Author Topic: Stream Deck (or similar device) for easy shortcuts!  (Read 480 times)

Jingo

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Stream Deck (or similar device) for easy shortcuts!
« on: February 28, 2021, 03:02:44 PM »
Just thought I'd share some experiences I've had with using a Stream Deck with IMatch (and primarily Indesign).  The Stream Deck is a fancy macro-based keypad that allows you to map a variety of actions to a single key press on the digital pad.  This can be a simple shortcut (Ctrl-C) or a very complex script.  While this can all be accomplished with Auto-hotkey and a cheap USB keypad, I find the Stream Deck takes things a step further by providing a visual "icon" based view of what each key does.  You can also nest folders within a key to allow for an entire new set of icons... it is amazingly powerful!

In any event, this recent thread (https://www.photools.com/community/index.php?topic=11074.msg78508) got me thinking how such an awkward keyboard shortcut might be easily fixed by a quick button press.  I use this all the time for the Indesign function "Fit Image".  The keyboard shortcut is Shift-Alt-Ctrl + C... while I can remap this to something else, I still used to employ this command hundreds of times a day.  Now, I simply click a button on the Stream Deck and voila!  Same for the Indesign Duplicate Spread.... use the mouse to highly the spreads... click the button with the left hand.. done!  The Bring to Front and back was also a handful requiring two hands and thus moving off the mouse.  No longer... select with the mouse, click the button with the left hand... continue on.

I also use this for a ton of IMatch functionality and have also setup icons for the stream deck so I can, at a glance, see a function, click and button and launch commands.

Anyway - just thought I would share.. hopefully something like this can help others!  Enjoy...Andy.


loweskid

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Re: Stream Deck (or similar device) for easy shortcuts!
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2021, 03:56:48 PM »
Thanks Andy - I'll look into that (I'm a sucker for gadgets!)

Jingo

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Re: Stream Deck (or similar device) for easy shortcuts!
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2021, 04:38:18 PM »
Yeah.. at first, I thought it was just another gadget.. but, the more I use it, the more uses I find for it. 

My next step is to setup my new PC with Flight simulator and use the stream deck to replace the myriad and complex key presses while flying.  There are script that even allow for interactive updates to the buttons such as speed and radio frequencies.  Quite useful for video editors and live streamers as well.  Not a huge investment considering... Enjoy!

loweskid

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Re: Stream Deck (or similar device) for easy shortcuts!
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2021, 07:07:09 PM »
Well, it's ordered - click and collect tomorrow.... ;D

I like the idea if having icons displayed on the keys instead of trying to remember what I had programmed into each one - which was impossible of course.  When using the Cherry I have a set of notes on card to remind me of what I had programmed in for different software.

Thanks for posting this - I hadn't heard of it before.

Carlo Didier

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Re: Stream Deck (or similar device) for easy shortcuts!
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2021, 07:51:35 AM »
I am configuring my new Loupedeck Live for my various applications right now.
Takes some time to find out which functionalities I want where, but do far, I like it.
I even have the PCs audio volume and mute assigned to one knob because I usually listen to web radio while working on the PC.

The only issue I have with Loupedeck is the fact that you can only use their predefined packs for apps like Photoshop, Lightroom, etc as is when you use a US keyboard layout. Other wise, you have to program the shortcuts all by hand once.

Jingo

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Re: Stream Deck (or similar device) for easy shortcuts!
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2021, 02:05:05 PM »
@Lowe:  8) sorry to your wallet for the post but enjoy the gadget.. I've found it super super helpful to make quick work of stuff.  There are lots of profiles shared on the net for the big programs like Photoshop or video editing.. for others, you'll need to work through what is important and add them but I found that quite fun actually.  Free icon packs should provide enough graphics to match a function (and you can also include text under). 

@Carlo - yes.. I looked into Loupedeck and their various incarnations as well... but their lack of support for Capture One was a major turn off and I decided against it... but it is also a fine piece of tech and has many features I would love to add such as rotary knobs.

Fun times!

loweskid

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Re: Stream Deck (or similar device) for easy shortcuts!
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2021, 04:54:05 PM »
@ Jingo.  No problems to my wallet - what I earned with photo sales through Alamy last month has more than paid for it.. 8)

Already set it up for Photoshop and a couple of other programs.  Just about to set it up for IMatch.

