Can I do these with Keyboard Maestro?

I was about to buy Hazel, but I came across Keyboard Maestro, so I’m doubt which one to buy.

I see Keyboard Maestro goes far beyond Hazel, worth considering, but can I do these on KM?

  • When an invoice is saved into a folder, the App reduce the weight of the file, searches inside the PDF for a date and a name, renames the PDF using the date and name found inside the PDF, then moves the file into another folder

Can I do things like this on KM? (I need many tasks like this one)
More important: how easy is setting up this kind of task on KM over Hazel?

Thank you!

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Keyboard Maestro is incredible and can do most of that, but Hazel the way to go if you want to make use of content within the PDF. You’ll also pick up all sorts of other options specially tailored to this type of workflow.


I would, as well as asking here, go to the Keyboard Maestro forum and/or ask the developer direct. Either there or by email. Peter Lewis, I think he comes here sometimes! @peternlewis I think. Try him direct here too? I am not sure of the protocols. He is very helpful.
I use Keyboard Maestro all the time. Sometimes power users will have ways of Apple scripting into Keyboard Maestro macros that do the kind of thing you are asking about. @evanfuchs suggests that going within the PDF makes Hazel the better option. I suspect there is a way from Keyboard Maestro.
I have to say I have ditched nearly everything for Keyboard Maestro. Even if you go to Hazel I would anyway take a look at Keyboard Maestro. Really it is value for money to say the least. Having both is a good option. I used to have Hazel but I know have everything in DEVONthink 3.
I looked quickly on the Keyboard Maestro Forum and found this. I don’t understand it, perhaps you will!


Thanks Evan. Incidentally I didn’t know Hazel could do that. Not something I need myself but useful for me to know. Really my ‘advice’ here would be to have both these excellent apps. In truth they are very cheap for what they can do?


Hi @IvanPsy, welcome to the Mac Power Users forum!

With regards to the OCR (only necessary if invoices are scanned) and PDF thinning, neither application provides these features natively. But the other requirements you mention are in the wheelhouse of Hazel, thus it’s a great fit

I’m sure you could do the same with Keyboard Maestro but it would take more time to develop and might require incorporation of one or more third-party tools available via Homebrew, or otherwise. As others have stated, Keyboard Maestro is an amazing and powerful tool providing endless opportunities for macOS automation. Hazel is great too, but much more specialized.

If you want to give Keyboard Maestro a shot, as others have stated, I highly recommend the Keyboard Maestro forum. It’s an active and friendly place; one of the best I’ve ever used.


Agreed. I would strongly recommend going with Hazel for tasks that involve file renaming, moving, and other forms of processing. You can do this with KM as well, but you will probably do a bit more “roll your own” for some of what you are looking forward. Hazel is very good at pulling content out of PDFs.

I would also strongly recommend purchasing both. KM is a much more general purpose tool, and the more you play with it, the more you will find it indispensable.

Both Hazel and KM are among my first installs on any new Mac, pretty much right after 1Password and Alfred.


Thank you all for your insightful replies.
I’ve asked to the Keyboard Maestro forum, too.
I think I’ll go for Hazel for folders and file management: I need something fast and friendly.
But I’ve put KM in the wishlist, so that I’ll buy it after Hazel.


I have to agree. It’s sort of like asking what’s a better vehicle: a Ferrari or a space ship. If you’re going to the moon you want a space ship, if you’re going for a drive you want the Ferrari. If you’re going to IKEA you’ll need a van :joy:

Keyboard maestro can watch folders - and I use it for that in some specific cases (e.g. moving my podcast recording files), but generally if it’s file management I turn to Hazel because that’s it’s speciality.