Macros on MacOS – Switching from AutoHotKey to Keyboard Maestro

January 12, 2020

Learn how to use Keyboard Maestro and Stream Deck to supercharge your workflow in DaVinci Resolve on Mac with powerful macros.

Day 12: 24 Insights In 24 Days – 2020 New Year Marathon!

Macros on Mac OS

If you’ve seen my Insight on using AutoHotKey with Stream Deck, you know I’ve been using AutoHotKey to make macros and accelerate my workflow in Resolve. I’ve got a whole library of macros and scripts that make my day to day grading faster and easier.

Well, I recently switched from Windows to Mac and one of my biggest concerns was finding a suitable replacement for AutoHotKey, as it’s Windows-only. AutoHotKey’s flexibility and power were going to be pretty big shoes to fill. We’ve also had multiple requests from members to teach something with similar functionality for Mac.

Well, fellow Mac-users? I’ve found the perfect alternative. Keyboard Maestro. Keyboard Maestro is an incredibly flexible, powerful, and easy to use macro system for Mac OS – and it even has a native Stream Deck plug-in! Best of all it is incredibly affordable.

In this Insight, I’ll walk you through

  • Keyboard Maestro’s user interface
  • Making simple keyboard/mouse macros
  • Linking Keyboard Maestro to your Stream Deck
  • Advanced macros, including image recognition, menu control, user interaction and looping

Remember – even though I show a few specific examples of macros in the video, there are a million different ways to build macros for however you want to work. That is the power of macro software! The sky is the limit. So if you have any comments, questions, or ideas for cool macros leave them in the comments below!



Homepage Forums Macros on MacOS – Switching from AutoHotKey to Keyboard Maestro

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  • Marc Wielage

    Scott Stacy and Jason Bowdach have been taunting me for a year because I have yet to install my Streamdeck on our office system. Hopefully Joey’s tutorial will inspire me to finally getting that done, fulfilling a New Year’s resolution.

  • Jamie Dickinson

    This is really cool – a compelling reason to move to a Mac for this alone!

  • Joey D’Anna

    Do it! It’ll change your life.
    If you want icons – i’ve got icons here of a bunch of stuff.

  • Scott Stacy

    More taunting coming if you don’t 🙂 This tutorial should get you started. I have been using AutoHotKey and Keyboard Maestro for over a year. Keyboard Maestro has some very nice features. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll get addicted to programming things. And… you can always hit Joey up for tips, as he is clearly techno wizard in residence.

  • Ed R

    Excellent Joey. thank you! I’ve been using Keyboard Maestro for StreamDeck but all my macros were built before the StreamDeck plugin was available and were triggered by Applescripts. It’s cool to see how the plug-in integrates.

  • Joey D’Anna


  • Verne Mattson

    Great Insight and great KM tips Joey – thanks! I’ve been using KM and StreamDeck together and I didn’t know about this new integration. I’ve been using crazy keyboard key combos to trigger the KM macros and this will make things much simpler.

    I also have an XKeys keypad with some ContollerMate commands that I haven’t migrated to my StreamDeck yet – maybe this will motivate me! Although it’d be pretty sweet to have Controllermate integrated with StreamDeck too.


  • karl

    Thanks for the Insight and thanks for sharing the Icons. Much appreciated.

  • Jean-Francois R

    My Streamdeck/Keyboard Maestro setup is an ever evolving project. Some things I do:

    I use a Tangent Wave at home, which is missing a few mappings such as Temperature/Tint, Color Boost, Midtone Details. I’ve setup my Streamdeck to address those. Each parameter is controlled by a +/Reset/- set of buttons. The + an – buttons do the following: bring up the correct tab, double-click on the numeric field, copy the value into the clipboard, set into a variable, add an offset, paste the value back into the numeric field. Because the macro leaves the numeric field selected, I can also manually type the value I want and hit enter. I also have a Strength buttons which toggles between small and large offset for all parameters. For instance, color boost might have a small offset of 3 and a large offset of 10. The strength button also affects my printer lights buttons, which toggles between full and quarter increments.

    One of my most used features is the filter buttons: Filter All, Graded/Ungraded, Common Source Media and more. Each button digs down into the Clips filter menu to set the correct one. I’ll grade one clip, hit the Common Source Media button to see if these other clips should use the same grade or use another version. Then I’ll hit the Ungraded button to see how many clips I still have to go through, go back to Filter All, etc.

    I’ve got a whole page dedicated to power windows and tracking on my Streamdeck XL. Because there are no shortcuts to navigate tracking keyframes (unlike regular keyframes), I’ve added buttons for prev/next KF, Add/delete KF, Reset tracking, copy/paste track, copy/paste window, etc. This is pretty useful when I have to do legal blurring passes on documentary shows.

    I’ve got macros for Noise reduction presets, which fill in all the parameters. Also stabilization presets, etc. I plan to add a bunch of presets for Vs. curves. For instance, presets for the Lum vs. Sat curve. I used to have them when I ran with an Xkeys with Controller mate, I just haven’t implemented it in Keyboard Maestro.

    Because I work in many client facilities, which all use different screen resolutions, I have to maintain one macro library for each place, which is a PITA. I’m in the process of merging it all and using a global variable to control location. So a macro that clicks on a given UI location would go: if LOCATION == Client1 then click at X1, Y1, else if LOCATION == Client2 then click at X2, Y2, and so on.

  • karl

    Does anyone know what the advantage is of using Keyboard Maestro as a macro programming tool, as opposed to using the macro software that comes with the Elgato?

    I’m about to buy the Elgato and haven’t had any experience of the device so the answer may be an obvious one to those who are already using it, but if anyone can please shed more light on this for me i’d be grateful.


  • Jean-Francois R

    The stream deck software is a mapping tool, rather than a macro tool. You can link buttons to hotkeys, and use it to launch applications, but you can’t build complex macros. The closest it comes to macros is with the multi-action switch, but even that is very limited. There is no way to control the mouse for instance and you can’t program any logic into it. So if you’re going to do anything more complex than linking buttons to shortcuts, then you need to use a macro programming tool like Keyboard Maestro. I do seem to remember that Elgato is planning to develop their own macro application at some point, but it does not exist yet.

  • karl

    Thanks very much for this. I’m expecting my Elgato SD to be delivered sometime today so i’ll be downloading the Keyboard Maestro software when it arrives.

    Thanks again Jean-Francois. Very much appreciated.

  • François Dompierre

    Wow. Just wow. Thanks Joey!

  • Justin T

    Thanks Joey. Finally decided to put some effort into KM and found this to be a great starting point.

    I’ve discovered (not sure if it’s a new feature) that you can avoid the need for the mouse start variable by using the restore mouse location in the “click at found image” option.

    click to view image upload

  • Carey D

    While I’m not leaving my high power windows machines for a Mac Pro setup anytime soon, I sure wish I could buy this app on Windows. A bargain at twice the price. For now it’s Stream Deck + AutoHotKey.

    Speaking of Stream Deck, I’m re-aligning my functionality on my three units to actually reduce the number of things I have mapped so I very rarely need to “drill down” to get to a button I’ve mapped. Doing that today due to a production delay.
    My layouts look a little less organized and “grouped” and more of a “greatest hits” collection of functions but they’re faster access now.

    Another thought is that I would expect that some form of mouse-click coordinate functionality SHOULD be on the Stream Deck app roadmap. The question is when and what would it look like if/when it arrives.

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