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Repeat Last Action


A good habit for ensuring your finances are under control is to keep records. Consequently, every time I spend or gain some money, I update my finance spreadsheet and file the receipt away. Then, when a bank statement comes in, I can spend a few minutes working through it and making sure that everything matches up.

My standard convention is that new items get the next expected statement number for the relevant account in red and, as I tick them off on the printed statement, I change that statement number to black. That makes for an easy to read visual reference on what has been checked and what remains but it requires several shifts of hand position. I use the cursor keys to move round on the spreadsheet but I’ve been clicking the font colour icon to change colour. Even if I leave the mouse in place, that still requires moving the hands off the keyboard and back.

I was working on this again today and decided to search for a keyboard shortcut. It turns out that my chosen spreadsheet software (Excel) allows you to press F4 for ‘repeat last action’. Changing the font colour counts as an action so now I can just use my touch-typing skills to hit that key and the job is done. It is only a miniscule time-saving on each operation but, as I quite often use colour-coding tricks when I’m working with spreadsheets, I think this is a shortcut I’ll use often enough to fix it in my memory.

As an aside, be a little cautious. If you press the Alt key at the same time, that will close the program down, which is a shortcut I’ve known for a long time and frequently use. It is an unlikely combination but be careful of anything leaning on the lower side of the keyboard or you could end up with unintended effects.

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