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Editor Window

To edit your macros, launch the Keyboard Maestro application. It will display one or more Editor Windows. If you close the last editor window, the Keyboard Maestro application will quit, but the Keyboard Maestro Engine will continue running to perform your macros. Normally you only launch the Keyboard Maestro editor application when you want to change your macros, and leave only the Keyboard Maestro Engine running normally.

You can create a new editor window by choosing the File ➤ New Editor Window menu.

Window Elements

 Editor Window

Main Elements

  1. Groups Column 1️⃣ (on the left)
    • List of all of the Macro Groups and Smart Groups (shown at top) in your account.
    • Smart Groups are saved searches of macros.
  2. Macros Column 2️⃣ (in the middle)
    • List All of the Macros in the Selected Macro Group.
    • Macros are the primary way you describe what you want Keyboard Maestro to do.
    • You can filter the list to find specific macros by using the Search Field (upper right corner).
  3. Details Column 3️⃣ (on the right)
    1. Display or Edit the details of the selected Macro, Macro Group, or Smart Group.
      • This is where you enter the actual details of the selected Macro
      • Layout changes depending on which type is selected.
    2. If a Macro is selected, shows the following elements:
      1. Macro Name
      2. Enabled Checkbox ✅ (shown just before the text “Triggered by any of the following”).
        • Must be checked to enable your Macro to be triggered.
      3. Trigger List (if any) that have been assigned to your Macro
      4. Action List – the meat of your Macro that provides the processing steps to be performed.
    3. If a Macro Group is selected, shows the following elements:
      1. Macro Group Name
      2. Enabled Checkbox ✅ (shown just before the text “Enable Macro Group”).
        • Must be checked to enable your Macro Group.
        • If unchecked, none of the Macros in that Macro Group can be triggered.


  1. Toolbar at Bottom
    • Below each of the above columns are tools (buttons) to be used only for that column.
    • See below for details
  2. Toolbar at Top
    • At the top of the window are tools generally apply to all Macros.
    • See below for details.

Toolbar at Bottom


  1. Common Buttons 2️⃣ at the bottom of each column
    (Applies to Item in that column)
    1. Create (+)
    2. Delete (-)
    3. Enable/disable ()
  2. Groups Column Buttons
    1. Create Smart Group 1️⃣
  3. Details Column Buttons
    1. Set Timeout for selected Action 3️⃣
    2. Toggle Edit Mode Edit 4️⃣
    3. Try the selected actions Try 5️⃣
      1. This is for testing Actions, NOT the entire Macro.
      2. To test the entire Macro, click the Run Button ▶️ in the Top Toolbar
    4. Start Macro Recording Record 6️⃣

Toolbar at Top

Along the top of the window is the toolbar. From left to right the buttons let you:

  1. Share ⏏️ – Share your Macros or Actions, including directly to the Keyboard Maestro Forum.
  2. Used ⌘ Select the most recently used (triggered) macros.
  3. History ⬅️➡️ Select from the recently edited macro history.
  4. Modified ⏲️ Select the most recently edited macro.
  5. Run ▶️ Run the selected macro.
  6. Search 🔍 Search for Macros and Actions.
    • Press ⌘F to search Macros only in the selected Macro Group.
    • Press ⌘⌥F to search all Macros.
    • If you enter simple text, it will search for any text in any Action, or Macro Name, that contains that text
    • To better restrict the Search, use Search Qualifiers
    • The Macros Column will be filtered to only matching macros
    • Any parts of the macro that match will be highlighted in striped blue in the Details Column.


Edit mode may be toggled on/off by clicking the Edit button on the Bottom Toolbar, or by selecting the menu View > Stop/Start Editing Macros.


You can add a new action by any of the following:

  1. Click the New Action button
  2. Click the + button at the bottom of the Details Column 3️⃣ to display the list of actions
  3. Press ⌘⌃A to show a Insert Action By Name Popup


When you are in Edit Mode and you select a Macro, you can edit its behaviour.

 Macro Editor

You can adjust the name of the Macro 3️⃣, and whether it is enabled 3️⃣ (a macro must be enabled for it to be available to be triggered (executed) - its parent macro group must also be enabled and active).


A macro consists of a set of triggers 3️⃣. When it is active, if any of these triggers happen, then the macro executes the actions.

You can add a trigger by clicking and holding on the green + button and selecting the kind of trigger you would like to use.
Some triggers, like the Status Menu trigger, do not have any additional configuration. Simply adding them to the macro will have macro triggered when the event happens (in this case, the macro will be listed in the Keyboard Maestro status menu, and will be triggered if you choose it from that menu).

Other triggers, like the Typed String trigger, require you to configure more details about when the trigger should happen, such as the specific string you have to type to trigger the macro. For the macro shown, the macro will be triggered when you type the string “=-=”.

When a macro is triggered, it will execute the actions you have entered in the Details Column 3️⃣.

Macro Groups

When you are in Edit Mode, and you select a Macro Group, you can edit its configuration.

 Macro Group Editor

You can adjust the name of the Macro Group (1).

For a Macro to be available to trigger, it must be enabled and its parent Macro Group must be enabled, and active. The configurations for the Macro Group control when it will be active, and thus when the macros it contains will be active (available to be triggered and executed).

You can adjust whether the macro group is enabled 2️⃣, whether it is only active in some specific applications 3️⃣ (ie, when they are at the front, and their menu bar is showing), whether it is only active in specific windows (4), whether it is only active when you explicitly toggle it on or off, and whether and how it shows a palette containing its macros (5).

Smart Groups

When you are in Edit Mode, and you select a Smart Group, you can edit its search settings.

 Smart Group Editor

You can adjust the name of the Smart Group 1️⃣, and adjust its Search Strings 2️⃣.

You can add another Search String by clicking the green + button.

manual/Editor_Window.txt · Last modified: 2019/12/31 18:21 by JMichaelTX