How to Use Undo and Redo Functions Excel 2013

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Using Undo and Redo

We all make mistakes from time-to-time and of course working with Excel is no exception. Let's imagine maybe we're going to make a serious mistake here. We want to get rid of these numbers and maybe we've just got row 2 selected and aren't thinking so clearly. Cell A, too, might look like it's not part of the mix here. So, you might go to Delete here, maybe you're exploring the commands, you're not familiar with how they work, you happen to click this and you realize that did a lot more than you wanted it to do. So, you'd like to reconsider all of that. In the Quick Access Toolbar--unless you've removed the button and I strongly suggest that you probably didn't and hope you didn't-- the Undo button is right here and it's followed by the word representing what you last did, the last action you took--in this case "Delete".

Recognize also the keystroke shortcut for undo, Ctrl+Z. So, we're going to press this Undo button and bring back the row that we destroyed there by mistake. Now, not only can we undo our last action, but possibly the ones before that as well. With a little drop arrow to the right of undo--if you click it--shows us up to as many as a hundred different actions. Now, maybe I just opened the file, I've done some other formatting, so this one only goes back 18 actions. I think rarely do you want to go back that far, but you can consider undoing a whole series of steps, but you can only undo a consecutive set.

So, if I wanted to go back and undo some of the other things that I've been doing in the meantime--maybe I was working with data in other cells-- if I want to undo some of those actions but only a consecutive set of them, if I were to click right now for example, I would undo the last seven actions. Now, let's take a few actions on the screen here and maybe again we're novices, we're experimenting here, we've heard that you might be able to add color. So, we drag across this. This is covered in a later movie, but we're going to click this button right here and make everything yellow.

We sort of like that maybe for a while. Here's some button here it says "Font Color", so let's hit the drop arrow and we'll try something here maybe, something that's going to show up, maybe that. Maybe we like Bold, there's B, we'll try that too. So, we're experimenting with some formatting features here. Maybe we use this for a while and we say, "I'm not sure if I like that". Now, we might have done other thing things in the meantime. Maybe we put in some data down here. Maybe put in some numbers. Now, if we want to go back and undo some of the formatting that we did, if we go back to the drop arrow just to the right of undo, it also includes the recent typing that we just did.

Now, if it's okay to get rid of those, we will, if we want to get rid of Bold, well, maybe we do and the font color we made in the format. The point is we have the choice of deleting these, but only the consecutive actions. So, if we go back this far, we will still be leaving the font color in the background. If we include the font, then we will be getting rid of that font color in addition to our two typing entries in the Bold. So, let's say we do that. Now, anytime you undo actions, whether it's one or many, the actions that you undid are stored in a different category called "redo".

There's another arrow over here called Redo. It's got a keystroke shortcut of Ctrl+Y. So, if we click drop arrow here, we will see the features that we just undid and maybe we undid more than we wanted to. So, to undo the undo, it's called "redo". Maybe we want to bring back the font color and the Bold that we had applied, so we'll do that. Now, part of this is being set up just, for example purposes, but I think you can sense how sometimes you use undo, because you really made a serious mistake and you want to undo it.

At other times you might even want to kind of toggle back and forth between changes. This is not the best example of it, but we might, for example using--Ctrl+Z--now and that take us back to here; I'll press again, takes us back to this look. What if I change my mind? I'll press Ctrl+Y, sort of reverse stream. So, you might try that for example, if you're working with certain charts, you can toggle back and forth with the Ctrl+ Z and Ctrl+Y. The main capability though here is this idea that when you make a serious mistake--when you perhaps delete data you didn't want or made a change--that you can undo it.

Now, the feature is not universal, particularly when it comes to changes that you make to Sheet Tabs. If you've never used these, you might not have seen that if you right-click one of the Sheet Tabs, you'll see quite a few choices here, nearly all of these you cannot undo. So, don't ever assume that if you delete a sheet, you'll be able to get it back. So, you want to be careful with undo. It is a great feature, no question about that, but don't assume that every single thing you do can be undone; but it's a real lifesaver at times. Keep in mind too, sometimes when you're experimenting with data, it might make sense to go through the cycle of undoing--Ctrl+Z and then redo with Ctrl+Y to compare two different appearances on your screen.

Using Undo and Redo
Video duration: 4m 50s 6h 32m Appropriate for all


Using Undo and Redo provides you with in-depth training on Business. Taught by Dennis Taylor as part of the Excel 2013 Essential Training

Business Education + Elearning
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