Hardware

Office solution: What to do when [Ctrl]+Z stops working

This week, learn the solution to last week's Office challenge: Why doesn't [Ctrl]+z work anymore?

Last week, I asked you why [Ctrl]+Z might stop working. Now, most of us now about this shortcut and some of us live by it! It's the shortcut for Undo; it cancels previous actions. But, what happens if it suddenly stops working?

Damiross was the first to respond with a helpful reminder: [Ctrl]+Z won't do anything if there's nothing to undo! Wyrmlord tried next with some good suggestions. I think changing the keyboard layout is a remote possibility. I've yet to run into a hijacked shortcut, but it's possible.

Gordon Or-8 was the first to mention the possibility that someone had accidentally usurped the shortcut by assigning those keys to a macro. This is where I'd start. To reassign the macro that's usurped [Ctrl]+Z, do the following:

  1. Click the File tab and choose Options (under Help). In Office 2007, click the Office button and then application Options (this can happen in any of the Office applications).
  2. Click Customize Ribbon.
  3. Below the Categories list, click the Customize button, to the right of the Keyboard Shortcuts option.
  4. In the Categories list, select Macros.
  5. Highlight each macro in the Macros list until you find the culprit (the keyboard shortcut will appear in the Current Keys control.
  6. When you find the macro, assign a new shortcut.

If necessary, you can reclaim [Ctrl]+Z. Repeat steps 1 through 3 above, and then, do the following:

  1. In the Categories list, select Commands Not In the Ribbon.
  2. In the Commands list, choose EditUndo.
  3. Click inside the Press New Shortcut Key control and press [Ctrl]+Z.
  4. Click Assign and then Close.
  5. Click OK.

About

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

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