Reverse 'uh-oh' moments with Undo

Just about every application known to man has an Undo feature

Computer boo-boos happen all the time. Just this morning, an accidental graze of my laptop's touchpad inadvertently selected a big chunk of text in Word--which I then overwrote as I continued typing on autopilot.

Before I had even a moment to panic ("My words! My precious words!"), my fingers instinctively landed on Ctrl-Z, the keyboard shortcut for Undo. Presto: The paragraph returned as if by magic, and I continued on my merry typing way.

Although this is Intro to Basic Computing for Toddlers 101 to many users, I continue to meet people who don't even know Undo exists. (If you're one of them, yes, I just compared you to a toddler.) They make a mistake, say "Oh, shoot," and then start recreating whatever work they just lost or messed up. Madness!

In a nutshell, Undo undoes whatever action you just took, whether it was erasing a paragraph, deleting an e-mail, editing a snippet of video, or adding numbers to a spreadsheet cell.

Just about every application known to man has an Undo feature--usually in the Edit menu, and almost always a Ctrl-Z-press away. What's more, many programs support multiple levels of undo, meaning you can reverse not only the most recent action, but also the one before that, the one before that, and so on.

Need to undo an undo? Some apps offer a "redo" option: Tap Ctrl-Y to un-reverse whatever action you just reversed. Or, if you're more of a menu person, look for Redo in the Edit menu. It won't be far from Undo.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Rick Broida

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?