Moving to annotation entry window without mouse

The Annotations window in the Annotations and Reminder in the Inspector on the right hand side has convenient shortcuts to add quotes and links from a document (e.g. command - control - U for quote and link).

My question: is there a way to move the focus to the Annotations window after the quote/link have been captured without using the mouse ?

Ideally I would like to edit the quote once its been captured in the Annotations window with the help of Keyboard Maestro actions, for instance adding the following structure to it:

Quote: Quoted text as captured using the command - control - U shortcut
Link: Link as captured using the command - control - U
MyNotes: my own comments or notes about the quote

where “Quote:”, “Link:” and “MyNotes:” are all added by myself and support automatic splitting of quotes and further analyses later on using other tools such as Tinderbox.

You could use Ctrl-Tab or Shift-Ctrl-Tab. These shortcuts switch between the current view, the preview (if visible) and the selected inspector.

I tried it but Ctrl-Tab seems to bring me to the finder comments window instead of the annotations window. What have I missed ?

This is correct, the shortcut focuses the Annotations inspector and the Finder comments are the first text field in that inspector. But afterwards you can use Tab to switch to the Annotations text field.

Then I’m still missing something. I can go between the main window and the Annotations Inspector using Ctrl-tab fine with the Finder comments first selected (I understand the logic). However pushing tab when the Finder comments window is selected simply adds a tab to the comment text.

I’ve illustrated the process below for clarity

You’re right, tab is used by both the Finder & Annotations fields and therefore doesn’t work. Maybe pressing Ctrl-Tab should also support the Annotations field and not only the Finder comments?

Good - at least the problem is understood. For the Finder & Annotations it would make sense to have Ctrl-Tab to go through both Finder and Annotations. It’s only one field more.

What about the other panels though ? I assume you keep the Tab approach there (e.g for non-text fields). I’ve illustrated below for the Information Inspector panel. The red arrows indicate the focus each time Control-Tab is pushed - the green arrows what happens with Tab, first moving down from the first field in focus and then across some of the fields with multiple entries such as dates.

As long as it’s predictable it can always be automated as needed by the user. If you were to use Ctrl-Tab the user could get stuck in the middle of the long list of options with many keystrokes required to get back to the main window (or break-down an use the mouse).

I think trying to automate this in KM would be unreliable using repeated Tab presses

A simpler way in KM is to use “Bring Window to Front” and activate the window with the word Annotation in it (presuming you are using the default Annotation template).

In case that you press Ctrl-Tab too often you could use Shift-Ctrl-Tab to go back.

Agreed - the user can choose the quickest way back. Its a design choice

Also thanks to @rkaplan for the suggestion for KM.

Version 3.0.1 will support this.

Do you mean this command in KM (screenshot below) ? It doesn’t seem to work as I get an error message that it cannot find the window.

Great - thanks.

Not quite - it should be the window containing the word Annotations:

You also need to first open the window.


You could automate opening the window by creating a keyboard shortcut for “Open.”

Since “Open” is a redundant menu item you would have to use this trick to create the menu shortcut in macOS. Thereafter, just create a KM Macro which types your keyboard shortcut and it will open the window automatically:

Ok - clear and thanks.

Correction - it should be Annotation not Annotations - that’s how the Annotation file is named