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What’s New?

Keyboard Maestro 9 expands on the powerful base of previous versions, adding Dark Mode, multiple editor windows, and support for OCR and JSON, together with lots of new actions and additions. Keyboard Maestro 9 requires OS X 10.11.0 El Capitan or later.


  • Vacuum Variables sqlite database on editor launch.
  • Worked around a Big Sur bug that meant Alerts and Prompt For User Windows moved each time. (forum)
  • Resolved issues with the Fast User Switch action in Big Sur.
  • Resolved a display glitch that could happen in Dark Mode in the Clipboard Preferences.
  • Resolved an issue where some copied images would not appear in clipboard history.


  • Native build for Apple Silicon.
  • Added new method of choosing characters for Icon Chooser.
  • Added support for copy&paste of Icon Image Well images retaining very compressed size icons.
  • Added support for pasting characters (including emoji) in to Icon Image Wells.
  • Added support for pasting icons to multiple macros or macro groups.
  • Added support for currency characters in Icon Chooser.
  • Added support for customising Smart Macro Group icons.
  • Added support for autofocus on select fields in Custom HTML Prompt.
  • Added support for \v in token text fields. (forum)
  • Added support for case insensitive characters in Conflict Palette earlier than characters with mixed-length case conversions.
  • Actions that attempt to perform text operations on images or folders now fail with an error.
  • Adjusted the Contact sheet to only fill the fields from Contacts if you explicitly request it to.
  • Adjusted the Report Feature Requests sheet to only fill the fields from Contacts if you explicitly request it to.
  • Added a way to force-unregister Keyboard Maestro.
  • Reduced some needless CPU wastage in the editor (more pronounced on Apple Silicon).
  • Fixed an issue where editor search was not searching Cancel a Specific Macro's instance field.
  • Fixed an issue with macro group activated for one action, leading to conflict palette.
  • Fixed an issue with macro groups remaining active after their palette has been dismissed. (forum)
  • Fixed that Duplicating a Macro Group would not preserve its focussed window condition.
  • Added entitlements for Camera & Microphone to ensure they could be used by scripts if desired.
  • Possibly resolved a rare crash involving notificationLargeTextChanged.


  • Changed to using Contacts API instead of deprecated AddressBook API.
  • Added warnings for Press & Hold Modifiers and Press & Hold Hardware Key actions as the last action of a macro.
  • Improved some error reporting.
  • Resolved a crash when there are no screens attached.
  • Fixed an issue with the Conflict Palette not disabling conflicting hot keys.
  • Fixed Interactive Help reporting Macro Group inactive when the Macro was disabled.
  • Fixed a bug where prompt windows could be displayed in the wrong place if the mouse was on the very edge of the screen.


  • Fixed the USB Device Key trigger display for regular devices.
  • Resolved a crash related to spotlight indexing.
  • Ensure calculations like Variable DIV Variable are parsed correctly.
  • Added “regular expression” as a synonym for the Search and Search & Replace actions.
  • Added some debugging code to clarify mIsTriggerRepeating assertions.
  • Added some debugging code and avoid crash for SearchVariableCaptureController.
  • Fixed an issue where Named Clipboards could not be renamed unless they contained displayable contents. (forum)
  • Improved the error modes for the Set Variables to JSON action. (forum)
  • Adjusted the Interactive Help to discuss Mojave/Catalina accessibility permission bugs. (forum)
  • Fixed Undo name of Disable/Enable Macro Group.
  • Fixed Menu name for Enable N Macro Groups.
  • Added AlwaysRecordAbsoluteClicks private preference.


  • Fixed JSON evaluation token to properly support text tokens in {}.
  • Added Iconaholic Clean status menu icon option (Thanks Matthias).
  • Improved the USB Device Key trigger display for PI Engineering devices (eg XK-24 et al).


