Keyboard Maestro 6.1 and Microsoft Outlook


I just bought Keyboard Maestro from Stairways Software last week and already it is de-frustrating my co-existance with Microsoft Outlook in meaningful ways. Here are two ways:

Intercept Undesired “Close” Keystrokes

Because I use a two-monitor setup with Outlook over there on that far-off monitor (actually, my MacBook display), I oftentimes switch to Outlook to read a message but forget to switch focus to Safari (or another app) where I might hit ⌘W… and inadvertently close an Outlook “Main Window” (as they’re called).

I instituted the following KM macro to prevent this problem: Screen Shot 2013-07-29 at 12.25.55 PM.png

It merely looks to see if the current frontmost window contains “Calendar” or the name of my company (Bloomy Controls, Inc.) which shows up in the message viewer window no matter which mailbox is selected, e.g. “Inbox • Bloomy”. This is true except for Smart Folders, which I don’t use. If the frontmost window doesn’t meet these conditions, it sends a ⌘W to Outlook and that window will close.

Sensible Find Shortcuts

I hate Microsoft Outlook’s Find functionality. Other than the fact that it can, indeed, find anything in any folder, the interface to use it is awful. And since I use the Deleted Items folder as my brain, the Find function is very important. Using it out of the box involves pressing ⇧⌘F and then clicking on the “All Items” to un-limit the search scope (every time—why, Microsoft, doesn’t it remember what scope I used before?).

Getting away from Find involves clicking on a red X in a circle called “Close”… unless you actually selected a message to look at, in which case the ribbon (WHICH I HATE) changes state to “Home”. If you did (and why wouldn’t you?), you have to click on the Search portion of the Ribbon selector and then on the red X in a circle.

Keyboard Maestro macro to the rescue!

Screen Shot 2013-07-29 at 12.34.34 PM.png

This one’s a bit more complicated as it has to check to see what state the Outlook window is in. But pressing ⇧⌘F becomes the equivalent of “Search all items,” and pressing it again closes out the search.

(By the way, this one’s not bulletproof. Among other things, if there’s an E-mail window open with the word “Bloomy” in the title—substitute your own text here, of course—it’ll get brought to the front and might cause the rest of the macro to fail.)

I’ll add more macros as I make them.

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