Macro Actions


A Macro executes a sequence of Macro Actions in series. There are many actions to choose from (detailed below), some simple actions, for example Sleep Computer, require no other information and simply do their job, while other more complex actions, for example Select Menu Item, require you to specify more information, such as a target application or menu name.

There are many powerful Macro Actions available for your use, and you can sequence them together to perform complex tasks.

Process Control

Process Control actions allow your to switch, quit, or hide applications. The actions are:

Switch to Last Application
switches back to the previous application you were in.
Switch to Next Application
switches to the next application (as defined by the Program Switcher sorting method).
Activate Specific Application
launches if necessary and brings the specified application to the front.
Bring Application Windows Forward
brings the all the windows of the current application to the front.
Quit All Applications
quits all foreground applications, optionally honoring the excluded application list.
Quit Other Applications
quits all foreground applications except the current one, optionally honoring the excluded application list.
Quit Specific Application
quits the specified application.
Hide All Applications
hides all foreground applications, optionally honoring the excluded application list.
Quit Other Applications
hides all foreground applications except the current one, optionally honoring the excluded application list.
Hide Specific Application
hides the specified application.

Interface Control

Interface Control actions allow you to interact with the user interface, selecting menus, clicking buttons, simulating key presses and so forth. The actions are:

Manipulate Window
resize, move, bring to front, close, zoom, or minimize the front window or a specified window.
Move or Click Mouse
move, click or move and click the mouse. You can specify modifiers such as the shift key, as well as the position, relative to any corner of the front window, the main screen, or the current mouse location.
Select Menu Item
select a specified menu item in the front or a specified application.
Press Button
press a specified button in the front window.
Simulate Key Press
simulate pressing a specified keystroke.
Simulate Scroll Wheel
simulate scrolling the mouse wheel up or down.

iTunes Control

iTunes Control actions allow you to interact with iTunes, playing songs, stopping or pausing, rewinding or fast-forwarding. All actions will launch iTunes if it is not already running. The actions are:

Play Titled Song
play a specified song.
Play Titled Playlist
play the songs in a specified Playlist.
Play Random Song From Library
play a random song.
Play Random Song From Titled Playlist
play a random song from a specified Playlist.
toggle from playing to pausing or vice-versa.
pause the current song.
stop playing any song.
fast-forward the current song. It will keep fast-forwarding until you do something else or until it reaches the end of the song.
rewind the current song. It will keep rewinding until you do something else or until it reaches the beginning of the song.
Next Song
play the next song.
Previous Song
Go to the previous song or the start of the current song if it is already playing.

System Control

System Control allows you to control your Mac. Most are pretty self explanatory. The actions are:

Sleep Computer
puts your Mac to sleep.
Shutdown Computer
shuts your Mac down.
Restart Computer
restarts your Mac.
Activate Screen Saver
starts the screen saver (could be especially useful if the screen saver requires a password to unlock it).
Open/Close CD Tray
Opens the CD tray if it is closed, or closes it if open (especially useful for keyboards that do not have an eject key).
Toggle System Sound Mute
Mutes the sound if sound is currently on, unmutes the sound if already muted.
Increase System Sound Volume
Increases the sound volume.
Decrease System Sound Volume
Decrease the sound volume.
System Beep
Play a simple beep (this can be useful for debugging complex Macros).
Increase Screen Brightness
Increase the screen brightness.
Decrease Screen Brightness
Decrease the screen brightness.


Open actions allow you to open files, folders, URLs or System Preference Panes. The actions are:

Open File or Folder
opens a specified file or folder. Don’t underestimate the power of this command as you can open bookmarks or other action documents to perform a lot of customized actions.
Open URL
open a URL with the appropriate helper.
Open System Preference Pane
opens a specified System Preference Pane.


Execute actions let you execute AppleScripts or Unix scripts. Unix scripts can be any kind of script, sh, zsh, tcsh, perl, python, and so on. If the script generates any results, they are displayed in a floating window. The actions are:

Execute AppleScript
execute a specified AppleScript.
Execute Unix Script
execute a specified Unix script.

These powerful actions allow you to add any new facilities we have not provided for, stringing them together with other actions as desired.


Clipboard actions let you insert text (the text is placed in the clipboard, pasted in, and then the clipboard restored) or use a named clipboard. The actions are:

Insert Text
insert the specified text. Tokens are provided to include such things as the time or date.
Use Named Clipboard
use the specified clipboard.

The Insert Text action can be very useful to insert standard text templates, such as your signature, address, and so on. If you ever get email from Peter, you will probably notice that many of his emails end with “Enjoy, Peter.” - with the amount of email he deals with, you don’t think he types that in every time do you?

PowerMate Control

The PowerMate Control action let you control the brightness and pulsing of the PowerMate. You can specify the brightness, pulsing speed, and whether pulsing continues during sleep.


The Pause action lets you pause in the middle of a sequence of actions. You can use this to get a visual break in your sequence of actions (eg for a slideshow), or to allow time for the applications affected by previous actions to "catch up" before continuing.

Continue on to Macro Triggers


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