  • The Search & Replace action would sometimes erroneously generate styled text.
  • Fixed Type Keystroke/Insert Text changing to send to front application not being saved immediately.
  • Made menu and button names ignore precomposed/decomposed unicode differences.
  • Catalina: Adjust iTunes application name to Music application.
  • Catalina: Fix iTunes actions to work with Music application.


  • Large Text Size is properly respected when the editor is launched.
  • Adjusted OCR language “Flemish” name to “Dutch/Flemish”.
  • Added Append and Prepend Variable to Variables category of action selector.
  • Prompt For User Input, Alert, Notification actions and Script Conditions text expand as necessary.
  • Updated some fonts to San Francisco.
  • Use Revisions Version 9 folder.
  • Improved support for Stream Deck buttons in Multi Actions.
  • Fixed issue with Stream Deck buttons not saving their virtual row/column when changed.
  • Fixed issue with Stream Deck buttons not saving their title when profiles change.
  • Fixed an issue with macro import where each macro went in to its own group. (forum)
  • Fixed an issue with the Value Inspector when there are no entries.
  • Fixed alignment of Plug In Action popup menus.


  • Clipboards with flavors that generated errors were being ignored entirely.
  • A click at found image when the image was not unique, would result in a click at 0,0.
  • Fixed a crash referencing Named Clipboards that did not exist.
  • A Conflict Palette will once again dismiss “for one action” palettes.
  • Resolved an issue of the non-Edit display of comments in Dark Mode.
  • Text color for Search the Web window is not correct in Dark Mode.
  • The text color of the Icon Chooser character menus is now black in Light Mode.
  • The text background of the Display Text Window is now white in Light Mode.
  • Log triggering of quick macros.
  • Added Execute a Javascript in Front Browser to Execute category.
  • Properly save Keyboard Maestro Macros Saved Version 8.plist file.
  • Further improved support for applications without bundle IDs.
  • Restored support for detecting application launch/quit on applications without bundle IDs.

Major Changes in 9.0

  • Support multiple editor windows.
  • Support Dark Mode (requires 10.14+).
  • Added JSON support.
  • Added OCR support.
  • Added extended Regex support.
  • Added support for Stream Deck.
  • Hardened Runtime. Notarized.
  • Requires OS X 10.11 El Capitan or later.

Dark Mode

  • Support Dark Mode (requires 10.14+).
  • Added Dark Mode preference (System, Light or Dark) (requires 10.14+).
  • Added Set/Toggle System Dark Mode actions (requires 10.14+).
  • Added Set/Toggle Keyboard Maestro Dark Mode actions (requires 10.14+).
  • Added DARKMODE and KMDARKMODE functions (requires 10.14+).


  • Added Set JSON Value action.
  • Added Set Variables to JSON action.
  • Added Set Dictionary to JSON action.
  • Added %JSONValue%VarName[2+3].field.{%FieldName%}% token (and Pretty and Strict variants).
  • Added %JSONFromVariables%Prefix% token (and Pretty and Strict variants).
  • Added %JSONFromDictionary%Dictionary% token (and Pretty and Strict variants).
  • Added JSONVALUE(VarName[2+3].field.{%Variable%FieldName%}) function.
  • Added JSON Keys collection.
  • Added context sensitive COUNT() function within JSON array accesses.
  • Added filter to JSON Compact and JSON Pretty.

Stream Deck

  • Added Stream Deck Plug In.
  • Added Stream Deck Plug In to USB Device Key trigger.
  • Added Stream Deck Set Title action.
  • Added Stream Deck Set Image action.
  • Added Stream Deck Show OK action.
  • Added Stream Deck Show Alert action.

Extended Regex

  • Support Change Case \U, \u, \L, \l and \E in text fields including Search & Replace fields.
    See Text Case Conversions.
  • Support named capture groups (${name}) in regular expression replacement fields (10.13+).


