Five shortcuts for the 'redo' function in Excel


In the world of Excel, the 'redo' function is a powerful tool that allows you to reverse an 'undo' action and recover any changes you may have accidentally deleted. However, constantly reaching for your mouse and selecting the 'redo' button can be time-consuming and disrupt your workflow. That's why learning shortcuts for the 'redo' function is crucial for anyone looking to increase their efficiency and productivity in Excel.

Key Takeaways

  • Learning shortcuts for the 'redo' function in Excel can greatly increase efficiency and productivity.
  • Ctrl + Y is a shortcut that allows you to quickly redo an action.
  • F4 can be used to repeat the last action, saving time and effort.
  • Shift + F3 is useful for redoing the 'Insert Function' command accurately.
  • Ctrl + Shift + Y is a shortcut for redoing multiple actions in sequence.
  • Customizing the Quick Access Toolbar can provide easy access to the 'redo' function.

Shortcut 1: Ctrl + Y

A. Explanation of how Ctrl + Y is used to redo an action in Excel

Ctrl + Y is a powerful keyboard shortcut that allows users to quickly redo an action in Excel. When an action is undone using Ctrl + Z, Ctrl + Y can be used to reverse the undo and bring back the action that was previously undone. It essentially acts as a 'redo' function, allowing users to restore the last action that was undone.

B. Benefits of using this shortcut for quick redos

Using Ctrl + Y to redo actions in Excel offers several benefits:

  • Efficiency: Ctrl + Y provides a faster alternative to navigating through the menus or toolbar to find the redo option. It allows users to quickly and easily redo actions with just a simple keyboard shortcut.
  • Accuracy: By using Ctrl + Y, users can ensure that they accurately restore the exact action that was previously undone. This eliminates the risk of mistakenly redoing other actions or making unintended changes.
  • Productivity: By streamlining the process of redoing actions, Ctrl + Y helps users save time and boost productivity. It allows them to focus on their work without interruptions or distractions caused by manual redoing of actions.

C. Example scenario where Ctrl + Y can be applied

Let's say you are working on a complex spreadsheet in Excel, and you accidentally delete a crucial formula by pressing Delete. Without Ctrl + Y, you would have to manually re-enter the formula or retrieve it from a backup. However, by using Ctrl + Z to undo the deletion and then Ctrl + Y to redo it, you can quickly restore the formula to its original state without any hassle. This saves you time and ensures that your work remains accurate and consistent.

Shortcut 2: F4

The F4 key is a powerful shortcut in Excel that allows you to easily repeat the last action you performed. It can be a time-saving tool for repetitive tasks, helping you save effort and streamline your work in Excel.

A. Explanation of how F4 can be used to repeat the last action in Excel

When you press the F4 key in Excel, it automatically repeats the last action you performed. This can include formatting, inserting or deleting cells, applying formulas, and much more. By using the F4 key, you can quickly apply the same action to multiple cells or ranges without manually repeating the steps.

B. Advantages of using this shortcut for repetitive tasks

The F4 shortcut offers several advantages when it comes to repetitive tasks in Excel:

  • Time-saving: Instead of manually performing the same action multiple times, you can simply press F4 to repeat it. This can significantly speed up your work and increase productivity.
  • Consistency: By using the F4 shortcut, you ensure that the same formatting or action is applied consistently throughout your spreadsheet, avoiding any inconsistencies or errors that may occur with manual repetition.
  • Ease of use: The F4 key is conveniently located on most keyboards, making it easily accessible for frequent use. Its intuitive functionality allows you to quickly repeat actions without having to navigate through menus or use complex key combinations.

C. Example scenario where F4 can save time and effort

Let's say you have a large dataset in Excel and you need to apply the same formatting to multiple cells. Instead of manually formatting each cell individually, you can follow these steps to save time and effort using the F4 shortcut:

  1. Select the first cell you want to format.
  2. Apply the desired formatting (e.g., change font color, apply bold, add borders).
  3. Press the F4 key to repeat the formatting action.
  4. Move to the next cell where you want to apply the same formatting.
  5. Press F4 again to repeat the formatting for this cell.
  6. Continue moving to the remaining cells and pressing F4 to quickly apply the formatting.

By using the F4 shortcut, you can easily and efficiently apply the same formatting to multiple cells without the need for repetitive manual steps. This saves you time and effort, allowing you to focus on other important tasks in Excel.

Shortcut 3: Shift + F3

The third shortcut we're going to discuss is Shift + F3. This handy combination can be used to redo the 'Insert Function' command in Excel, saving you time and effort when working with complex formulas.

A. Explanation of how Shift + F3 can be used to redo the 'Insert Function' command in Excel

When you press Shift + F3 in Excel, it opens the 'Insert Function' dialog box, allowing you to search for and insert a function directly into the active cell. This shortcut acts as a redo function for the 'Insert Function' command, making it easier to add formulas to your spreadsheet.

B. Benefits of using this shortcut for quick and accurate formula insertion

Using Shift + F3 to redo the 'Insert Function' command offers several benefits, including:

  • Time-saving: Instead of navigating through menus and options to find the 'Insert Function' command, you can simply press Shift + F3 to access it instantly.
  • Increased efficiency: By using a keyboard shortcut, you can quickly insert functions without interrupting your workflow, allowing you to calculate data more efficiently.
  • Accurate formula insertion: The 'Insert Function' dialog box provides a comprehensive list of available functions in Excel, ensuring that you choose the correct one for your calculations.

