My Use Cases #1: Reset Launchpad with Keyboard Maestro

Inspired by Philip Baeten’s awesome post on how he uses Keyboard Maestro from last week, I’m planning to start a new series of posts here at, simply, and aptly called: My Use Cases. The plan is to cover use cases for great productivity app’s like Alfred, BetterTouchTool, Keyboard Maestro, Hazel, MercuryMover and hopefully many more, one use case at a time. Because, knowing from personal experience, it’s pretty tough to actually get to grips with some of these great app’s until you find some (hopefully) interesting things to do with them.

So thats going to be my job during this series. And to get the ball rolling I want to talk about one macro i’ve set up in Keyboard Maestro myself. Some of the best uses for Keyboard Maestro are when you find yourself going through the same process over and over, and really don’t want to go through that anymore, and it’s stuff like that i’m going to try and highlight during this small series.

Since the swich to Mac OS X Lion one of the new features I was expecting to hate but actually rather enjoy now is Launchpad, the only problem i’ve found is that it doesn’t play particularry nice with non-App Store applications - meaning that if you uninstall an app that wasn’t downloaded from the Mac App Store, Launchpad won’t register the change and you’ll end up with an ugly mess like this one where the icons stick around but aren’t linked to anything.

Launchpad gets messy Fourtanately it was found pretty quickly that you can reset Launchpad by deleting a database file found in ~/Library/Application Support/Dock/ and then running the Terminal command killall Dock, both of which can actually be condensed into one Terminal command rm ~/Library/Application\ Support/Dock/*.db; killall Dock to delete the file and kill the Dock forceing Launchpad to reset. And although thats all well and good i’d rather not have to open the Terminal every time I want to reset the Launchpad, so, naturally, I threw together this really short and simple Keyboard Maestro macro where it’s triggered by the hot key ⌥⌘L to execture a shell script containing the aforementioned Terminal command:

rm ~/Library/Application\ Support/Dock/*.db; killall Dock

And that just deletes the file and forces Launchpad to create a new database with your current list of applications, it’s also worth noting that it’s best to set Keyboard Maestro to “ignore results” from the shell script to completely annoy the Terminal.

Reset Launchpad with Keyboard Maestro

My menu bar

Menu bar

Inspired by the cool stuff going on over at Mac Menu Bars I thought it wouldn’t hurt to share my menu bar setup. Although its relatively short and concise compared to other peoples, it works perfectly for me and it actually helps me to get stuff done.

Sparrow: Super simple email client, the closest (and best) thing you can get to native Gmail on the Mac. Its got a one up on as well since it actually has a menu bar icon. A well designed one at that.

Adium: MSN is still my protocol of choice and since Microsoft Messenger is horrible on the Mac I use Adium, fitted out with a nice iChat style menu bar icon which you can find over at

Tweetie: I’m still stuck on PowerPC, so Tweetie is my best option. Pity me. It may not be the best, but it’s still a solid choice even now. Every once and a while i’ll look up and see that little icon shining blue at me, to this day its still one of the most well implemented notification systems out there. Minimal genius.

Dropbox: Self explanatory super sync’y goodness, I only use the menu bar item to get an idea of the syncing status, my percentage usage and for quick links to the web interface. It’s more of an access portal than anything else.

Keyboard Maestro: A powerful macro program i’m playing with the trial for to see if my workflow can benefit from some automation. I use an amazing alternative menu bar icon made by Jono Hunt over at Iconaholic.

Pastebot Sync: More super sync’y goodness. Lets me get copied items to and from my iPod Touch and my Mac easily.

Built in stuff: LsSaAlerter (I have no idea how to get rid of it), Wi-fi1, Volume, Time and Spotlight (I can’t get rid of it either so it just sits there, Alfred is my launcher of launcher instead).

  1. Wi-fi in my house is actually rather temperamental, having a solid connection (like today) is like finding a sack of gold dust, so it’s good to stay aware of how its doing.

Planning to deposit some money tomorrow so that I can buy this. Awesome bunch of app’s, really want to get it to experiment with TextExpander and Keyboard Maestro to see if it makes any difference to my workflow, though Blast and Path Finder look pretty notable as well. As a collection it’s some pretty hardcore stuff to help you get things done that you usually wouldn’t be able to afford to spend all your money on. Get it while its hot (and cheap).