Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007 and 2010. 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: Changing the Maximum Undo Levels.

Changing the Maximum Undo Levels

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 9, 2015)

5

Rob asked if there is a way to change the maximum number of undo levels in Word. The short answer is, no, you can't. The reason is that you don't need to—the only thing that limits the number of undo levels in Word is the amount of resources you have in your computer. This means that the number of undo levels in Word is, for all intents and purposes, unlimited. In fact, you can run a small macro to show that this is the case. Consider this macro:

Sub TestUndo()
    For i = 1 To 10000
        ActiveDocument.Range.InsertAfter i & " "
    Next i
End Sub

It will take a few moments to run the macro, which inserts 10,000 numbers in your document, but when the macro is done, take a look at your undo stack (click on the down-arrow next to the Undo tool on the toolbar). You will notice that you can undo all 10,000 individual steps.

There are things, however, that will clear the undo stack. For instance, protecting a document for forms, executing the UndoClear method in a macro, or closing and reopening a document.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (11202) applies to Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Changing the Maximum Undo Levels.

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 9 - 4?

2015-01-13 23:56:03

Shanker.

@Corinne,

I see one drawback on deselecting the 'Auto Save'.It's helpful when I forget to save the fresh content I entered for long, and some power failure appears suddenly, or sometimes, the doc itself freezes/closes without saving for unknown reasons.

So, when I thank Maris for sharing his insight to all of us, I'm concerned about the potential problem I might encounter If I deselect/reduce the time of 'Auto Save'!


2015-01-13 09:22:51

Corinne

Thanks for that insight, Maris. Now I guess I need to decide whether I want autosave to be activated, or whether I want to be able to undo to my heart's content.


2015-01-09 10:37:18

Maris

Undo also disappears when autosave occurs. The default is 10 minutes. It is in Options, Save. So if you only have one undo it may be that autosave just occurred. In older versions when the computer was slower we would get little green bars in the lower corner as it autosaved the file. With faster computers this happens faster.


2015-01-09 10:32:33

Fred

Corinne,
I've noticed that in Excel I can sometimes undo ONE thing. If I try to undo again, it simply redoes what I just undid! I'm using Excel 2010 and 2013, btw, but I think it used to happen to me in older versions, too.


2015-01-09 08:41:02

Corinne

How about in Excel? Sometimes when I'm working in spreadsheets, I'll go to undo something and there's NOTHING in my undo stack - not good! I have noticed, on occasion, that it happens when I'm working in multiple spreadsheets, but I can't say for certain that that's the case every time. (Truthfully, I don't realize it has happened until I need to undo something.) Any idea what causes this and how to prevent it?


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