Excel lets you undo, redo, and repeat specific actions. The buttons to undo, redo, and repeat an action are in similar locations on both Mac and Windows, and the keyboard shortcuts are only a little different, as well.
Undoing an action simply removes the previous input. You can undo up to 100 actions. To undo an action via keyboard shortcut, press “Ctrl+Z” on Windows or “Command+Z” on Mac.
If you’re using Excel for Windows, you can find the Undo button in the Home tab’s Undo group in the top-left corner of the window. The Undo icon is a curved arrow pointing left.
On Mac, the Undo button can also be found in the top-left corner of the screen, above the menu bar.
If you undo an action but decided that you shouldn’t have, you can bring it back with the redo function. To redo an action using a keyboard shortcut, press “Ctrl+Y” on Windows or “Command+Y” on Mac. Alternatively, on Windows, you can press the “F4” key to redo an action. If pressing the F4 key alone doesn’t work, you may need to press it together with the “fn” key.
On Excel for Windows, the Redo button is found in the Home tab’s Undo group in the top-left corner of the window, directly below the Undo button. The Redo icon is a curved arrow pointing right.
On Mac, the Redo button is found above the menu bar, to the right of the Undo button. By default, this button is the “Repeat” button until after you undo an action. Once you undo an action, the Repeat button then changes to the Redo button.
The redo and repeat buttons will never be available at the same time.
Repeating an action, as the name implies, repeats the previously input action. The keyboard shortcut for repeating an action is the same as redoing an action (“Ctrl+Y” on Windows and “Command+Y” on Mac), causing a bit of confusion. To make things more confusing, you can only repeat simple actions, such as a copy and paste action. In most cases, you’ll just want to use the copy and paste function instead of the repeat action function.
RELATED: How to Copy and Paste on Mac
To repeat an action using the button in Windows, you’ll need to add it to your Quick Access toolbar first. To do this, type “Repeat” in the Search bar at the top of the screen, right-click “Repeat” from the search results, and then select “Add to Quick Access Toolbar.” (The option will be grayed out if it’s already in your Quick Access toolbar.)
Now you can find the Repeat option in the Quick Access Toolbar. Once you’ve input a repeatable action, you can click the Repeat button to repeat it.
On Mac, the Repeat button is found above the menu bar, to the right of the Undo button. This button is Repeat by default, but will be the Redo button if you recently undid an action.
As previously mentioned, the repeat and redo buttons will never appear together at the same time.
This is just one of the many basic features available to you in Microsoft Excel—all of which can be done by using a keyboard shortcut. The more keyboard shortcuts you learn in Excel, the more efficient you’ll become!