Word: Repeat immediate past actionApril 12, 2010
Another neat Word keyboard shortcut that many non power users of Word don’t know about, but that can save heaps of time is the F4 key (or the Ctrl+Y key combination).
What it does is apply your immediate last command to the text where you are now.
- Apply background shading to a table header row, go to the next table’s header row, then press F4. Voila! The same shading is applied to this new row. (See this blog post on jumping to the next table: https://cybertext.wordpress.com/2010/02/01/word-jumping-to-next-table-graphic-or-field/)
- Put your cursor in a table and apply the ‘autofit to window’ command, go to the next table, put your cursor anywhere in it, then press F4. That table will also autofit to the window.
- Apply a style to some text, select the next piece of text where you want to apply that same style, then press F4. The next piece of text gets the same style.
You can continue pressing F4 throughout the document to keep applying the same command to other pieces of text. However, there are traps, as listed in the caveats below.
- If you format text with multiple formatting commands (e.g. set the height of a table row AND add shading AND add borders AND change the color of the border AND set the font to bold AND center the text), then only the last command will apply when you press F4 on the next piece of text.
- Be careful– as soon as you use any other command (e.g. delete a character), F4 will now use that command as its behavior. Sometimes the deletion is hard to see, so you press F4 again thinking that applying the last command didn’t work, when it really did — you just forgot that you’d deleted something in the meantime. I’ve been caught out a few times with this one!