Repeat action(s) using the keyboard

Need to repeat an action in Word? Use Repeat from the Edit menu or try this quick keyboard shortcut.

Most of us know about [Ctrl]+Z, the keystroke shortcut for the Undo command (on the Edit menu and the toolbar). Simply press [Ctrl]+Z to undo your last action(s). But you might not realize that there's an equally convenient counterpart to this keystroke. Pressing [Ctrl]+Y repeats your last action. It's the same as choosing Repeat from the Edit menu. (Redo on the toolbar is similar to Repeat, but not exactly the same.) Use [Ctrl]+Y anytime you need to repeat an action, including entering data. To repeat a string, simply type the string and then press [Ctrl]+Y once for every repetition you need. For instance, type 123 and then press [Ctrl]+Y. Word will enter 123 a second time for you. Continue to press [Ctrl]+Y as needed. In this case, Redo will not get the job done. In fact, you'll most likely find Redo dimmed (unavailable). If you use this feature a lot, add Repeat to the toolbar instead of using the keyboard shortcut or the menu command. In 2003, do the following:

  1. Double-click any toolbar to open the Customize dialog box.
  2. Click the Commands tab.
  3. Choose Edit in the Categories list.
  4. Drag Repeat from the Commands list to a toolbar.

Repeat is on the Word 2007 Quick Access Toolbar by default. This keystroke shortcut works in all of the Office applications, but it's most helpful in Word. It is less predictable in the other applications.

About Susan Harkins

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.

Editor's Picks

Free Newsletters, In your Inbox