Another use of F4 – Repeat LAST action

Excel tips: F4 to repeat LAST action

As mentioned in my previous post, F4 is my favorite keyboard buddy.  It helps you quickly shift between relative reference and absolute reference when building formula; it also helps to repeat your last action when you are not building formula…  so what am I actually talking about?

Think about that you want to apply a set of formats as below to a table:

  1. Font: Arial
  2. Font Color: Blue
  3. Font Size: 12
  4. Inside border – thin dotted line
  5. Outside border – thick black solid line
  6. Number Format – $ (,000) separator no decimal place
  7. Alignment – Center

So you select the table, right click -> Format Cells, then select the formats above.

After you have done it, wait… there are more than ten tables of different sizes you need to apply the same format to… OMG.

Relax!  You don’t have to repeat the tedious formatting steps.  Simply select the table and then press F4, then you realize that the table is formatted exactly the same as the previous.  Just repeat it to other tables.

Excel Tips - F4

Note: F4 repeats LAST action only, meaning if you perform something else before you press F4, the repeated action will not be what you wanted

Wait… Why don’t I simply use Format Painter then???

You are right if all the tables are of the same size, otherwise Format Painter won’t work as you wish.  Don’t’ trust me? Try this out on your own.

Other uses of F4, my habit:

  • Insert/hide/delete column/row
  • Grouping and Ungrouping

What’s your favorite use of F4?  Leave a comment please. 🙂

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