  • Support multiple editor windows.
  • Support for Increased Contrast.
  • Support contextual menu in Macros column.
  • Support contextual menu in Macro Groups column.
  • In the Insert Action/Token/Function by Name windows, Option-Double Click, and Option-Return open the wiki help. (forum)
  • Dragging a folder in to a macro now creates an Open Folder action.
  • Dragging a workflow into a macro now creates an Execute an Automator Workflow action.
  • Use VarName as the default variable name in more places.
  • Changed “Import Macros Disabled…” menu name to “Import Macros Safely…” to avoid confusion.
  • Added a Sort Disabled Macros to Bottom option.
  • Select from Recently Executed now focuses on Macros Column/Macro in non-Edit mode.
  • Added macros to Spotlight index (requires 10.13+). (forum)
  • Adjust macro name / trigger column resizing to allow for longer trigger names.
  • Better display of invalid calculations in the editor. (forum)
  • No display of calculation errors in the editor if the issue is only that a Local or Instance variable has no value. (forum)
  • Large Text setting now affects resizable text views in actions.
  • Added hidden preferences to allow setting the font/size of text views in actions, including fixed width script fonts.
  • Added Toolbar labels to enhance accessibility. (mjtsai)
  • Enhanced the Interactive Help with further support for when a macro is triggered but not doing what you want.
  • Added detection of Mojave accessibility setting bugs to the Interactive Help system (sigh).


  • Added Display Layout Changed trigger.
  • Added Iconaholic Rotate status menu icon.
  • Added default Clipboard Filters group.
  • Support sorting the Applications Palette by launch date. (Quinn)
  • Preserve DPI of images in image actions. (forum)
  • Add “real-time” recording mode. (forum)
  • Avoid copying as PDF in Microsoft apps (Microsoft apps are still slow on first copy while starting the RTF engine).
  • Avoid copying many different image formats on the clipboard, only save TIFF and PNG formats.
  • Support “Place Under Mouse” in Clipboard History Switcher.
  • Large Text setting now affects Quick Look and Display Text in Window plain text size.
  • Support button keys with or without command keys in Prompt For User Input windows with no text fields. (forum)
  • Added JavaScript in Front Browser script condition. (forum)
  • Treat clipboard entries with file references to images as images.
  • Add Large Text Display period to the Set Action Delay action settings.
  • Support the AppleScript “windows” property returning all the panel windows in the Engine. (forum)
  • Triggering a macro will not necessarily cancel a conflict palette or “for once” palette. This may change in the future.


  • Added Dark Mode palette theme.
  • Added Mojave Night palette theme. (forum)
  • Added Blue Lagoon palette theme.
  • Added Blue Night palette theme.
  • Added Purple Dream palette theme.
  • Added Orange Light palette theme.
  • Added enhanced custom palette theme with gradient options. (forum)
  • Added an option to center or not center the text in palette themes. (forum)

Clipboard Switcher

  • If multiple items are selected in the Clipboard Switcher, Command-C merges them into the system clipboard.
  • If multiple items are selected in the Clipboard Switcher, Command-V merges and then pastes them.
  • If multiple images are selected, merging them creates a single larger image (horizontally or vertically, depending on the separator).
  • Added a contextual menu to select the Multiple Clipboard Separator.
  • If a single item is selected in the Clipboard History Switcher, command-C sets the system clipboard to it.


