How do I ...?

How do I install Keyboard Maestro?

To install Keyboard Maestro, simply copy it to your Mac’s Applications folder (or anywhere you like). Remember to hold the option key down while copying, otherwise the Finder may simply make an alias to the disk image volume.

When you launch Keyboard Maestro it installs an invisible “Keyboard Maestro Engine” that continues to run even after you quit Keyboard Maestro. The engine is the process that enables your Macros, Program Switcher, and Clipboard Switcher to work. This means that they will continue to work after you quit Keyboard Maestro, as long as the engine is still running.

You can quit or launch the engine manually using the File menu.

You should consider turning on the Keyboard Maestro preference “Launch Engine at Login” to ensure all of Keyboard Maestro’s facilities are available to you as soon as you login or startup your Mac.

How do I upgrade Keyboard Maestro?

To upgrade Keyboard Maestro, simply replace the Keyboard Maestro application in your Applications folder with the new one. Because the Keyboard Maestro Engine is probably running, the Finder may not let you replace the existing application with the new version, so either launch Keyboard Maestro and choose Quit Engine from the File menu to quit the engine, or trash the existing application, copy the new Keyboard Maestro application, and the launch the new version (it will automatically quit the old engine and start the new one). Then you can empty the Trash.

If you have not done so already, you should consider turning on the Keyboard Maestro preference “Launch Engine at Login” to ensure all of Keyboard Maestro’s facilities are available to you as soon as you login or startup your Mac.

If you are upgrading from Keyboard Maestro 1, you no longer need to have the application as a startup item, Keyboard Maestro 2 will add the Keyboard Maestro Engine as a startup item for you if you enable the “Launch Engine at Login” preference.

How do I purchase Keyboard Maestro?

New customers can purchase Keyboard Maestro for US$20 by choosing Purchase from the Keyboard Maestro menu or you can purchase multiple licenses from

You can look up your current or previous license status and serial numbers, and get information about discounted upgrades from

Thanks for supporting us and enabling us to continue work on Keyboard Maestro.

See also the Purchase section.

How do I register Keyboard Maestro?

If you purchase Keyboard Maestro from within Keyboard Maestro by choosing Purchase from the Keyboard Maestro menu, it will automatically be registered.

Regardless of how you purchase Keyboard Maestro you will immediately be emailed your username (email address) and serial number in the “Thanks For Your Purchase” email. Although you can retrieve this information from us at any time in the future, it is a good idea to keep this safe (we recommend creating a folder in your Email client and saving all your serial number emails there).

If you do not receive your serial number promptly after purchasing, it may be that the email has not reached you, possibly due to spam filtering on your email service. In this case, try looking up your purchase at Kagi (click the Track Order link) or at (although that will email you your serial number which might again be lost to over-zealous spam filters).

Once you have your username (email address) and serial number, launch Keyboard Maestro 2 and either immediately click the Use Existing License button or choose Register from the Keyboard Maestro menu. Now enter the username (email address) exactly as shown and the serial number exactly as shown and click the OK button. If you have any problems, recheck that the email address and serial number you are entering is exactly as shown (the serial number’s email address does not change even if you have changed your email address with us or Kagi).

How do I get started?

The easiest way to get started is to use your Mac normally and keep an eye open for things you do repetitively. Things like:

When you notice something, consider making a Macro to do it and assigning it to a Hot Key. Try to be consistent with your Hot Keys, for example you might have a set of applications you open, using a function key for each, and a set of documents you open, using a control-function key combination for each of them, and a bunch of snippets of text your type, using control-letter for each of them (the letter could be a mnemonic to help you remember which one is which). Consider putting a sticker on your keyboard across the top of your function keys to help you remember which ones do which function.

See also the Tips section.

How do I create a new Macro?

To create a Macro, launch Keyboard Maestro, select the Macros window pane and click the New Macro button. Give the Macro a name, select at least one action and at least one trigger and click the Save button. The Macro is immediately active.

How do I Insert Styled/Colored Text or Images?

You can insert plain text using the Clipboard -> Insert Text action. If you want to insert styled text or images you can do so using a named clipboard. Here is how to create a Macro to insert styled text when you press a Hot Key (the same method would work for an image with minor changes).

How do I uninstall Keyboard Maestro?

Launch Keyboard Maestro and ensure the “Launch Engine at Login” preference is turned off. Then choose Quit Engine from the File menu to quit the engine, and then choose Quit Keyboard Maestro from the Keyboard Maestro menu to quit the application. You can then trash the Keyboard Maestro application from your Applications folder.

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Keyboard Maestro

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