Keyboard Maestro 6 IconKeyboard Maestro 6

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Executing Scripts

You can execute shells scripts, AppleScripts, JavaScript, Automator Workflows, or filter the clipboard using BBEdit Text Factories, see the Execute Actions section. You can run a script file or include the script as text directly in the application.

AppleScripts and shell scripts give you a powerful way of adding new facilities we have not specifically provided for, as well as controlling other applications. JavaScript enables deep control over a web page.

Shell scripts can execute any installed scripting language, such as perl, python, ruby or whatever. Be aware that because shell scripts are executed in a non-interactive shell, typically none of the shell configuration files (like .login or .profile) will be executed, which may change the way the shell script behaves.

The results of AppleScripts, JavaScripts and shell scripts can be displayed, or they can be typed or pasted in to the current selection, or saved into a variable or clipboard. This allows you to insert text that depends on many factors, such as date calculations, file listings, SQL queries, web pages, or anything else you can imagine.

You can also use the clipboard to pass data between actions. For example, a script can use pbpaste to read the current clipboard, and pbcopy to set the current clipboard. You can use the Delete Current Clipboard action to restore the clipboard afterwards.

Variables can also be accessed from shell scripts via the environment variables in the form $KMVAR_Variable_Name where KMVAR_ is prefixed, and spaces are converted to underscores. AppleScripts can also access the environment variables using the system attribute command, but note that system attribute is not safe for international characters.

AppleScript can read or write variables with:

tell application "Keyboard Maestro Engine"
  set kmVarRef to make variable with properties {name:"Calculation Result"}
  set oldValue to value of kmVarRef
  set value of kmVarRef to 10
end tell

You can delete a variable with:

tell application "Keyboard Maestro Engine"
  delete variable "Calculation Result"
end tell

JavaScript can access the variable values by using the document.kmvar dictionary, like document.kmvar.Variable_Name (spaces are converted to underscores).

AppleScripts are executed in the background via osascript. This means they are not allowed to do user interaction. You can work around this by asking an application like System Events to do the user interaction for you, for example:

tell application "System Events"
  display dialog "Hello"
end tell

The osascript tool will execute in 64-bit mode if available, which may be a problem if you have old versions of AppleScript extensions installed. However, you can set the command line tool that is used to execute AppleScripts as described in Other Hidden Preferences.

See also the Variables section.

Controlling Keyboard Maestro via Scripting

The primary scripting interface to Keyboard Maestro is the Keyboard Maestro Engine’s do script support. You can ask Keyboard Maestro to:

Note in most cases you must ask “Keyboard Maestro Engine”, not “Keyboard Maestro”.

The easiest way is to use the name, for example:

tell application "Keyboard Maestro Engine"
  do script "[Name of Your Macro]"
end tell

The macro must be defined and enabled, and the macro group must be enabled and currently active.

If there is more than one macro with the same name, you will get an error, so you can use a UID instead of a name.

tell application "Keyboard Maestro Engine"
  do script "D0C150C7-8A0C-4837-918A-427E2BCFB6B9"
end tell

The do script will not return until the macro is finished executing.

You can determine a macro’s UID by selecting it and choosing Copy UID command in the Copy as sub-menu in the Edit menu.

An even more powerful way to script Keyboard Maestro is to execute specific actions based on their XML code. This allows you to construct any action, including changing the action on the fly, without having to create a macro first. A simple example would be:

tell application "Keyboard Maestro Engine"
  do script "<dict><key>MacroActionType</key><string>SwitchToLastApplication</string></dict>"
end tell

The easiest way to determine the appropriate XML is to create an example action in an example macro and then export the macro.

You can disable or enable a Macro or Macro Group from AppleScript with:

tell application "Keyboard Maestro"
  setMacroEnable "Macro/Macro Group Group Name or UID" with/without enable
end tell

This actually asks the editor to disable or enable the macro or macro group, so the change is both visible and permanent.

Alternatively you can use the Set Macro Enable action.

You can start editing a Macro or Macro Group from AppleScript with:

tell application "Keyboard Maestro"
  editMacro "Macro/Macro Group Name or UID"
end tell

You can ask Keyboard Maestro Engine to reload the macros with:

tell application "Keyboard Maestro Engine"
end tell

You can also import macros, get the selected macros, or delete a macro or macro group from AppleScript. See the AppleScript dictionary for more information.

Enhancing AppleScript

Keyboard Maestro Engine makes several of its facilities available to AppleScript.

You can ask it to play a sound with:

tell application "Keyboard Maestro Engine"
  play sound alias "Harddisk:System:Library:Sounds:Glass.aiff" 
end tell

You can ask Keyboard Maestro Engine to perform a calculation for you with:

tell application "Keyboard Maestro Engine"
  set n to calculate "JULIANDATE()"
end tell

You can ask Keyboard Maestro Engine to process tokens for you with:

tell application "Keyboard Maestro Engine"
  set clip to process tokens "%PastClipboard%3%"
end tell

The keyboardmaestro URL Scheme

Another way you can control Keyboard Maestro us using the keyboardmaestro URL scheme, which supports the following formats:

See also the Calculations and Text Tokens sections.

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