Tame your computer – undo it!

8 Mar

The Microsoft Office go-back-to-where-I-was-happy button (aka Undo) seems to be well-known among most of my course participants. The Undo functionality allows you to reverse one or more operations and restore a document or an e-mail message to its previous state.  It is useful when you find that you have accidentally deleted the wrong text or have performed some other operation that has erroneously modified your document.

But even though the Undo button seems to be the first tool anybody remembers, a lot of people seem unaware you can simultaneously undo or redo a series of edit operations in Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access. (Why on earth not in Outlook beats me!)

Here’s how:

  1. Click on the down arrow at the right side of the Undo button. (By default the button is located on the Quick Access Toolbar).
  2. Select the desired actions from the list that you want to reverse.

You can also redo actions that have been undone. “Redo” is also great for repeating an action. By the way, only in Excel, you can redo several undone actions at a time, similar to the undoing action described in this tip.

Oh, and for the keyboard shortcut lovers among us:
Press and hold the CTRL key and then press the Z key to undo an action.
Press and hold the CTRL key and then press the Y key to redo an action.

Finally, some useless trivia… You can undo up to 100 actions in Word, Excel and Outlook. By default, you can “only” undo up to 20 actions in Access and PowerPoint. In PowerPoint you can increase that by following the steps as described in Tip #267.

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