Tinderbox Forum

Keyboard Maestro, Better Touch Tool and Tinderbox

Inspired by this post: https://community.folivora.ai/t/using-btt-gestures-to-control-the-keyboard-maestro-macros-actions-etc/4911 and spurred by failing memory due to ageing (Shortcuts? What are those?), not to mention signs of failing fingers (pains in the joints – OK, I’m laying it on thick, but give me some slack) I have tried implementing the ideas in the post, including making a palette for Tinderbox. It doesn’t work. Or, to be more specific, a palette which is supposed to work only in Tinderbox doesn’t work, but I can call it up by using a global palette (works in all applications) THEN the Tinderbox palette. No doubt I should be asking for ideas in the KM and BTT forums, but I thought I would try here first. Moreover, I thought the original idea might appeal to others. So, any thoughts about why this does not work? Something to do with AppleScript?
Cheers, Martin.

These are pretty easy to do. Use can use a macro group, or you can use a “conflict palette”.

Macro Group

Open the KM editor. And choose File > New Macro Group. You’ll start with this:


Here’s my macro group for DEVONthink 3 – fill out the parameters in a similar way. (I’ll explain the name of the group, below):

In the left side of that image are my DEVONthink 3 macros. The number to the right of each macro name is the key that, when pressed while the palette is visible, invokes the macro. The macro names begin with xx) because that is KM’s convention for using numbers to sort macros in a palette. When the palette is invoked, this is what this group and its macros produce:


Back to the group naming. Just as with using xx) in macro names to create the sort order, I use the same method in macro group names. I also use the same shortcut ^\ to invoke every app-specific macro pallete, and to remind myself I spell out that shortcut in the name of the group. Because the app-specific palettes are limited to the single the group is configured for, I can use the universal ^\ shortcut and only get the palette for the current app, or no palette if I invoke that shortcut in an app that has no palette.


Conflict Palette

When the same keyboard shortcut is used for more than one macro, KM opens what’s called a “conflict palette”. This is a macro palette from which you can choose the macro that you want to operate. In KM I have created several “conflict groups”.


Here’s what the inside of one of those groups looks like

Notice, that all the macros have the same shortcut ⇧⌘0. Because I defined this group as appying only to DEVONthink 3, this shortcut invokes the conflict palette only in DEVONthink 3. But, conflict palettes can be universal – just set the group to “Available in all applications”.

Also, notice that I’m forcing a sort of the macros by putting a letter in the first position of the macro name. This is because the macros in conflict palettes are invoke from the palette by typing the name of macro. In my case, I use the first letter of “the name”.

Here’s that palette when invoked with the shortcut:


… more on this, later

1 Like

More on Macro Groups here.
More on Conflict Palettes here.

The Keyboard Maestro Wiki is superb. It is the aTbRef of Keyboard Maestro – and is also heavily managed by volunteers.

Many thanks for putting so much effort into your reply. I appreciate you so kindly spending the time. But the method I have been using does not use conflict palettes, or hot key triggers. It uses a different method with no triggers for the macros. If you look at the YouTube channel of the originator of this idea, you will see a whole slew of videos demonstrating how he uses it – the caveat being that much of it is in German https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5pBKoY4x9svshyzTVWrOzA/videos. The method depends on using a BTT gesture (which is always the same) to trigger an AppleScript that launches the KM palette. I found it a very clever technique, and have been slowly adopting it. The only case in which it has not worked is in Tinderbox, and I have been wondering if there is something in the interaction between BTT, KM, and Tinderbox that is blocking the AppleScript. Hence my question posted here. I should perhaps have mentioned that I have been using KM for a long time, and I’m fairly familiar with what it does. I concur that the forum is amazing, particularly the selection of best macros, which has some remarkable work offered for free to anyone who goes there.

Many thanks, Martin.

The video that explains the basic technique is here: https://youtu.be/Vjn5BmhVF6M. It is in German, which I don’t speak, but it is so clearly demonstrated that I think I could follow it even if it were in Chinese.

Hi Paul,
I found the workflow quite interesting. I went back to re-read it only to find it gone. Would you mind reposting it - a different thread ?