Word 2011 Tip: Assigning command-shift-Z to ‘Redo’

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Microsoft
December 15th, 2010 • 7:07 pm

One of the very first things you’ll want to do after you’ve installed Word 2011 on your machine is to go and use the “Customize Keyboard…” command (in the “Tools” menu) to assign the command-shift-Z shortcut to the “EditRedoOrRepeat” command (under the “Edit” category).

Why? Because if you don’t and you are used to using command-shift-Z as the shortcut for “Redo” — which is, after all, the standard shortcut for that command in all other Mac OS X applications —  you will experience a very nasty surprise the next time you try to redo something that you’ve just undone.

Try it. Type a couple of sentences. Then press command-Z repeatedly to undo some of your typing. Let’s say you’ve overshot and pressed command-Z one time too many, which can very easily happen. Now press command-shift-Z to redo the last thing you’ve just undone.

What happens? Nada. In Word 2011’s default configuration, command-shift-Z is the shortcut for… “ResetChar,” whatever that command does. And of course, if you do anything other than “Redo” after a succession of “Undo” commands, Word 2011 completely erases the history of the actions you’ve just undone and starts afresh, from the action you’ve just done (in this case, “ResetChar,” whatever that does).

And so all the undone actions will be lost, and you can no longer redo them.

I’ve been bitten a couple of times, and that was enough. I have now reassigned command-Z to “EditRedoOrRepeat” and made sure that my Normal template was saved, so that I won’t lose this customization in the future… until the next time Word 2011 corrupts my Normal template and forces me to start again from scratch, that is.

(You should also know that your Normal template is not saved until you quit Word 2011. So if you do a customization like this one, then leave Word 2011 open and forget all about it, and have a crash later on with Word 2011, you’ll have lost the customization. Me, I’ve added the “Save All” command to the “File” menu using the “Customize Toolbars and Menus…” command, so that I can force Word 2011 to save not just the current document, but also the Normal template at any point while using the application.)

Don’t wait until command-shift-Z in Word 2011 bites you! Make the change now.

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