Convert measurements quickly with Google or Keyboard Maestro

When I compile Tech Universe each day I run across
a lot of information like this:

Thanks to the lightweight
chassis the href="">SkyRunner
accelerates to 62mph in just 4.3 seconds and has a top speed of

Since we’re in New
Zealand I convert weights, lengths, speeds and so on to metric.

Until recently I’ve done those conversions in a
new Safari tab. In the Address Bar / Search Bar I type something
along the lines of 52 mph to kph and by the time
I type that final h the result of that
conversion is displayed: 83.685888 kph. I don’t
even have to press Return and execute an actual search.

alt="Convert speed in a new Safari tab using Google. "
title="Convert speed in a new Safari tab using Google. " /> class="wp-caption-text">Convert speed in a new Safari tab using

It’s quick, easy and

Some tips:

  • 16 ounces or 16 oz in g or grams
  • 14
    lbs rather than 14 pounds
  • 16 mph in kph
  • 16 feet (no need to type the rest)
  • 16 inches (no need to type the rest)
  • 16 sq ft (no need to type the rest)
  • 16 F in C

There are whole websites dedicated
to conversions of this kind. One is href="">Unit Conversion
Tools which seems to offer a full suite of tools for
converting anything, including clothing sizes and cooking units.

I found that website though while looking for
conversion factors I could use in a href="">Keyboard
Maestro routine. I’d been inspired by a macro I read
about on a website, though I couldn’t make that particular macro
work for me. After some searching, here’s the macro I created for
my own purposes. The macro first stores the current clipboard and
at the end restores it. The middle part does the actual conversion.

alt="Convert miles per hour to kilometres per hour with Keyboard
Maestro. " title="Convert miles per hour to kilometres per hour
with Keyboard Maestro. " /> class="wp-caption-text">Convert miles per hour to kilometres per
hour with Keyboard Maestro.

The key
portion of the macros is:

  • Type
    Command X to cut selected text
  • Set Clipboard
    to Text
  • Filter Clipboard with Calculate
  • Type Command V to paste the calculated result

The screenshot shows the macro for converting
miles per hour to kilometres per hour. For the other common
conversions I do I replaced the multiplier as required, ending up
with several macros.

I’m looking forward to
really trying out the Keyboard Maestro conversions this week.


  1. Miraz I know you operate at a much higher level than I do, and macros are beyond my expertise. One conversion site which has everything I needed and very much more is: which is a bookmark and simple to find again – I have bookmarks organised into folders within a topic on my bookmark bar. Moving to Mavericks with new iMac this week.

  2. Thanks Elaine. While you may not use Keyboard Maestro, you may find the Google method I described first saves you some time.



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