  • Added OCR (Optical Character Recognition) action for screen and images.
  • Added OCR condition for screen and images.
  • Added Set Desktop Image action.
  • Add Cancel a Specific Macro action.
  • Added Append/Prepend to Variable actions.
  • Added Set Clipboard to Image action.
  • Added Set Clipboard to File Reference action.
  • Added Append Text to Variable option for various outputs (eg Execute Script output).
  • Added Show/Hide/Toggle Applications Palette action.
  • Updated Open 1Password action to work with 1Password 7.3+.
  • Added URL selction to Open 1Password action (requires 1Password 7.3+).
  • Added Display Name option to Filter and Get File Attribute.
  • Added modifiers to Simulate the Hardware Key action.
  • Added Small Increase/Decrease System Sound Volume actions.
  • Added Small Increase/Decrease System Brightness actions.
  • Add clipboard and file options to Find Image action.
  • Add clipboard and file options to Click at Found Image action.
  • Add clipboard and file options to Found Images collection and condition.
  • Added bottom to top and right to left options for Found Images collection.
  • Added image selection (eg “rightmost”) options to Find Image action.
  • Added non-unique image selection (eg “rightmost”) options to Click at Found Image action.
  • Added %ApplicationPath%1% token.
  • Added “All”, “Foreground”, “Background” options to Application tokens.
  • Added “All” option to Window and Screen tokens.
  • Added %ExecutingInstance% token representing the current execution instance.
  • Added %ExecutingInstances% listing the current execution instances.
  • Added %ExecutingInstanceName%instance% giving the name of a specific instance.
  • Added %FrontBrowser%, %FrontBrowserBundleID% and %FrontBrowserPath% tokens.
  • Added HEX, OCT, and BIN functions.
  • Added DIV operator.
  • Support two-parameter variants of RANDOM and RAND functions. (forum)
  • Support SCREENVISIBLE(VarName,…) when VarName is “Back”, etc (forum)
  • Support “Index” as a coordinate to the SCREEN and SCREENVISIBLE function.
  • Support Smart Groups in Trigger Macro By Name action.
  • Support Smart Groups in Show Palette of Macros action.
  • Added an option to select the units for the Pause action.
  • Added screen selection menu options for second, third, external, internal, etc in various actions.
  • Added an option to not sort entires in the Prompt With List action. (forum)
  • Added an option to set the title of the Prompt For File action. (forum)
  • Added an option to set the initial directory of the Prompt For File action. (forum)
  • Added a parameter option to the Get a URL action.
  • Added a parameter option to the Remote Trigger action.
  • Added an option to the Open URL action to open the URL in the background.
  • Support token processing options in the various web browser actions.
  • Tokens that start with %Local or %Instance but that do not match an existing local/instance variable are assume to be empty variables. (forum)


  • Improved launch speed, especially with multiple editor windows.
  • Improved speed displaying the All Macros group with large numbers of macros.
  • Improved Clipboard History display speed and memory usage with lots of large images.
  • Improved Clipboard History save/load speed with lots of large images.
  • Improved Named Clipboard save/load speed with lots of large images.


