The recent upgrade of Keyboard Maestro to include support for the Elgato Stream Deck gave me the incentive to invest in the device which I have been eyeing off for awhile.
Elgato offers 3 hardware versions of the Stream Deck plus an iOS App. Basically the difference between the hardware versions is the number of programmable buttons that the device has
- Mini - 4
- Stream Deck - 15
- Stream Deck L - 32
I chose to go with the XL version, primarily due to the increased size and the improved stand.
While the initial intention of the product was to assist creators with their broadcasts it is a very useful tool for general automation tasks, which is the reason I bought the device.
It easily allows for programming of buttons to simulate keyboard commands to activate Quick Action services and application specific keyboard shortcuts. Here is a Multi Action I created to implement MacSparky’s famous Save as PDF Quick Action
The latest version of Keyboard Maestro now includes the ability to recognise the press of a particular button on the Stream Deck to trigger a macro.
Elgato also offers a great web based tool called Key Creator to easily create Buttons and Wallpapers. Through the tool you can access a library of icons for the button design but you can also use images from other sources.
Actions are available to insert text, Open Folders and Websites, interact with sites like Twitter and YouTube, use multimedia controls for your Mac and access home automation products like Phillips Hue and Nanoleaf. As there is an SDK available you can find other third party Actions either through the Stream Deck configuration app or online at sites like stream-deck-plugins.com
Here is my Home screen, where apart from some useful Quick Actions I have included multimedia, Hue and Nanoleaf controls.
The Stream Deck has the the ability to automatically change the Profile to show Actions specific to the application you are running. At present apart from my Home Screen I have created a profiles for the Mail.app (shown above) and Final Cut Pro. The Profiles can be exported for backup purposes but this also makes them available for sharing - Final Cut Pro.
Another function that increases the usefulness of the device is Folders. You can create a folder which then allows another 32 buttons to be programmed. Within that folder you can create another sub folder allowing potentially hundreds of commands to be programmed for a Profile.
Getting to know the Stream Decks abilities has given me lots of fun. If you are into automation I highly recommend this device.