CONTROL Z (OR UNDO)
I think this is one of the handiest shortcuts to know.
It’s the Undo function. It can be used in most Microsoft programs, as well as many others – eg MYOB, and can often be used on websites, for example when filling out a form.
I’ll explain how to use it at the end of the story
Here is my story of Control Z
Picture this (true story – it happened to me many years ago!)
You’ve spent literally months, making a wonderful catalogue in Microsoft Publisher.
You’ve spent ages coming up with just the right words, just the right descriptions, made sure everything’s lined up. Kept just the right spacing to enable your images to be slotted in. Everything’s set.
You’re working late one night and just need to add one or two little tweaks and it’s finished!
Your fingers are on the keyboard, and you get a little distracted – you look away …
Accidentally you press Ctrl A (which selects all the text) then leaning back, you’ve hit a key on the keyboard.
Move back in your chair, get ready to do the next thing …….
N O T H I N G ’ S O N T H E S C R E E N !!!
You go to move the scroll bar up – but even that’s not there.
You check the page numbers – ARGGHH!! No longer does it say 17/58 (the seventeenth page of 58 pages)
It says 1/1.
There’s only one page. Not 58 pages …. only one solitary page!
There’s nothing there.
You check the Window Menu list to see if there’s another document somewhere, the document must be somewhere!
No other documents open.
You remember all the late nights getting this just right.
You search your computer for two hours.
You can’t find it.
WHAT ON EARTH HAPPENED?
This is what happened:
By accidentally pressing Ctrl A, the entire document was selected (it was all highlighted).
Whenever text is highlighted, whatever is typed next, replaces that highlighted text.
Pressing the space bar, replaced ALL of the highlighted text with a single space.
So, all 58 pages were highlighted, the space bar was pressed, a space replaced all of the 58 pages.
Do you know how easy it was to rectify?
Ctrl Z, or click on Undo.
It would have undone the typing of the space key and everything would have still been there.
And I would have had a few less grey hairs!
So that’s my story of Control Z!
Here’s how to use it.
There are two ways to use the Undo function – either by using your keyboard or by clicking a button on screen.
You press the two keyboard keys – Ctrl – press and hold it down, then tap the Z key. , then let them both go.
If the button is available – usually in Microsoft Office programs,
It looks like this in Office 2007 and above
It looks like this in previous versions.
If the Undo button isn’t available on the screen you’re on, try Ctrl Z . If you’re resizing a photo, and it doesn’t look good, press Ctrl Z, move some text around – doesn’t work there? Ctrl Z, the text will be back where it was.
but wait there’s more!
You can keep pressing Ctrl Z (or Undo) and it keeps undoing the next previous function, and the one before that, and the one before that – all the way back until the last save. There are exceptions of course, and there’s other tricks in Office, but we won’t go into them today.
So I hope that using Ctrl Z gets you out of a jam one day, or just makes using the computer a bit easier.
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