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Transferring shortcuts between versions and machines

edited May 2011 in FastScripts

I'm finally getting around to asking a question that's been bugging me forever: is there a way to transfer my keyboard shortcuts from one version of an application to another? For example, I had a bunch of scripts for Adobe Illustrator CS4. When I got my CS5 upgrade, I duly installed it, only now the scripts folder name is "Adobe Illustrator CS5". Consequently, FastScripts no longer recognises the shortcuts that I've (oh-so-painstakingly) set up.

(What I actually do is create an alias called "Adobe Illustrator CS5" pointing to my original CS4 scripts folder, which is somewhere else entirely. But the problem still applies.)

Secondly, I'd love a way to install scripts on another machine, including the FastScripts shortcuts. Say, for example, I've set up a suite of scripts that I want to send to someone, and I would like include predefined shortcuts for convenience … it would be great if they could double click an XML file with setup data. Alternatively they could run an AppleScript to do it (I did investigate this option, but it appears as though the keyboard shortcut is read only?).

I imagine a solution to both of these scenarios is a way to export and import a plain text representation of an application's shortcuts (it could be in XML or JSON or something), including an option to nuke your existing shortcuts. I did have a look at … but the shortcut info looks like binary. And, therefore, terrifying.

I had a look at the FAQ and the forums, but didn't turn up anything useful. Has anyone come up with a solution?



  • Hi Ian - I'm really sorry about this. It's frustrated me too, from time to time. The gist of the problem is if MarsEdit doesn't "find" a script where it expects it, it assumes that you have thrown the script away, so it clears out the saved keyboard shortcut.

    In general, the way to work around this when moving e.g. from one computer to another is to make sure the same scripts are in the same location before ever running FastScripts, and then to make sure the preferences file for FastScripts is also copied over.

    If you have an older copy (from a backup?) of your file from Preferences, you might be able to try copying that back into your system. With the alias from Adobe Illustrator CS5 present, it might do a good job of continuing to respect the keyboard shortcuts for your existing scripts.

  • Hey Daniel, thanks for your reply. It's nice to have confirmation that there isn't a solution that's been staring me in the face :)

    If FastScripts ever gets a major overhaul, please consider this my humble vote for an import/export feature … and thanks again.

  • Thanks, I'll definitely be considering it.
  • Hey, almost a year later and I thought I'd check in to see if there was any plan to implement a portability-type-thing in FastScripts. Keyboard Maestro has a nice feature that allows you to define *groups* of apps, so that if you upgrade and you want to migrate your shortcuts to a new version, you just add it to the existing group and - hey presto! – you're good to go. I know it's not something you can just bang together in your lunchbreak, but I thought it'd be worth a bump :)

  • Oh and one more thought – if the shortcut preferences were stored in an XML file then all it would take is a simple search and replace (I am, of course, blithely unaware of how difficult all this stuff is to implement :)
  • Hi Ian - unfortunately I don't have any progress to report on this front. I do agree that having some kind of standardized format to support importing and exporting would be great. I find myself not using FastScripts to its fullest on my secondary machines because the migration progress is tedious.
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