Sands Consulting (tomsands.com)

"Where computers are our friends"

Be Careful With Assigning ‘Hot Keys’ in Keyboard Maestro

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While creating a new Macro in Keyboard Maestro, I almost wasted a day driving to the Apple Store, in addition to crippling the use of my iMac by using an alternative keyboard for a number of days. In a nutshell, if you create a hot key in Keyboard Maestro using a simple letter, you will/may find that the letter will not be typed during normal typing.

I was excited by a David Sparks Screencast which described creating macros in Keyboard Maestro in order to quickly size and place windows with simple keyboard hot key triggers. I found that you could a hotkey by typing the letter “r” four times in a row. It seemed reasonable since I would never ‘accidentally’ set it off.

The next thing I knew I could not type the letter “r” in any application. Of course, as I write this now, it seems completely obvious. At the time I barely thought about the hot key since I was moving so fast creating several other macros (all with combinations of the control, option, command, and arrow keys).

I had completely forgotten about this special “r” macro and just started noticing that every word with the letter “r” was failing. I assumed that it was time for my Bluetooth keyboard that came with my 2017 iMac had finally broken with a stuck “r” key. I needed to keep moving so I attached the only other keyboard that I had handy, an Amazon Basics USB keyboard, made for a Windows computer. I put the Bluetooth off to the side with the thought that I would make a Genius appointment with the Apple store that is 20 miles away and bring it in.

I was so sure that this was a broken keyboard, I didn’t even test to see if the “r” was now working. Several minutes later (while struggling using the windows style keyboard), I found that the “r” was still not typing.  It finally struck me. I went back into Keyboard Maestro, changed the hot key, and the “r” started working perfectly again.

What a fool I am.

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