Over the years I've, on rare occasion, had a need to create and use a macro (e.g., shortcut) to ease
doing repetitive tasks; but, overall, I am not a compulsive user of shortcuts. Despite my usual
lack of need for them, the ability to use a hotkey to complete a multiple step action continues to
intrigue me. Therefore, I checked out the software and planned to make it easier to accessing my
favorite NPR stations. Specifically they were to universally access the local National Public
Radio music or news and views from my keyboard.
My plan, on paper, was: (a) finding and opening the desired station on my hard disk; (b) parking
its window on my dock so it would be out of my way; (c) then, making things louder so I could
hear them. After fumbling around a bit, actually more than a little bit, my initial tries did not
come close to working. The iKey interface was one that was not intuitive to me. I then turned to
Adam Engst's 148 page manual called Taking Control of iKey 2 for help. That helped me to
better understand the concepts that underlie the iKey interface. We'll talk about that later in this
No, I'm not a slow learner. My troubles are likely due to the fact that all other macro creation
software I'd used previously recorded my steps so all I needed was to use my keyboard and
Working With the Product
Download the product, copy its folder into your Applications folder, and the software is ready to
use. The first time you use the iKey editor, it asks you for your administrator's password,
because some the shortcuts will likely be applied system wide.
iKey comes with 15 built in shortcuts, but I found all of them unsuited to my computing needs
and style since I don't use most of Apple's iApplications. Therefore, for this review, I created
my own shortcuts. To create a new shortcut, launch the iKey Editor. When it opens, select
"New", and the shortcut creation screen will appear.
MPN, LLC 2005 macCompanion
August 2005, Volume 3 Issue 8