I can’t recall the number of times I’ve typed something that I’ve immediately wanted to remove or accidentally deleted something. At this point the next wrong keystroke may have meant disaster. Luckily I’ve learnt to keep calm and use the undo button. Not only as an action, but also as a principle to follow when I’ve run into trouble.
The ‘undo’ button allows you to reverse mistakes. With one click of the mouse you can bring back or erase large blocks of text in Microsoft Word, delete a mistake you made in Microsoft Excel or rewrite something you just typed into a web browser.
The undo button can be found in the Edit drop down menu, as an arrow pointing to the left on the top toolbar, or you can use CTRL+Z or the F2 key.
Unfortunately it’s not a one-click panacea. You cannot pick and choose from the undo button’s drop-down menu. You have to undo multiple actions if you want to reverse a mistake buried amongst the list, and you wipe out the undo list every time you save.
In Word 2013 the software sometimes shows a message like “There is not enough memory to undo this operation, Continue?”
In Excel it allows you to restore an accidentally deleted formula or reinstate data that is accidentally moved to the wrong cell.
Perhaps more important than the undo button is the principle of keeping your wits about you and undoing your recent actions when you encounter a problem.
Recently I updated a number of plugins on this blog and updated the theme. Having done this I drafted my next blog post, checked it and then clicked on the Publish button. Immediately the text in the draft window disappeared and when I checked the post was nowhere to be seen on my blog.
I could have panicked at this point. Instead I followed the undo principle.
The undo/step backwards was to deacivate the plugins. One by one I deactivated the plugins I had updated, each time checking to see if removing the plugin had removed the problem.
The first plugin I removed was After the Deadline. This checks spelling and grammar before a post is published. If I’d thought about it this would have been the obvious one to try first since it runs when you press the Publish button. As luck would have it I didn’t have to be that clever because it was first alphabetically. As soon as it was removed the problem disappeared.
Now, thanks to following the undo principle, my blog is working fine. So next time you make a mistake or find your actions have produced an unforseen consequence, remember to try keeping calm and “use the undo button”.