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The Net Takeaway: Expanding Excel's Undo


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Expanding Excel's Undo · 03/20/2005 05:03 PM, Tech

I know, you never make mistakes, but I make tons. And here is something from the Office Letter team (which is a fantastic collection of MS Office tips and tricks) on how to expand Excel’s undo stack.

Note: you will be messing with the registry. If this strikes pangs of fear into your heart, DON’T GO ANY FURTHER. If it doesn’t, that must mean you’ve already backed it up and know that neither I nor the Office-Letter folks are responsible for any damage you do to your machine by being a dim-bulb and digging where you shouldn’t.

Now, from Office-Letter, Feb 14 2005 Standard Edition:
Works for Excel 97 and above

By default, Excel maintains only 16 levels of undo. Assuming you have the memory to spare, the good news is that you can expand that number up to 100 levels. The bad news (for some users) is that you have to modify the Windows registry. It’s quite simple:

1. Close all running programs as a precaution.
2. Use the Start/Run command and enter regedit. Click OK or press Enter.
3. You’re now in the registry editor. Use the File/Export command to make a registry backup—just in case.
4. Registry entries are displayed in a hierarchy, just like Windows Explorer lists files. Navigate to (and then click on)
HKey_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\xxx\Excel\Microsoft Excel
Where xxx varies by the version of Excel you’re using. Here are the substitutions:

Excel 97: replace xxx with 8.0

Excel 2000: 9.0

Excel 2002: 10.0

Excel 2003: 11.0
5. From the Edit menu, select Edit, then New. Click the “DWORD Value” option.
6. Select “New Value #1” and type UndoHistory. Note:
capitalization matters, so type the key exactly as shown. Press Enter to accept the new registry entry.
7. From the Edit menu, click on Modify and in the “Edit DWORD Value” dialog box, choose Decimal under Base. Type a value between 0 and 100 for the Value, depending on how many levels of undo you want.
8. Click OK and exit the registry editor.
9. Now, when you start Excel, it will store the undo history up to the number of actions you specified in step 7.

If you liked this, I encourage you to go to and sign up for the free version, or better yet, the paid one, full of extra tips.

In addition, as if you didn’t get enough mails, the best ones I get all seem to start from so unsub from those boring ones you never read, and start getting some of these to read great techie tips on using Windows, Linux, Hardware, Office, and everything in-between…

(Ok, I forgot one. While you are signing up on techletters, feel free to pop over to Fred Langa’s site and get his newsletter. Then, your techie email update will be complete.)

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