The first things to do are:
The next thing is to watch what you do on your computer and note things that you do repetitively, or that often annoy you, and see if you can make a macro to improve or streamline the process.
Once you have read the Quick Start and done the Tutorial, these are some things to look at:
Keyboard Maestro includes a macro library with a bunch of useful macros. Choose Window ➤ Macro Library do display the macro library and take a look through there.
See my tips and tricks here.
Use function keys to launch or switch to your most used applications. For example, you probably often switch to the Finder, your Email client, your Web Browser, your Word Processor. Consider putting these and other frequently used applications on function keys.
Use Control-Function Keys to open your most used documents. For example, you might have a documentation file or financial details file that you access frequently, consider putting these on Control-Function Keys.
Use Control-Letter and the Insert Text action to type in text for you, such as your name, address, phone number, and so on. Consider restricting these to just the appropriate applications like your Email client or Word Processor by creating a Macro Group for them. Also consider using Typed String triggers for these sorts of macros, for example “=em=” for email address and “=addr=” for address.
If you keep your finances on your computer, then you probably need to open a document every time you enter a bill or receive a statement. By creating a Hot Key to open the document for you, you can save a few seconds every time - at least it might make receiving a bill slightly less unpleasant! If you have multiple accounts (eg personal, business, association) then this can be even more useful.
You could use Hot Keys to connect to your common servers. You might need to create a Bookmark file for the site and use the Open File Macro Action.
You could Use Hot Keys to Insert Text, Simulate Tab Press, Insert Text, Simulate Return Press to make effective bookmarks for applications that do not have an in-built bookmark system or to enter form data. While you could use this to enter usernames and passwords I would advise you use a tool like Web Confidential for such things as it will provide secure storage for your password.
If you find yourself pressing a command key in an application and expecting it to do something but it does not work (for example, Command-T for “Replace and Find Again”), use a Macro to make the command key “do the right thing” in that application. Similarly, if you use a function in an application frequently, but it has a convoluted command key or no command key at all, define your own command key by using a Hot Key to select the menu item. Keep in mind that you can do some menu key remapping in the System Preferences Keyboard preference.
If you find yourself missing a feature in one application that you are used to in another application (perhaps you switched email clients and a feature is missing), see if you can simulate the feature with a sequence of commands and then use a Hot Key for that. For example, Close Window, Down Arrow, Return to move to next email message, or Command-Left Arrow, Shift-Down Arrow, Command-C, Down Arrow, Command-V to duplicate a line.
If you often type characters out of order, use a Hot Key to swap them by first placing the cursor between them and then executing:
If you often want to save snippets of text, you could create a Hot Key to save a clipping:
Setup a macro which simply pauses for twenty seconds and then clicks the mouse. Then when you need to print on to an envelope, go all the way through the process, position the mouse over the Print button, execute the Macro, walk over to the printer, insert an envelope and then take the printed envelope back with you.
If you regularly need to insert boilerplate text (eg copyright or file creation text), use an Insert Text macro to insert the text quickly and easily. It can even expand tokens to insert the date or other information.
If you are regularly translating text from one format to another in an automatic process, perhaps you can automate the whole thing with a Keyboard Maestro macro. For example, converting header functions into function entries. Using a shell script with pbcopy and pbpaste may also be useful for this purpose.
Create a macro to setup an application to your liking. For example, create multiple tabs in Terminal, each in its own directory, or open multiple documents in TextEdit, each positioned and sized appropriately.
If you always do a set of things every time you launch an application (eg arrange the windows in a particular way), use an application Macro Trigger to execute a Macro when you launch the application, then have the Macro do the work for you.
If you always do something after quitting an application (eg unmount a server or disconnect from the Internet), use an application Macro Trigger to execute a Macro when you quit the application. You might need to do a little AppleScripting to perform the action and then use the Execute an AppleScript action.
A Macro can play a System Beep, but an alternative is to use an AppleScript or shell script to speak text (AppleScript say “hello”).
You can also use the Alert action to display a window with specified text. This also allows you to stop the macro if you decide not to proceed.
Rakesh Kumar has created a pack to make life easier for Windows to Mac Switchers. It includes a set of macros for Mail, Microsoft Word and Microsoft PowerPoint as well as macros to map control keys to command keys for various common actions like Cut/Copy/Paste. It also includes a DefaultKeyBinding.dict for Mail to make it work more like Windows users expect.
Download Rakesh Kumar’s PC Switcher Pack and follow the instructions.