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One of Excel's great treasures is the ability to undo an action. Suppose for example I'm adjusting this data here. I want to make column G more visible. I'll adjust the column width there, and I'm looking at the data or maybe I'm asleep at the wheel or something, and it's a little bit off here, and I just say, you know I really don't want to see the hire date. I just want to know how many years of service these people have. And I'm not paying attention to the fact that there are formulas here. So I'm going to get rid of column G. Right-click and Delete. And of course I've got a huge problem here, but rather than agonizing over what will I do, simply Undo.
And many of you know perhaps there is a toolbar button. It is probably in your Quick Access toolbar. Undo and notice the keystroke shortcut Ctrl+Z. Before clicking this I also want to point out the arrow to the right of this does show you other actions that preceded this. And this list can be huge. At the moment on my screen it's only seven actions, but it could go as far back as 100 actions. So you can undo a consecutive series of actions that you have taken in Excel.
Kind of be selective and jump out here and do one or two. Now, certainly not wrong to click the arrow, and I think it's a good idea to use the drop arrow occasionally just to remind yourself of recent actions that you might have taken within a given workbook. On the other hand, if you're in a hurry sometimes, as we might be in this case, oops, we just did this, what are we going to do? Ctrl+Z. Now, it's certain, other times you might have undone more actions than you wanted to. Maybe we will go back and undo three or four of these. After having done that we might do what? I might say, "oops, I undid more than I wanted to," so then we could click the drop arrow and do a Redo.
Maybe Redo some of these or perhaps all of them. So it's real hard to explain that to anybody else, and it looks a little weird here and there, but you can easily master these. And the keystroke shortcut for Redo is Ctrl+Y. Now, it sounds a little tricky, but you can also use Ctrl+Y to repeat an action. Here is an example. Maybe in this list here you want to print out maybe the upper portion of it and all those may take a little bit of time and I say, "I want some empty rows here and there. Maybe I want them right here." So I'm going to right-click and Insert.
And I want to do the same thing here for Row 7, so I'm going to click here, but rather than right-clicking I'm just going to do Ctrl+Y, meaning Repeat. I might do it down here. Now, even easier is F4. The F4 key in this context is the same as Ctrl+Y. There we go. So we're repeating a past action. So Ctrl+Y and F4 can mean either repeat as we are using it here or as part of that Undo/Redo process.
And if my explanation isn't quite so clear, it's because I think this really is a difficult topic to explain, although once you've begin to experiment with it, I think you'll find it pretty easy to use and very handy. So to undo your last action or a series of last actions, press Ctrl+Z once or multiple times. If you need to Redo press Ctrl+Y or F4, and maybe more often a more frequently used F4 to repeat an action.
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