Long-time MacStories readers know how deep-seated Keyboard Maestro is in my OS X workflow. I use it every day, constantly, to automate my Mac to speed up writing, resize images, save PDFs, execute scripts, and more. Version 6.0 is out today and it brings over 100 new features. Unfortunately, I have only been playing with the app for a few hours, so an in-depth review will be published in the coming weeks.
Keyboard Maestro 6.0 retains the same interface and design principles of its predecessor while adding powerful new features that are exclusively built for Mountain Lion. For owners of multiple Macs, the good news is that Keyboard Maestro can now sync macros using Dropbox or any other sync service; in my initial tests, sync worked as advertised.
There are, of course, new triggers and actions to build macros that can automate (almost) any aspect of your Mac. You can now specify triggers for USB devices that are attached/detached to a computer, volumes, and wireless networks that your Mac connects to. This will be useful to build workflows (possibly to run at a specific time of the day) that handle backups or move files from one folder to another (the triggers can also be used as conditions in a macro). When you’re building a macro, you can now take advantage of a Macro Debugger that shows every action with completion status and breakpoints; this will come in handy to better understand why a macro isn’t working and, if so, how to fix it.
There’s a lot of new stuff that I haven’t had time to properly test. You can now interact with styled text from Keyboard Maestro; you can write your own actions; there’s improved support for showing menus from installed apps (essentially enhanced GUI scripting); you can capture components of a regular expression by searching inside a variable or named clipboard – a power-user functionality that I am extremely curious to try with my regex to capture groups of Markdown inline links.
From what I’ve seen so far, Keyboard Maestro 6.0 doesn’t revolutionize the app but adds welcome (and needed) features such as syncing and browser actions while broadening its automation scope with intriguing new triggers, conditions, and actions. I look forward to seeing how I can update my macros to take advantage of the new functionalities introduced today.
Keyboard Maestro 6.0 is a paid upgrade. The app is available at $36, with an upgrade price of $25 for owners of the older version. A free trial of Keyboard Maestro 6.0 can be downloaded from Stairways Software’s website.