Keyboard Maestro joy

Problem to solve… Quick collapse of all Apple Note folders back to top level

Background… I have a variety of nested Apple Note folders. I find things can get quite cluttered in terms of the folder nav after you’ve been in and out of multiple folders. Unfortunately, Apple Notes does not have a “collapse all” type function (or so I think).

Enter Keyboard Maestro. Super simple macro, but so darn useful. At least for me!

Would love to hear of any other simple macros that are being used to address simple “the app should have this as standard capability” problems like this example.

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This is very simple, but is squarely in the category of “the app should have this as standard capability”

Date field sees = as an equal sign instead of a plus sign, so you have to press Shift= to move the date forward. So:

Have used it 527 times since Nov 2018.

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For years I have had a global macro tied to ⌥ V which just does “insert pasteboard by typing” which will get around all of those places where “Paste” / ⌘V does not work properly, for whatever reason.


Great examples @tjluoma and @evanfuchs. Look forward to seeing more of these!!

@tjluoma: Yes, great idea; I’ve had the same for years (although I use ⌃⌘V for mine).

@jayelevy: I really like this one. I don’t find that to be an issue that much in Notes, but having this functionality is sufficiently useful that I will add this to KM! As it happens, I do not have any nested folders in Notes at the moment (since I use the search feature rather than organization into folders for my Notes) but it will be handy to have this one just in case!

Since we are posting quick KM macros here (so I won’t post my opus on how I save email messages, based in part on what David Sparks has posted and included in his field guide, but reimplemented as a highly questionable AppleScript that saves attachments, a PDF of the mail, the raw mail, and both names the associated files and applies various tags), but instead will post this one.

Sometimes you want to make a QuickEntry into OmniFocus, and type the keyboard shortcut, but OF isn’t running, so nothing happens. I deal with it this way:

You put this in a Macro Group that is only active when OF is NOT running, and of course the keystroke trigger should be whatever you have set for a QuickEntry in OF.

This of course applies to any similar app, like Things3, or Evernote, or Drafts, or whatever.

Since OF is always running on my Desktop, not useful there, but on the laptop I sometimes don’t have it running when I go to create a QuickEntry.


Using Cmd-W to Hide instead of Close

Irksome to use Alt-Tab and be greeted with an empty window because I used Cmd-W to Close a window.
This KM macro instead hides it

Screen Shot 2020-12-07 at 4.42 PM

Not perfect, but a great improvement over the default behavior of some apps

Palettes are one of my favorite things with Keyboard Maestro. So I have palettes for many different apps that I use frequently. I have the same hotkey ^ \ for all my palettes and all of them are defined in the “Available in these applications” for the specific app that that palette works with.


@anon41602260: Totally agree. I create Macro groups active for specific apps, and within them all the macros are triggered by Meta-A (using the Brett Terpstra / Karabiner meta key hack). That way in any of those apps, Meta-A pops up the conflict palette with all of the macros for that app. I like Meta-A because its a quick one-handed key click. KM really provides an enormous ability to add utility to MacOS!

Another thing I actually do quite a bit of is to create macros in KM that I trigger from Alfred, because I often find it faster that way, without moving my hands from the keyboard. My usual approach is to create an appropriate macro group, and have an Alfred workflow that uses AppleScript to get all of the macros in the proper group, and then when one is selected it can trigger the Macro via AppleScript as well.

As an example, I have a library of KM macros that handle what I call “window control” which is basically the various resizing operations on windows, such as left half of screen, right half of screen, top of screen, corners, center, etc. The Alfred workflow is triggered by “wc” so I can quickly pop up Alfred and type “wc left half” and the window moves accordingly. I find that actually faster and easier than trying to remember dozens of keyboard combinations for all sorts of window movements. (It gets worse, because if I action the Alfred target with option held down, the window is also moved from one screen to another, which is very useful with my iMac which has a second monitor attached.)


My most-used one: For those websites that disallow you to copy/paste into passwords/email fields - Just paste it through keyboard maestro


My Meta-V choice is to bring up a palette where I can choose typed, paste normally, paste without formatting and another I’ve forgotten, which shows how often I use that.

For Notes, I set Meta-N to give me a palette with these choices:

  • Focus to pop out the active note to the right third of the screen and hide the main notes window
  • New to create a new note and Focus it
  • Delete to delete the current note

These 3 make Notes much more convenient to use quickly.