Using the automation magic of Keyboard Maestro, you can create a macro that automatically inserts a numbered list in any application as you type.

Though applications like Microsoft Word and Google Docs include a tool for creating automatic numbered lists, such a feature doesn’t exist in most other text editors or web browsers.

When I’m brainstorming ideas or making a list of items, my concentration gets broken when I have to stop and type a number followed by a period. With the KM macro, each number for the list appears after I hit the return key. Here’s an example of the macro in action:

If the video doesn’t play, click here.

How It Works

Keyboard Maestro_numbered list

To trigger the macro, I type “numberlist,” which activates the macro by first inserting “1.”. That text action is based on a For Each Item action. After the number is typed, I proceed to type whatever text after the numeral 1. The macro waits for me to hit the Return key, and when I do, it does a double return, and then inserts “2.”. It will keep doing this up to 30 numbers, if I want to go that far.

Keyboard Maestro_index_action

As you can see in the above screenshot, you can set a default number range. There is another optional action for inserting custom text before each number.

Again, this macro reduces the need to lift your fingers off the keyboard in order to type numbers and a period. Numbers are automatically typed as you type.

Canceling the Macro

Now because I’m really lazy when it comes to typing, I use another macro to cancel the Number List micro when I’m done.


You can cancel all or currently running KM macros by clicking on the KM Engine button in the menu bar and scrolling down to Cancel. The macro above though includes a string trigger to activate the Cancel All Macros feature.



Handy Automation

This is type of useful, time-saving actions that makes Keyboard Maestro a powerful Mac application. The developer of KM actually helped me create the Number List macro. If you have questions about KM, I recommend that you join the Keyboard Maestro Forum community. The developer responds to all questions and feedback.

Let me know what you think of this macro and if you find it useful

What's your experience with Keyboard Maestro?

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