Repeat key (F4, CTRL+Y) strange behaviour



I am having a strange problem with a worksheet my colleague sent me.
When I use CTRL-+ to insert a row it works fine.
But if I try to repeat the action with the F4 key (same behaviour with
CTRL-Y) Excel does the "Goto Special" action.
I'm going crazy about this, there seems not to be any macro associated
to the function key too, please help!
The F4 key works fine in a blank worksheet.


Dave Peterson

Can you do one more test?

Start excel in safe mode
close excel
windows start button|Run button
excel /safe

file|open your workbook

Does F4 work ok now?

If it does, I'm guessing that you do have a macro.

ps. F5 is the shortcut for edit|goto (not special, though). Any chance you
just hit the wrong key?

David McRitchie

Keyboard shortcut documentation inconsistencies in Excel 2003
for Ctrl+A and probably for F4 (inconsistent to prior versions)

I would suggest you use Ctrl+Y as is both documented and
shown in the Edit menu; therefore, less subject to "improvement"
and most of all because it was consistent with documentation,
and it works in your Excel 2003 (and F4 you found not to be consistent).

That little footnote about being Excel 2003 might be very important.
as Excel 2003 did mess up use of Ctrl+A for which you would have
to use Ctrl+Shift+SpaceBar to work the same as Ctrl+A in any other
application or previous version of Excel. It is a combination of
Select all columns and Select all rows, but is actually undocumented
for such cell selection, but is documented to select all objects.

I'm using Excel 2000 but did write a macro to work with Excel 2003 to
make Ctrl+A work properly unless macros are turned off.

From Excel 2000 Help, Some differences in these keys as documented
that could lead to future "improvement" due documentation discrepancies.

Ctrl+G (GoTo) is a shortcut that Excel help left out of their documentation
but you will find in the menus.

Probably a potential for more serious problems in Word where there are
even more shortcuts for Redo and/or Repeat, as it appears that
Alt+Shift+Backspace is listed for Redo but not repeat ; whereas, others listed
shortcuts as being for both Redo and Repeat.

BTW, Ctrl+Shift+Spacebar in Word creates a nonbreaking space character.

FWIW, I couldn't find any other reference to Ctrl+Y and F4 being

Dave Peterson

It sure looks to me like ctrl-y and F4 work the same way as they did in previous

I think that there's something else poking its head in.
Jan 18, 2006
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I have been having these problems too (both CTRL+A and F4). It appears to work with some workbooks and not with others - hence why there may have been some disagreement below.

It seems like an Excel bug that you have to work around. Why do I think this? I have one particular workbook where I have this problem - it literally contains some lists that I pasted in from the internet. If I copy this directly into a brand new workbook I still get the problem. If, however, I paste it in as values only then it works fine! Absolutely non-sensical.

Anyway, I know this discussion finished a while ago, but maybe some of you get to see this.


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