C. Example scenario where Shift + F3 can be utilized effectively

Let's consider a scenario where you need to calculate the monthly payment for a loan using the 'PMT' function in Excel. Instead of manually searching for the function in the 'Formulas' tab, you can utilize the Shift + F3 shortcut to quickly access the 'Insert Function' dialog box. From there, you can enter 'PMT' in the search bar, select the correct function, and provide the necessary arguments to calculate the monthly payment accurately.

By utilizing Shift + F3, you streamline the process of inserting complex formulas, saving valuable time and reducing the risk of errors in your calculations.

Shortcut 4: Ctrl + Shift + Y

A. Explanation of how Ctrl + Shift + Y is used to redo multiple actions in Excel

Ctrl + Shift + Y is a powerful shortcut in Excel that allows users to quickly redo multiple actions in sequence. When you use the traditional Ctrl + Y shortcut, it only allows you to redo the last action you have undone. However, with Ctrl + Shift + Y, you can redo multiple steps that were previously undone, saving you valuable time and effort.

B. Advantages of using this shortcut for redoing multiple steps in sequence

There are several advantages to using Ctrl + Shift + Y for redoing multiple steps in sequence:

  • Efficiency: By using this shortcut, you can quickly redo a series of actions without having to manually redo each step one by one. This can greatly speed up your workflow and increase your productivity.
  • Accuracy: Redoing multiple steps manually can be prone to errors, especially if you have a complex set of actions to redo. Ctrl + Shift + Y ensures that all the actions are accurately repeated, eliminating the risk of mistakes.
  • Consistency: When you need to perform the same set of actions repeatedly, such as when working with large datasets, using Ctrl + Shift + Y ensures that the same steps are consistently applied. This helps maintain uniformity and prevents variations that may result from manual redoing.

C. Example scenario where Ctrl + Shift + Y can streamline the work process

Let's say you are working on a large spreadsheet where you need to apply a series of formatting changes to different sections. You start by formatting the first section and realize that the same formatting needs to be applied to several other sections. Without Ctrl + Shift + Y, you would have to manually repeat each step of formatting for each section, which can be time-consuming and prone to errors.

However, by using Ctrl + Shift + Y, you can easily redo the formatting steps for each section in a matter of seconds. This saves you valuable time and ensures that the formatting is consistently applied across the entire spreadsheet.

Overall, Ctrl + Shift + Y is a handy shortcut that can significantly streamline your work process when you need to redo multiple actions in Excel. By using this shortcut, you can improve your efficiency, accuracy, and consistency, ultimately enhancing your productivity and saving valuable time.

Shortcut 5: Quick Access Toolbar Customization

One of the most powerful features of Microsoft Excel is the ability to undo and redo actions with just a few clicks. While the 'undo' function is widely known and used by Excel users, the 'redo' function often goes unnoticed. However, by customizing the Quick Access Toolbar to include the 'redo' function, you can save valuable time and increase your productivity. In this chapter, we will explain how to customize the Quick Access Toolbar for easy access to the 'redo' function, discuss the benefits of personalizing the toolbar to individual preferences, and provide step-by-step instructions on how to add the 'redo' function to the Quick Access Toolbar.

A. Explanation of Customizing Quick Access Toolbar for Easy Access to the 'Redo' Function

The Quick Access Toolbar is a customizable toolbar located above the ribbon in Excel. By default, it contains commonly used commands such as 'Save,' 'Undo,' and 'Redo.' However, you have the ability to add or remove commands from this toolbar to suit your specific needs. By adding the 'redo' function to the Quick Access Toolbar, you can skip the extra clicks and easily redo an action with a single click.

B. Benefits of Personalizing the Toolbar to Individual Preferences

Personalizing the Quick Access Toolbar offers several benefits to Excel users. Firstly, it allows you to streamline your workflow by placing commonly used functions within easy reach. Adding the 'redo' function to the toolbar ensures that you have quick access to this powerful feature whenever you need it, saving you time and effort. Additionally, by customizing the toolbar to match your individual preferences, you can optimize your Excel experience and make it more efficient.

C. Step-by-Step Instructions on How to Add the 'Redo' Function to Quick Access Toolbar

  • Step 1: Click on the downward-facing arrow on the right side of the Quick Access Toolbar.
  • Step 2: In the drop-down menu, select 'More Commands.'
  • Step 3: In the Excel Options dialog box that appears, click on the 'Choose commands from' drop-down menu and select 'All Commands.'
  • Step 4: Scroll down the list of commands until you find 'Redo' or use the search bar to locate it quickly.
  • Step 5: Select 'Redo' from the list of commands.
  • Step 6: Click on the 'Add' button to add the 'Redo' command to the Quick Access Toolbar.
  • Step 7: Arrange the position of the 'Redo' command within the toolbar by using the 'Up' or 'Down' buttons.
  • Step 8: Click 'OK' to save the changes and exit the Excel Options dialog box.
  • Step 9: The 'Redo' function will now be accessible from the Quick Access Toolbar, allowing you to redo actions quickly and efficiently.


Using shortcuts for the 'redo' function in Excel can greatly increase productivity and efficiency in your work. By taking advantage of these time-saving techniques, you can quickly redo actions, saving you valuable time and effort. In summary, the five shortcuts discussed in this blog post are:

  • Ctrl+Y: Redo the last action
  • Ctrl+Shift+Z: Redo multiple actions
  • F4: Repeat the last action
  • Ctrl+Alt+Y: Open the 'redo' list
  • Ctrl+Shift+Y: Redo the last 'undo' action

To fully benefit from these shortcuts, it's crucial to practice and incorporate them into your Excel workflow. Familiarize yourself with these commands and make a conscious effort to use them regularly. As you become more proficient in utilizing these shortcuts, you'll notice a significant improvement in your productivity and efficiency when working with Excel.

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