Fast Calculations with Keyboard Maestro

Difficulty Level: Basic

When I’m on the field taking notes, I use Apple’s Notes app on my iPhone 5. iCloud keeps my data on the phone and on the Mac in sync. It’s easy; it’s convenient. But it’s certainly not the prettiest.

But this post isn’t about note taking. It’s about accuracy and convenience. Often, I have many calculations to make. I’ve made mistakes in the past. Now, I still make mistakes, but not with my calculations.

Here’s what I used to do:

  • use the iPhone to take my notes on site
  • go to the office and open Notes on the Mac
  • with Notes open on the Mac, open the calculator on the iPhone
  • hope I tapped all the numbers correctly, get the value, and type them into the Notes app on the Mac

Very slow, boring and error-prone…

Here’s what I do now:

  • use the iPhone to take my notes on site
  • go to the office and open Notes on the Mac
  • highlight the calculation and hit a keyboard shortcut, and voilà, done!

Much faster, 100% accurate and fun…

Here’s how to do it:

Using Keyboard Maestro, you can call your macro whatever you prefer. For the hot key, I use the letter M because it’s short for Math. Whatever works to help you remember…

Keyboard Maestro Perform Calculation Script

For example, let’s say the calculation (the highlighted text) is:  239*57

  1. copy the highlighted text onto the system clipboard
  2. choose Filter Clipboard with Calculate, then Filter System Clipboard, with Calculate, which will simply calculate the highlighted text
  3. I type the Right Arrow which simply unhighlights the text and goes to the end of the text, ready for…
  4. the Return key, which sends it to the next line
  5. finally, I paste. The answer is already stored in the System Clipboard, so performing a routine paste will spit out the answer: 13623

You can easily modify steps 3-5 to your needs. You may not want to keep the original calculation; you may only need the answer. Tailor it to your needs. Apply formatting! Whatever you need. The end result will be accurate and fun to perform.