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CDK Speer, PhD

Quick Searching in Terra Dotta on a Mac Using Keyboard Maestro

Previously, I outlined how to use AutoHotKey (AHK) to speed up access to searches in the study abroad software Terra Dotta, and speed up various other functions. AHK is only available for PC, but luckily it turns out that we can use Keyboard Maestro to replicate the same functions.

First, the sad news is that Keyboard Maestro isn't a free option like AHK. Initially, I tried implementing the functions through the oldie-but-a-goodie open-source program Quicksilver. Some functions worked okay, including the searches, but many things like paste without formatting didn't. Ultimately, after messing around with multiple solutions, I decided that I preferred to have a single solution even if it required paying for it (and now I can feel good about supporting well-deserving programmers too).

The way Keyboard Maestro is set up, you can set up a trigger for an action, and then a series of steps. It's a little more difficult to copy and paste these over, so below I've included images showing the sequence of steps if you'd like to put them together yourself manually. I've also included downloadable .kmmacros, which you can open and edit to fit your site and needs. In that case, be sure to change the URLs in the files to your particular Terra Dotta install URL.

Download Macro File: Find student with control-shift-sFind Student Steps   1876

Download Macro File: Find program brochure page with control-shift-d
Find Brochure Page Steps

Download Macro File: Find program edit page with control-shift-f
Find Program Edit Page Steps

Download Macro File: Universal paste without Formatting
Paste without formatting steps

Download Macro File: Open Calculator
Open calculator steps

Download Macro File: Text substitution (short snippet)
For short text, it works more reliably to have KM type the text, but it gets a little laggy with long text. For that reason, I have the text substitution separated out with one method for short text substitutions and long text substitutions.
Short text substitution steps

Download Macro File: Text substitution (long snippet)
Long text substitution steps

The one shortcut I haven't duplicated on my Mac is the transformation of a selection of email addresses from having a serial comma to having a serial semi-colon. I have no doubt that Keyboard Maestro would make that possible, but I haven't needed it because I have been using the combination of Postbox + Fantastical instead of the perpetually buggy Outlook.

Happy shortcutting!


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