Is it not possible to create keyboard shortcuts to edit smart rules and groups?

There are many ways to create keyboard shortcuts, for example sys pref and in my case using keyboard maestro. But for that one needs menu items.
I use smart groups and rules a lot and am constantly editing them. I would like to quickly access them instead of going through the context menu → Edit…
The Edit… menu item is for workspaces and there are no scripts to edit smart groups and rules.
Is there something that I am missing or is the context menu the only way to access the edit menu for smart groups and rules ?
thank you very much

Currently the only option is using the contextual menu.

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thank you. I found a workaround using Better Touch Tool which easily accesses the context menu

Can you share what you’re doing with BTT in this instance?

Yes I would like to see this too. thanks

I am testing different solutions. Please give me a day and I will post. thank you


here are 3 solutions that work. Note that the smart rule or group has to be selected and the cursor over it.

better touch tool (I chose opt 2 finger click)

keyboard maestro

If you want to run the btt script from kbm (thank you @appleianer in KBM forum)
note that the BTT action UUID is in quotes (can get by going to BTT→ click on action→ copy UUID)

Interesting. Thanks for sharing what you’re up to :slight_smile:

Hello @rufus123, if you often want to run KM macro via a BTT gesture or even integrate a BTT gesture into a KM macro, then I can simplify the creation for that a bit. Have a look here in the postings:

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I‘m pretty sure @rufus123 already knows your linked posts. Hint: Take a look at thread titles @rufus123 started here in this forum, then check the Keyboard Maestro forum plus/minus 14 days. You’ll probably be surprised :wink:

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Thank you. Has been clarified via a direct message.

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By chance, do you guys know if it’s possible to get the screen location/bounds/etc of a selected DEVONthink item (i.e., from a script or related tool)? Like yourselves, DEVONthink’s lack of an “Edit” menu bar item for smart groups has always really annoyed me. While I don’t mind using BTT or another related tool to access the context menu and click “Edit”, I can’t figure out how to force the mouse/cursor to move to the appropriate screen location over the selected smart group - which would allow me to use BTT to access the context menu, etc. I’m probably in the minority here, but I don’t see the point of using a shortcut that still requires the user to physically move the mouse over the intended smart group. Any thoughts? There’s got to be a good third-party tool for something like this? I’ve done some digging, but haven’t had any luck so far.

That said, @BLUEFROG, is there any way “Edit” will get added to the menu bar sometime soon? Even Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines recommend that everything in the context menu also be placed in the menu bar.

Thanks for any help you can lend!

You can context menu → copy link of any smart group
I open smart group URL link with the keyboard maestro action below and then access the context menu with the keyboard maestro right click action or the BTT context menu. You perhaps have a way to open links with the mac automation apps you are using.
I agree that everything in the context menu should be in the app menu

Even Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines recommend that everything in the context menu also be placed in the menu bar.

Apple is famously known for making such declarations then not following those rules themselves. :slight_smile:

Development would have to assess the request.

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I guess this would easily double the amount of menu items.


I should have guessed that there would be a good reason

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I should have guessed that there would be a good reason

I’d say most of the time there is. :slight_smile:
At other times, we may just not have thought of something or considered it from a different perspective, so it’s still okay to make requests.

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Hi @rufus123! Thanks for the suggestions. I’m sure I might be overlooking something, but doesn’t your method still require you to move the cursor and place it over the top of the smart group you’ve just opened? How else can BTT access the context menu if the mouse isn’t over the smart group you intend to edit? Maybe I’m overlooking something in BTT? Similar to yourself, I use several different Alfred workflows that I’ve created to more quickly open or reveal smart groups (global and DB-specific), etc. While it’s easy enough to get DEVONthink to select the group, I just don’t see how to get the mouse to place itself over the selected smart group so that I can access the context menu via BTT (i.e., unless I get lucky and the mouse is already at a set of coordinates that is over the top of the selected smart group). I’m not a Keyboard Maestro user, so perhaps it’s specific to that app. Is it actually placing your mouse over the smart group you’ve just opened via URL? Thanks!

@BLUEFROG I hear you on Apple talking out both sides of its mouth. I’m no developer, but I suspect their justification for such a strong pronouncement (re: “it should never be the only way to access a command”) probably goes beyond just user awareness, such as accessibility issues, etc. But I have no idea :man_shrugging:

@cgrunenberg Obviously, I can’t speak to how difficult it would be to implement Apple’s recommendations for something as complex as DEVONthink. I’m a Luddite. Let’s be real. However, I do think that “Edit” is important enough that it warrants being placed in the menu bar (at least when a smart group is selected in the sidebar or viewer). And, if it’s not, then users should have a way to kick things off via AppleScript. I might be in the minority - or perhaps I’m just increasingly senile - but I’m constantly tinkering with the search criteria of smart groups (or opening the edit menu so that I can remember the search criteria). Thanks for any help you can lend on this front!

You guys are the best! Thanks again for all of the quick responses. I really appreciate it. Cheers

Hello @jasondm007

Here is my keyboard maestro macro

Please note that the same principle would apply to any item in the context menu of a smart rule, smart group, any group, sub-group or item (document).

1- I open the smart group DevonThink Link as a URL with DevonThink (works with any group, subgroup, or document (item))
2- this I think is what you are after: I use a special keyboard maestro action which a- places your cursor above an image (in this case the name of the smart group which in this case is due this week and b- double clicks mouse once cursor is over that image, obviously to open the context menu
3- with KBM, you often have to insert little short pauses
4- by having the macro automatically type “edit”, you put the cursor over the edit menu item of the context menu
5- by having the macro automatically press Enter on Edit, you open the smart group editing popup or interface.

You seem very intelligent. I have gone the Alfred route for a few years and I basically regret it. Although there are a few uses, I find that the return on your investment (meaning time and energy spent on using the app) is much much much higher with keyboard maestro than with Alfred. With Alfred, endless limitations and frustrations. With keyboard maestro, sky is the limit and the quality of the help you get on the forum is outstanding. KBM is imo easier to learn than Alfred.

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@rufus123 Thanks a ton for walking through everything. I completely overlooked the image searching aspect of your workflow. That’s great!

As for KBM versus Alfred, I hear you. I can’t imagine how much time I’ve spent building workflows for it (or, rather, I’d prefer not to know). While I can’t speak to KBM, I’d be lost without Alfred. Honestly, I can’t imagine using a Mac without it.

Your creative approach to that KBM macro got me thinking about a similar tool in BTT, which I have never used until now. Like KBM, BTT can move the mouse to an image it finds. So, I wound up tying that function to my MacOS selection color (i.e., I took a small screenshot of the blue selection color and it searches for that). Obviously, it’s an imperfect solution to the problem, but it worked surprisingly well today when testing, as it is not specific to any particular smart group. And, the downside, of course, is that if your MacOS selection color is all over the place, BTT won’t have any idea where to move the mouse :wink:

For other BTT users looking for something similar, I’ve attached a screenshot below with the relevant step highlighted. The initial AppleScript portion does nothing more than activate the app to make sure it’s frontmost when triggered. Hopefully, “Edit” will get added to the menu bar, but for those in need of a workaround, the following works for me:

Thanks again for all of your help @rufus123. I really appreciate it!