What is the use of the Ctrl + Z shortcut on Windows? Definitely more than you think

What is the use of the Ctrl + Z shortcut on Windows? Definitely more than you think

If you are a regular Windows computer user, chances are that you have never really taken advantage of shortcuts. This is not a big deal. Even without keyboard shortcuts, you can still use Windows as you normally would. However, taking advantage of keyboard shortcuts will help you use Windows in a simpler, more productive and efficient way.

Ctrl + Z is an extremely common key combination on Windows. However, not many people really know the full uses of this versatile shortcut. Let’s learn the great uses of the shortcut Ctrl + Z right here.

Undo input errors or corrections

Basically, Ctrl + Z allows you to undo the action on all areas of Windows. A common use of this shortcut is to undo an action in tasks like inputting, editing videos, editing images, and on many other types of software. Whether you’re working in Word, email, encryption tool, browser input field, or any other program on your Windows PC, just press Ctrl + Z if you want to undo an action you just perform.

The same applies to third-party Windows software like PhotoShop and InDesign. Just press Ctrl + Z to undo an action you just did.

Note that depending on the software, you can press Ctrl + Z repeatedly to undo multiple actions. Each show has its own limit, but many will set a limit of up to 20 undo. You will not be able to “go any further back in the past”.

Recover files and folders

Have you ever accidentally deleted a file or folder by mistake in Windows 10? In this situation, many people will be in the habit of accessing the Recycle Bin and recovering. But if you want to save some time, just press Ctrl + Z to bring back the file you just deleted.

Redo everything with Ctrl + Y

It would be a big mistake to talk about Ctrl + Z without mentioning the Redo command (redo). Anything you undo with Ctrl + Z can be redone using Ctrl + Y (or Ctrl + Shift + Z in some apps).

Sometimes you may have pressed Ctrl + Z too many times, or decided after considering that you really wanted to delete the file. Just press Ctrl + Y to reverse the undo command.

Try deleting a bunch of text by pressing Ctrl + Z five times, and you can get back all by pressing Ctrl + Y five times.

Create file in command line

In the Windows command line, the Ctrl + Z shortcut has a very different use. One of the ways it works here is with the sub copy command, which is used to create files via the command line.

To try it out, enter:

copy the child testfile.txt
[This line contains the text you want to appear in the file you are creating]

Once you’ve entered the text that you want to appear in your newly created file, press Ctrl + Z (will appear as ^ Z in the command line). When you’re done, press Enter.

Now you can browse to the directory in the command line and find the newly created file there.

Pause processes in the command line

Another function of Ctrl + Z in the command line is to immediately pause the process you are running in the command line. This can be useful in cases where this is a long process, containing a specific part that makes you want to test immediately without having to wait for the entire process to finish.

Basically, when you press Ctrl + Z, a SIGTSTP signal is sent. To resume the process simply press Ctrl + Z again.

That’s all you need to know about the Ctrl + Z shortcut. Remember that it works in any program – from word processing software to Photoshop and video editing tools on Windows. Please “take time” to use keyboard shortcuts and you will see significantly improved work efficiency.

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