How to Use the Undo Command in Word 2013

The Undo command undoes anything you do in Word 2013, which includes formatting text, moving blocks, typing and deleting text, formatting — the whole enchilada. You have two handy ways to unleash the Undo command:

  • Press Ctrl+Z.

  • Click the Undo command button on the Quick Access Toolbar.

You can use the Ctrl+Z key combination, but an advantage of the Undo command button is that it sports a drop-down menu that helps you review the past several things you've done, or that can be undone.

  • Word's Undo command is handy, but don't use it as an excuse to be sloppy!

  • Regrettably, you cannot pick and choose from the Undo command button's drop-down menu; you can merely undo multiple instances of things all at one time.

  • The Undo command works sporadically sometimes. Before this happens, Word warns you. For example, you may see a message such as “There is not enough memory to undo this operation, Continue?” Proceed at your own peril.

  • The Undo command doesn't work when there’s nothing to undo or if something simply cannot be undone. For example, you cannot undo a save-to-disk operation.

  • To undo an Undo, choose Redo.

Undo the Undo command with Redo

If you undo something and — whoops! — you didn’t mean to, you must use the Redo command to set things back to the way they were. For example, you may type some text and then use Undo to “untype” the text. You can use the Redo command to restore the typing. You have two choices:

  • Press Ctrl+Y.

  • Click the Redo command button on the Quick Access Toolbar.

The Redo command does exactly the opposite of whatever the Undo command does. So, if you type text, Undo untypes the text and Redo recovers the text. If you use Undo to recover deleted text, Redo deletes the text again.

How to use the Repeat command

When the Redo command has nothing left to redo, it changes functions and becomes the Repeat command. Its function is to repeat the last thing you did in Word, whether it’s typing text, applying a format, or doing a variety of other things.

Lamentably, you can’t use the Repeat command to ease your typing chores. That’s because it repeats only the last single character you typed.

  • The keyboard shortcut for the Repeat command is Ctrl+Y, the same as the Redo command.

  • In older versions of Word, the Repeat command could be used to replicate vast swaths of text. In Word 2013, however, it repeats only the last character you typed.

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