Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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 November 4, 2016)

5

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. This tip is especially helpful 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, and 2013. 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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What is nine minus 4?

2014-05-15 12:01:13

Richard

In an otherwise empty document, if type "hello" at the beginning of a line (without a following space), pressing Ctrl+Y puts hello on a new line:
hello
hello
hello

If I type "ron" after one of the existing "hello"s, Ctrl+Y repeats "ron" by extending the line:
helloronronron

Or using "ron ":
helloron ron ron

I can't think of an application for this at the moment.


2014-04-29 15:08:11

Phil Reinemann

I'm guessing that perhaps deleting "goodbye" then typing "hello" will allow F4 to insert the full "hello" word.


2014-04-28 11:31:09

Jennifer Thomas

I've seen the same issue as Dr. Bartalo, but never mentally traced it back to a pattern of causality, so thanks for the explanation, Mr. Wyatt - that makes perfect sense!


2014-04-26 09:19:47

awyatt

I've only seen that happen (missing the first letter in a word) when what I am typing is replacing something else. For instance, if I select the word "goodbye" and then type "hello", when I immediately press F4 it only repeats "ello".

From what I can tell, this happens because Word considers the deletion of the original text ("goodbye"), which is triggered by pressing the "h", as a separate act from the typing of "ello". The F4 key only repeats the last repeatable act, so only "ello" (the last act) is repeated.

You can confirm this by NOT selecting any text before typing "hello". If you simply put the insertion point somewhere and type the word, then move the insertion point somewhere else and press F4, the whole repeatable act--the typing of the whole word--is repeated.

Hope this helps a bit.


2014-04-26 04:35:14

Dr. Bartolo

But there is a bug in the way this works. More often than not if what is being repeated is a word of a few letters in length the first letter is not repeated. For example, if I repeat "hello" (without the quotes) I am likely to get "ello". This also happened in earlier versions of Word and may have something to do with the speed at which you type. In short, good in theory but unreliable in practice.


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