Very impressed so far.  Easier to set up than the Cherry keypad.  With the Cherry you had to 'switch off' a modifier key - for instance, to program 'CTRL-B' you had to write it as 'CTRL B CTRL'  otherwise it thinks you are holding down the control key.  It was not very clear in the manual so it gave me some fun and games until I realised what was happening.   No such problems with the Stream Deck though.

Fun indeed!

Carlo Didier

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Re: Stream Deck (or similar device) for easy shortcuts!
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2021, 09:11:30 PM »
@Carlo - yes.. I looked into Loupedeck and their various incarnations as well... but their lack of support for Capture One was a major turn off and I decided against it... but it is also a fine piece of tech and has many features I would love to add such as rotary knobs.
Of course, you can program it for C1. I also use C1.
They do have a preset, if you use a US (UK?) keyboard (which I don't, mine is swiss-french).
It's a lot more work of course to do it all manually, and you wil probably have to define your own keyboard shortcuts in C1 too to use certain functions.
And I think you cannot access all functions, but from what I have found so far, I'm pretty sure I'll get everything I want.

Jingo

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Re: Stream Deck (or similar device) for easy shortcuts!
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2021, 01:21:46 PM »
@ Jingo.  No problems to my wallet - what I earned with photo sales through Alamy last month has more than paid for it.. 8)

Already set it up for Photoshop and a couple of other programs.  Just about to set it up for IMatch.

Very impressed so far.  Easier to set up than the Cherry keypad.  With the Cherry you had to 'switch off' a modifier key - for instance, to program 'CTRL-B' you had to write it as 'CTRL B CTRL'  otherwise it thinks you are holding down the control key.  It was not very clear in the manual so it gave me some fun and games until I realised what was happening.   No such problems with the Stream Deck though.

Fun indeed!

Enjoy... by the way - the latest firmware added a much requested feature - sleep mode!  Now, you can set an image to display as a screensaver or just have it go to sleep after a period of time.

One gotcha that I figure I'd mention because it took me a bit to research - if you use the stream deck on the same USB hub as a webcam - the webcam may not work when the stream deck is plugged in.  Some sort of port interference... took me a few days to figure out why my webcam was no longer working!!

loweskid

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Re: Stream Deck (or similar device) for easy shortcuts!
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2021, 02:38:55 PM »
One gotcha that I figure I'd mention because it took me a bit to research - if you use the stream deck on the same USB hub as a webcam - the webcam may not work when the stream deck is plugged in.  Some sort of port interference... took me a few days to figure out why my webcam was no longer working!!

As the old saying goes - "When all else fails, read the manual"....  ;D

Page 3 of the Quick Start booklet...  "Connect Stream Deck directly to a USB port on your PC or Mac - do not use a USB hub".

Carlo Didier

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Re: Stream Deck (or similar device) for easy shortcuts!
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2021, 02:50:54 PM »
Page 3 of the Quick Start booklet...  "Connect Stream Deck directly to a USB port on your PC or Mac - do not use a USB hub".
I think they say the same for the Loupedeck, but I couldn't find any issue with various hubs that I tried it out on.
One issue that I have is that it stops working when I activate a connection with NordVPN. The Loupedeck actually behaves like a network device (even though it is physically connected through USB) and you can see an ethernet port for it. Once a VPN is established, the connection gets blocked.
But as I only use the VPN when travelling and I don't take the Loupedeck on travels, it's not a big issue for me.

How does the stream decks connection work?

Jingo

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Re: Stream Deck (or similar device) for easy shortcuts!
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2021, 05:25:04 PM »
One gotcha that I figure I'd mention because it took me a bit to research - if you use the stream deck on the same USB hub as a webcam - the webcam may not work when the stream deck is plugged in.  Some sort of port interference... took me a few days to figure out why my webcam was no longer working!!

As the old saying goes - "When all else fails, read the manual"....  ;D

Page 3 of the Quick Start booklet...  "Connect Stream Deck directly to a USB port on your PC or Mac - do not use a USB hub".

LOL... um.. yeah... I suppose I might have benefited from reading the manual!  8)