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The “Undo” Command

If you are not familiar with the “Undo” command, you are missing out on one of the joys of computer life: the chance to take back what you just did.

Here’s how it works:

You click on the “Edit” menu at the top of the window and choose the “Undo” command from the list. Whatever action you most recently performed will be reversed. No questions asked.

Some examples:

  • You select a group of pictures to drag into a folder and you think that perhaps you dropped them into the wrong folder. Rather than try to figure out which pictures you moved and into which folder you dropped them, click Edit > Undo and your pictures will be back where they used to be. You need not ever know where you dropped them by mistake.
  • You mean to highlight and delete a few words but highlight and delete the whole paragraph by mistake. Edit > Undo. Paragraph back.
  • You click something, your screen changes, and you don’t have any idea what you did. Edit > Undo. You may never know what you did, but at least you are back in business.

Some programs and systems allow you to undo only the last action you took; others will take you back to each previous action, step by step, each time you click ‘Undo.”

Some programs tell you what you did last; rather than “Undo,” the menu option will say “Undo Typing” or “Undo Paste.”

Some programs have a “Redo” command (also under the “Edit” menu) that will put back what you just undid.

For those of you who like keyboard shortcuts (using the keys rather than the mouse to initiate a command), the Edit > Undo command is “Control Z” on a PC and “Command Z” on a Mac.

Before you panic over having done something you wish you hadn’t, remember the Edit > Undo command.

Ah, wouldn’t it be nice if all of life had such a button?