their cases and combined them into several multi-unit drive enclosures. This was very convenient, but led to the issue of many, many duplicates across multiple drives. Consolidating all these files has turned out to be more of a chore than I expected. Merging folders is either a foreign concept or a dirty word. Apps have no idea how to handle it. If I have Drive 1 and Drive 2, if files already exist on Drive 1, simply skip them. If there is a new file, copy it over, but don’t waste time copying something that already exists in the destination. At the end, delete all the files off Drive 2 so I can reclaim the space. Don’t leave it 98% full like it was before. For this task, only a handful of files should be copied. […]

⌘ 101 Things to do with Keyboard Maestro

To be fair, I don’t have 101 macros written, yet. But, I’m well on my way. Although, reading the forums, there are others who have done that and more. A few sophisticated users have a couple hundred macros covering dozens of different areas. I have jealousy and hope to be that proficient one day. What I’ve learned is that Keyboard Maestro is far more than a “macro” tool. It’s every bit a development environment. A development environment that with a small time investment and a bit of research, can create custom solutions for all sorts of situations. It’s even possible to replicate the functionality of off the shelf software, or in some cases replace it. It may not be 100% parity, but it will accomplish the core functionality. For example, here’s a few of the applets I’ve created so far. Filter the clipboard to remove extraneous text from Amazon links Rename files as they are added to a folder Move […]

Convert letters to phone keypad numbers with Keyboard Maestro

I ran into this the other day where I needed to convert my username to digits I could type on a phone keypad. While not a big deal, there are plenty of online tools to do it, I wondered if it could be done with Keyboard Maestro. The answer is yes, and in just a few blocks. This is a simple macro, but it has a couple of neat items. First, it gets the text to convert. That text is converted to lowercase and any spaces are removed. It then uses RegEx to check a range of letters such as [a-c] or [d-f] to see what number on the keypad to assign. The values can also be separated using the pipe | symbol. [a|b|c] would be a or b or c. That’s convenient. Once the conversion is done, the final result is copied to the clipboard. This could easily be changed to a text box where the value could be […]

Prompt for User Input in Keyboard Maestro

One of the great things about Keyboard Maestro is the ability to design a UI for your macro. Using the `Prompt for User Input` block, the macro can be dynamic in how it works, or perform different functions based on user choice. The prompt can contain an entry field, checkbox, dropdown, or buttons selections. The result is stored in a variable. I have several macros with prompts, such as the size of a RAM drive, the number of times to click the mouse, a folder name, and what to rename a file. Those results are then used later in the macro or passed to the shell to move files, or create volumes. A broad list of examples can be found at the Keyboard Maestro Wiki: Keyboard Maestro- Prompt for User Input The following examples are the ones I use most: Text field: Variable and default value Checkbox: Variable and 0|1 indicating checked or not (value must be 0 or 1, […]