How to Create an Automatic Email Template To Use in Keyboard Maestro

“Bakari, can you share the KM workflow for creating an email template with select email addresses, etc.?”

Thanks for asking, Brian. Unfortuneately, KM alone doesn’t handle email templates as well as say Automator. But thankfully KM can trigger Automator workflows. So here’s the steps to do that.

Create New Workflow in Automator


Add a New Message Action


Set Up Your Email Template


Note: if you want to add different information to the template each time you send it, be sure to check “Show this action when the workflow runs.” You enable the workflow to show only selected items.

Save the Workflow in a Permenant Location


Note: KM Automator workflows, not Automator Applications. So be sure to save your workflow in a folder where KM can find it.

Create a New Macro in Keyboard Maestro


Add the “Execute an Automator Workflow” action to the macro, and then attach the Automator workflow file you just created. Give your macro a name and trigger, and you’re good to go. You will probably only want your macro to run in Mail, so create add to your Mail macros folder.

Let me know how this setup works for you.


My MUO Mac Automation Guide Published


I’m happy to report that one of my favorite topics to write about has finally been published a book length guide titled the Awesome Guide to Mac Automation.

This guide is for Mac users who want to get more done on their Mac with less work. It includes step-by-instructions for using Apple’s smart automation technology, including smart folders, smart albums, smart playlists, and it’s free automation application, Automator.

Among other things you’ll learn how to:

  • Use smart folders to manage your files and folders
  • Using iTunes’ smart playlists to organize your music
  • Find the photo your looking for with iPhoto
  • Sort your email without any effort, using’s smart filters and folders
  • Using Automator to script without any programming knowledge

The guide is free, and I’m in the process of writing a professional version of the guide that will introduce advanced automation programs, including Quickeys 4.0, Hazel, and AppleScript.

The guide can be downloaded for free from


Using Hazel for File Size Detection

Nothing can be more frustrating than performing simple repetitive tasks on your computer, day in and day out. For example, as part of the writing I do for a website, the screenshots I use for articles can’t be larger than 580px and/or 120kb in size.

For a long while I would have to check the file size of screenshots to see if they were over 120kb. If so, I had to open them in Photoshop and resize them for web posting. And though the icon preview on my desktop would include the pixel size of screenshots, I still had to stop and resize them if they were over 580px.

But now thanks to Hazel, these repetitive tasks are done for me. Whenever a screenshot is saved to my desktop, a Hazel macro will automatically open that screenshot file in Photoshop if it’s over 120kb.


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How to Quickly Email Yourself Using Snow Leopard’s Automator Services Menu

I use an iPhone app called Note to Self on my iPhone. It’s useful for quickly emailing a note to yourself (or any designated recipient) without having to tap for a new email window, type an address and subject line and then hit the send button. With this app, you simply tap it open, write your note, and click send.

The app is similar to a Automator workflow I use on my desktop. Specifically, this workflow will take any text currently copied to the clipboard and email it directly to yourself or any specified email address you include in the address field.

The workflow is saved as a Service menu item, which makes it accessible when you’re working in an application which involves text. This service workflow won’t, for example, show up if you have an image document opened up in Preview. It works best when you have text selected and copied. You can access the workflow by selecting the Services menu of an application, or you can create a keyboard shortcut to execute the workflow. You can also assign a shortcut key to activate it.

Here’s how you set it up. The screencast version of this article is posted here:

1. Open Automator and select Services and then Choose from the drop-down window.

2. Leave the top two buttons of the Services action as is.

3. Select Text under the Actions panel and then drag the Get Specified Text into the main workflow window under the services action.

4.Click on Utilities in the Actions panel and select Get Contents from the Clipboard and drag it under the previous action in the workflow window.

5. Back to the Actions panel, click on Mail and select the New Mail Message action and drag it in the workflow. Fill in the text field for the email address or addresss where you want the mail sent by default. You can leave the Message window blank because it will be filled with the contents of what you copy to the clipboard. Or you can add text to the message that you want included each time you run the action. Also choose an account for outgoing mail.

6. Go back to the list of Mail actions and select and drag Send Outgoing Mail Message into the workflow window.

7. Select and copy some text, then click on Run in the Automator toolbar to test your workflow. It should automatically send an email to you consisting of the content you copied to the clipboard. You can leave off the last workflow action, Send Outgoing Mail Message if you prefer to see the new mail message before it’s sent.

8. Finally, click on Save As and title your workflow, e.g. “Note to me.”

If you open System Preferences>Keyboard>Keyboard Shortcuts>Services, you should find your saved workflow listed and checked. Double-click on the workflow and add a keyboard shortcut if you like.

Now when you select and copy text in say Safari, Mail, or TextEdit and then click and run your saved workflow in the Services menu of the application (or use your keyboard shortcut) to have the copied text sent directly to you, you are saving yourself the need to create a new email and send it.

Automator Demo: Alphabetize Selected Text

This little demo shows how selected text can be alphabetically ordered by using an easy to build Automator workflow. The tutorial can be found on (Note: after I did this screen capture, I saw that workflow has some limitations, for it only recognizes capital letters of each item on the list. But it’s still comes in handy.)

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Automator Demo“, posted with vodpod