KMP Logo

KM_GridPalettes

Bearboat Software Logo



Bearboat Software Home Page

Downloads 2/24/21

Manual: KM GridPalettes

Manual: KM GridPalettes

Program: KM GridPalettes

Program: KM GridPalettes

YouTube

Short Introduction to Construction
Longer Usage Example

Keyboard Maestro Palette Generator

 

Create 2D Grid of Buttons to Launch Keyboard Maestro Macros

 

Keyboard Maestro comes with four different types of palettes: Global Macro Palette, Applications Palette, Conflict Palette, & Macro Group Palettes.(Keyboard Maestro Palettes)

The Macro Group Palettes can be presented in a variety of styles: as a list of macro names, as grid of names, as a grid of icons plus names, or a grid of only icons. Most commonly, the simple list style is used, and I think most familiar to users. The style of a grid of icons is most similar visually to what is seen with KM_GridPalettes. If you are familiar with the icon grid style of palette, KM_GridPalettes might seem redundant, but in fact there are significant differences.

KM_GridPalettes runs as a independent application on your Mac. From this one application, you can access and use all the palettes you have designed. Only one palette is active at a time but you can jump from one to another. KM_GridPalettes has the ability to launch Keyboard Maestro macros. Since KM_GridPalettes itself is just an application like any other, it can be manipulated by Keyboard Maestro so if you want you can actually set up a scenario where Keyboard Maestro is actually feeding back on KM_GridPalettes, for example selecting different palettes. It is simple to have a Keyboard Maestro palette and a KM_GridPalettes palette up and functioning at the same time, and there is no difficulty with that.

KM_GridPalettes allows the user to design, in a window, a grid of buttons that can be clicked to launch asssigned Keyboard Maestro macros. In this context, one can think of it as a virtual Elgato Stream Deck. Below are some sample appearances of KM_GridPalettes grids that can be created.

The Elgato Stream Deck permits the assignment of physical buttons to Keyboard Maestro macros. The picture below is of the 15 button Elgato Stream Deck. It comes in various sizes. (Elgato Stream Decks)

ElgStrDeck

In David Spark's Keyboard Maestro Field Guide, he shows the sample Stream Deck configuration seen below which he designed.

ElgStrDeck

A matching grid of buttons can be created with KM_GridPalettes. Clicking on the buttons in this grid can fire off Keyboard Maestro scripts just as the hardware device can.

ElgStrDeck

The user is free to design any graphics to appear on the buttons. One ready source of designs are Emoji graphics that have been sized to 64 pixels. Starting at the top row, you can imagine the buttons conveying the notions "Maximize", Minimize", "Slow Down", "Speed Up". Second row: "Bad", "Good", "Short", "Tall". Third row: "Lazy", "Industrious", "Ugly", "Beautiful". Fourth Row: "Creepy", "Cute", "Modest Start", "Accomplished End".

I should probably apologize to the grasshoppers, pigs and spiders for reinforcing negative steriotypes.

Animal Emoji

The small orange letters in the lower right corner of some of the buttons represents an optional way to display the keyboard shortcut that can be used in place of clicking on the button with the mouse. There is a yellow information panel at the button of the grid that is used to display supplementary information about the button over which the cursor is positioned. In this example, on the left side the information panel, palette ID and the button ID are displayed. This information is important to transmit to Keyboard Maestro so the correct Macro can be run. On the right side, the shortcut associated with the button is displayed in orange. In the center some explanatory text (a Tip) can be displayed to clarify the meaning that the button graphic is intended to convey. In the lower half of the palette, the user has not yet assigned any picture. In that case, the program just shows, as a default, the ID of the button and any shortcuts which have been associated with the button.

EagleLanding

Another potential source of button designs that have a unified look can be derived from those provided by Apple with the SF Symbols. The two palettes below have taken advantage of that source.

Inverted T
LinearPurple

Below is a palette with a mish mash of images. Some are drawn in vector graphics programs. Some have text in the image. One is a photograph of an owl sized to fit the 64 pixels. The top row of three button images have been created in such a way as to blend into a single image although the underlying integrity of three buttons remains understood to the program. The center button of the third row is "invisible" and is designated not to respond to any clicks. The button in the right lower corner has not been assigned any image.

MishMash

The next palette is one in my own active use. The left button sets up the font, the next soft wraps the text in BBEdit, the next declares the left-sided version to be bad etc.

Compare BBEdit

The above are finished designs.

Below is the raw initial palette provided. It is just a 10 by 10 grid of buttons that the user molds to their needs. It defines the largest possible palette. Usually, you would need something smaller and the tools exist to specify that.

Initial

The application provides the tool that allows the user to modify any palette including the intial one. Determine the number of rows and columns, assign shortcuts, provide Tips and Information about the purpose of individual buttons etc.

Construct

If the purpose of a button is complex or hard to remember, that button, during the design process, can be assigned a paragraph of explanatory text if necessary. Just what does the owl mean? Access that with an Option/click on the button.

Information

After the bones of the palette have been specified, you can then assign the pictures to the individual buttons. Create the 64 pixel images using whatever programs you might want and then name the PNG images with the left two characters to refer to the button owning the image. This picture tool in the KM_GridPalettes program helps you with associating the images and their button

Picture Assign

Finally, individual palettes can be renamed, deleted. New palettes can be created.

Palette Manage

This design work is usually just done at the beginning of the existence of any palette, but they can be modified later if additional needs become evident. Then the program exists primarily to be used as a Keyboard Maestro controller. That is the primary use of the program. Once it is up and running, you can freely move from one palette to another.

Palette Manage

A more thorough explanation of the program is supplied in the downloadable manual (See left side of page)


Copyright (c) 2021 Robert Livingston

Permission to use, copy, modify, and/or distribute this software for any purpose with or without fee is hereby granted, provided that the above copyright notice and this permission notice appear in all copies.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS" AND THE AUTHOR DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES WITH REGARD TO THIS SOFTWARE INCLUDING ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHOR BE LIABLE FOR ANY SPECIAL, DIRECT, INDIRECT, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OR ANY DAMAGES WHATSOEVER RESULTING FROM LOSS OF USE, DATA OR PROFITS, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, NEGLIGENCE OR OTHER TORTIOUS ACTION, ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE USE OR PERFORMANCE OF THIS SOFTWARE.



Follow @bearboat

Email me with any comments or problems.