Excel 2004: Actions cannot be undone as soon as document is saved

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
September 14th, 2004 • 1:36 am

Yet another example of glaring inconsistency between Office applications. In Word, as long as a document window stays open, you can always use command-Z to undo your most recent actions (or command-Y to redo them), even if you pressed command-S at some point during the process in order to save your document. In other words, you can undo recent actions, even if these recent actions have been saved as part of a “Save” command. The only action that causes Word to “forget” the most recent steps and prevents you from undoing them is actually closing the document and reopening it. Once it’s closed, Word forgets all your recent actions for good. (It would be cool if it didn’t, but that’s probably too much to ask.)

Not so with Excel. In Excel 2004, as soon as you press command-S to save a spreadsheet document, the application forgets all your recent actions in that document, and you can no longer undo them.

This is a big drawback, especially for compulsive users of command-S like me. Never mind the fact that I have very good reasons to be such a compulsive user of the “Save” command, namely the fact that Excel 2004 crashes all the time (losing all your unsaved data in the process).

Once again, Microsoft is being hugely inconsistent across its Office applications, even though there is no visual indication of the difference in behaviour. (The “Undo” and “Redo” buttons in the toolbar look exactly the same in both applications.)

And once again, Microsoft punishes users for behaviours that they are forced to adopt because of the unreliability of its applications. Grrrr.

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