  • Added “web” and “website” as a search synonym for Open URL and Get URL actions.
  • Added “load” and “save” as search synonyms for Read File and Write File actions.
  • Added “create” and “directory” as search synonyms for New Folder action.
  • Added “annotate” as search synonyms for Composite onto Image action.
  • Added “dialog” and “window” as search synonyms for Alert and Prompt for User Input actions.
  • Added “Insert Styled Text by Pasting” to action insertion lists.
  • Added hidden preference settings to configure the fonts in scripts, HTML, JSON and Comment actions.
  • Added options to match applications based on just Bundle ID (rather than Path & Bundle ID).
  • Expanded hex character tokens to include emoji (eg %01F300%).
  • Adjusted Filter Percent Encode for URL to encode all non-alphanumeric characters.
  • Adjusted Search the Web action to token expand the Title field. (forum)
  • Default shell environment to UTF-8 if not explicitly set.
  • Changed Application Trigger to set TriggerValue to the path of the application. (may break macros)
  • Include Smart Groups in macro selector popup menu.
  • Trigger Macro by Name initial search now processes tokens.
  • Adjusted Comment action to enable automatic link detection.
  • Adjusted Insert Styled text and Display Styled Text action to enable automatic link detection.
  • Adjusted the palette displays slightly, de-bolded the content text and added some space. (forum)
  • Disabled Smart Copy/Paste in most text fields. (forum)
  • Attempt to better support control over Smart Quote/Dash/Link Substitution/Detection.
  • Detect AppleScript errors and abort/fail the Execute AppleScript action. (may break macros)
  • Detect Shell script errors and abort/fail the Execute Shell Script action. (may break macros)
  • Detect Plug In script errors and abort/fail the Plug In action. (may break macros)(forum)
  • Avoid New Folder action failing in the case where the folder already exists.
  • Improve error display of text script errors (remove long extraneous temporary path).
  • Hidden Windows show slightly dimmed text in the Window Switcher.
  • Handle kmtrigger: URLs with bogus slash (/) at the end added by Word.
  • Worked around Google Chrome’s stupid window title accessibility issue. (forum)
  • Worked around Safari 12.1 not disabling the Stop menu when the page is finished loading (radar 49309868).
  • Worked around an issue with dates and times not being localized in Mojave. (CFBundleAllowMixedLocalizations)
  • Support Brave and Vivaldi browsers as a Chrome-compatible Front Browser. (forum)
  • Rate-limit Named Clipboard Change notifications.
  • Rate-limit Allow JavaScript from Apple Events notifications.
  • Improved Search Using Regular Expressions to indicate invalid variables in red. (forum)
  • Invalid variables that are entered in various fields and show up red will not be saved.
  • Improve error display of calculation errors. (forum)
  • Added primary trigger to Macro Inspector / Trigger Macro by Name windows.
  • Adjusted the Continue/Retry Loop action icon to a Control Flow icon instead of a Stop icon.
  • Adjusted the Share to Forum default name to be less verbose. (forum)
  • Detect Universal Clipboards and display a network icon as the source.
  • Removed support for signatures in Send Mail Message as’s signature support is broken.
  • Detect more Audio Output Device changes. (forum)


  • Fixed Revert to interact properly with Undo/Redo. (forum)
  • Fixed the title of the Set Action Delay action. (forum)
  • Fixed a crash if the engine is launched via a .kmtrigger file.
  • Fixed the non-edit display of the Macro condition.
  • Fixed the non-edit display of the Modifiers condition.
  • Fixed the non-edit display of the Text condition.
  • Fixed performance issue with Word Count filter. (forum)
  • Fixed an issue where the “ends with” condition fails if the end string is also in the middle of the string. (forum)
  • Fixed an issue where macro groups that were inactive and then had their configuration changed would not necessarily activate.
  • Fixed an issue with Prompt With List action not showing as much as possible of long entries.
  • Fixed an issue with gestures of a single diagonal direction being allowed.
  • Fixed an issue with the character selection menu highlighting in the Icon Chooser Character display.
  • Fixed an issue with highlighting display of truncated names in Window Switcher.
  • Fixed an issue when running a macro from the editor immediately after making a change.
  • Fixed an issue where Conflict Palettes could not use the key they were triggered with. (forum)
  • Fixed Command-V in the search field in the Clipboard Switcher.
  • Fixed a crash in ThemedPaletteMatrixCell when the entry is tracking the mouse but the palette changes.
  • Fixed an issue with the Prompt for File action not honouring the file types. (forum)
  • Fixed an issue where the editor window would hide if you selected Help from a Insert By Name window. (forum)
  • Fixed Icon Chooser sorting applications case sensitively.
  • Fixed an issue with Enable/Disable macros resulting in a delay in operation of Typed String trigger. (forum)
  • Fixed Break From Loop, Retry Loop, Continue Loop considering a Group to be a loop. (forum)
  • Fixed an issue with Emoji character transparency in palettes. (forum)
  • Fixed Get Touch Bar to properly handle Code__Title options. (forum)


Download Keyboard Maestro now to try all these great capabilities. Or keep reading for even more details about the Features of Keyboard Maestro.

Alternatively, you can contact us if you have a question about whether Keyboard Maestro can solve your automation needs. We want all our customers to be satisfied, so we are happy to help you understand how Keyboard Maestro can achieve your automation goals.

manual/Whats_New.txt · Last modified: 2021/01/08 01:46 by peternlewis