Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Repeating Your Typing.

Repeating Your Typing

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 7, 2021)

If you type a word, phrase, or other passage of text, you can use either the F4 shortcut key or the Ctrl+Y shortcut to repeat the typing at another location in your document. These shortcuts must be used before you use any other Word command or type any other text.

Note that if you select a few letters before you start typing (so that your typing replaces what you selected), then any subsequent use of F4 or Ctrl+Y will not repeat everything you typed. For instance, if you select the word "goodbye" and then type "hello," the subscquent use of F4 or Ctrl+Y will result in "ello" being what is repeated.

This happens because Word seems to consider the deletion of the original text ("goodbye"), which is triggered by pressing the "h", as a separate act from the typing of "ello". Pressing F4 or Ctrl+Y only repeats the last repeatable act, so only "ello" (the last act) is repeated.

Even so, the F4 or Ctrl+Y shortcuts can come in very handy when you want to repeat the insertion of a special symbol or you want to repeat some other action, such as searching for a word or phrase.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9569) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Repeating Your Typing.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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