Getting the Most Out of Undo

by Kendall Callas

As a long-time PC user, I'm used to the cycle of save/print/review when revising a document. It was to my great annoyance not long ago that I realized that when I did this, Undo no longer worked. That's right (in WordPerfect 9 and 10), Undo loses its history right after you save. This is bothersome when working with complex documents that go through several rounds of revision.

That's a change from previous versions of WordPerfect. When Undo was introduced in WordPerfect for Windows version 6.0, one could reverse only the last action. In WordPerfect 6.1, Undo (or Ctrl+Z) was expanded to allow up to 300 layers of change to be peeled back (default of 10). WordPerfect versions 6.1/7/8 were "factory set" to automatically save the history of undoable changes with the document. In WordPerfect 9, increased concern about security and file size led to a change in settings to not automatically save the changes.

You can tailor your settings for the Undo command by using the menus: Edit, Undo/Redo History, Options. Click to check “Save Undo/Redo items with document”. Optionally, increase the default 10 levels of Undo to as much as 300. Careful, though, in the extreme this can really bulk up your documents.

A caution regarding giving document files to parties outside the firm: If “Save Undo/Redo items with document” was selected, changes to the document can be unwound, possibly revealing data from a prior client or clues about the history of the document. (Any WordPerfect document you provide on diskette or as an e-mail attachment should first be "cleansed": delete comments, deselect “Save Undo/Redo items with document”, then resave.)


In the old days of WordPerfect, before Cut & Paste became universal, it was often convenient to move text by deleting it, then undeleting it where you wanted to put it. Undelete has been pushed out of the limelight, but is still available as a keystroke, allowing you to restore any of your last 3 deletions (at the cursor position):

Alt+Shift+Backspace = Undelete

WordPerfect Column to End

After writing this column monthly for 7 years, I am amazed to find that there are still many WordPerfect topics I would like to write about. In 19 years as a computer consultant, I have never seen another program with such depth of features.

Nevertheless, the changes in computing, especially the blossoming of the Internet, inspire me to move on to new horizons, technology barely imagined when WordPerfect achieved dominance in PC word processing back in the early 1980s.

This is the last of my regular monthly WordPerfect columns. Next month, I will shift focus and begin a new topic. In future, I hope to occasionally revisit the topic of WordPerfect with Q&A articles, fueled by questions from you, so please continue to direct questions about WordPerfect to .

“Webcasting 101: TV On Your PC” is the name of the column I will begin next month, sharing my interest in the growing use of streaming video over the Internet within the legal community. Click to go there.

Copyright (C) 2003 by microCounsel. All rights reserved.

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