5-Star Recommendation: Elgato Stream Deck plus Keyboard Maestro

I recently tried Keyboard Maestro with its plugin for Elgato Stream Deck:

https://www.keyboardmaestro.com/main/

The combination is stunningly useful to customize DT3 in order to fix any UI quirks and to overall improve productivity using DT3.

Keyboard Maestro has long been the go-to standard for automating any task or application on the Mac. It’s extremely capable in working with DT3. But the downside is you need to remember the shortcuts you create.

Elgato Stream Deck is basically a customizable keypad where software can change both the images on the keypads and the function of each key. It is primarily marketed toward gaming streamers, but there is actually nothing about it specific to gaming.

There is a plugin to the Elgato configuration software so it works with Keyboard Maestro.

The end effect is that you can use the Stream Deck to have keys dedicated to any keyboard sequence or internal x-link or menu item you wish in DT3. Though there are “only” 15 keys, it can be programmed with subfolders or alternate profiles and thus the number of items you can include is basically infinite. Best of all you can very easily create icons containing photos or text or graphics and these change as you work through your customized Stream Deck pages.

So you can make your own page on the Stream Deck hardware for PDF annotation, for your favorite documents, and for any other tasks in DT3 that you regularly do.

Super super useful.

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Agreed! I actually purchased the “Stream Deck XL” because it has 32 keys and I could immediately see the value in it.

Keyboard Maestro support also means that you can assign AppleScript or shell script actions to each button. You can change the colors of the buttons, put about 4 lines of 10 characters on each button, and so on. Very handy!

I don’t use KM. But this sounds very interesting.
I wish apps like KM, or Alfred, can add iOS app that connects with Mac and allow us to set up buttons like what u described in the stream deck. So that we can use the iPhone or iPad to push buttons and send shortcuts (they are sitting on charger waiting for action…) . BTT has a small iOS remote app for that purpose, but the interface is a bit difficult to use. A pageful of buttons on an iOS app will be a simple and beautiful solution for saving the money to buy a hardware… Just my 2 cents.

You mean like this?

Yes… Wow

@rkaplan : would you mind having a look at this issue I had with KM & DT? I wonder how you would solve this with KM. Thanks a lot.

@Altostratus

Interesting problem

I tried several different approaches and I keep coming to the conclusion that KM simply does not “see” a dialog box. If you do a Find Image for example and click the Display option, nothing inside the dialog box is ever highlighted.

I will ponder this a bit more.

In the interim though - you can easily set up a Macro go to to a specific group by finding its item link and then creating a Macro using Go to URL. Does that not work for your project?

Thanks a lot for having a look.

I didn’t think of using the item link. That’s brilliant. However, your solution is almost perfect, because “Open URL” in KM creates a new DT window which is annoying. But at least it works… Thanks!

Welcome… I will keep ponding this. I believe it has to do with the challenge of placing the KM9 “focus” on a dialog box. Not sure how to do that.

I have used the Elgato mobile app for a few hours (3 days trial) to set up buttons just as hotkeys for short-cuts.

Overall speaking, it’s an interesting experience.
Great
(1) There seems no time lag from iPhone to iMac.
(2) Adding buttons is very easy, and icon and label on buttons are highly customisable.
(3) Solve the problem of me forgetting those occasionally used key short-cuts.
(4) A much cheaper solution than buying the hardware. BUT using hardware buttons (the stream deck) is probably way cooler!

Can’t make a purchase decision because of: (if my understanding is correct)
(1) It appears that there is no app-specific setup. i.e. limit a set of buttons to apply to DT only?
(2) It seems that without using KM as an intermediary app, there is no way to attach scripts that runs on DT directly. Admittedly there are many workarounds.
(3) I am hoping running the app on iPad will give me “a lot more” than 15 buttons in one page - it’s not.

I have another dream again: that DT might work with Elgato or BTT to provide some API for UI or script commands (e.g., search, show/hide inspector bar, etc.) OR perhaps I am not aware that there are ways to do it already?

Thanks for the recommendation.

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Stream Desk and it’s iPhone version look very snazzy, BUT …
something very similar is already built in to Keyboard Maestro (KM) pallets.

The main difference seems to be that Stream requires moving your hands away from the keyboard or mouse to touch a button. With KM you use the mouse to click on the pallet or use any keys to activate the action. No need to move hands away from keyboard or mouse.

And no need to look away from your Mac screen either. KM pallets float on the screen and auto-magically change as you switch windows or applications.

KM pallets can include any icons, any size. Up to you. No limit on number of icons (as far as I know).

Keyboard Maestro works smoothly with DTPro.3 and DevonAgent. I don’t see a benefit in adding another piece of hardware/software and another complication to my computer use. But the “wow” factor of Stream, yes, certainly.

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It depends on your goal

For example, if the task you are trying to automate or make more efficient involves mouse usage (such as right-click at the current mouse position) then a KM palette will not be helpful.

In my case I would like to make it very efficient for me to review email and select a disposition for each item. The Stream deck now has up/down arrow buttons to select an item and then several buttons to choose a disposition, i.e. forward, delete, flag, etc. Essentially the Stream Deck replaces my mouse in a more efficient manner for that task.

Also for deep nested folders of option it is easier to configure Stream Deck than KM and probably easier for a user to navigate through that as well.

HI - see this thread in the KM forum.

I will post here about the possible bug.

Great. Thank you again for checking this out over at KM.

Problem identified and to be fixed:

@ngan Alfred does have a mobile app allowing you to activate MacOS shortcuts. I haven’t used it in years since I find shortcuts via the keyboard to be faster: https://www.alfredapp.com/remote/

Thanks for the info.

I’ve been using the Stream Deck and a user-created version of this plugin to great effect. I am a KM fan and their built-in option is excellent. This allows more than just menu manipulation at the push of a button, but scripts and macros as well.

One nice use case with DT3 is for my RSS Reader View at the push of a button (can also darken the screen, close other apps, etc. for a total reading workspace).

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There is another shortcut app that deserves mentioning in the context of this thread:

KeyMand – http://keymandtech.com

I’ve been using it on my iPad for months and love it for its convenience and customization.

Differences or feature limitations, for my use-case at least, include:

  • It’s wired only. Not wireless. (I’ve made the feature request.)
  • Each button send a single character, with accompanying modifier keys. (No character strings.)
  • It’s Mac only.
  • On the positive side:
    – accommodates multiple button profiles
    – automatically changes button profiles to match the foremost app on Mac.
    – profiles are shareable.
    – button text and color are customizable.

Could you share your setup, may be the KM macros and the StreamDeck profile? :slight_smile: