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  1. #1
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    Explanation for weird behavior of F4 key?

    This has bugged me for years, and I'd like to understand it, even if there's no way to change it.

    The F4 key, "Repeat last action," is very useful for repetitive operations. Unfortunately there's one basic repetitive operation for which it's useless: typing a string of characters.

    Say I place the insert point in a document before the word "kitty" and type p-r-e-t-t-y-space, "pretty" followed by a wordspace. Then I place the insert point before another instance of "kitty" and press F4. It should insert the word "pretty," right? Logic says so, but Word says otherwise; it inserts "retty," omitting the first character.

    Word has done this through at least the last two or three versions, and seems to do it pretty consistently. (Maybe even retty consistently.) Can anyone explain what Word is thinking when it does this?
    Last edited by jsachs177; 2014-06-06 at 00:37.

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  3. #2
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    In my mind typing "pretty" is 6 different actions so I am surprised you don't just get a 'y'. I just tested this on my Word 2010 and surprisingly I got the entire word to appear (including a space). Perhaps there is a configuration option that differs between your machine and mine but I don't know where you would go looking for this. Another possibility is that a typing speed might be a factor - if I type one letter per minute will it record a last action spread over 6 minutes.

    A simple workaround would be to copy the text and then paste it once and then use F4 to repeat.

    FWIW, F4 doesn't repeat other actions that I want it to: Apply a table style is one that springs to mind. Resize a graphic is another.
    Andrew Lockton, Chrysalis Design, Melbourne Australia

  4. #3
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    I won't rule out a configuration option -- some have truly bizarre effects -- but I should note that "my computer" is a dozen or so different computers that I've used at home and work over time, and that "at work" has been nearly that many different places, each of which configured systems in its own way.

    There is, of course, the possibility that your computer is uniquely configured so that F4 behaves usefully in this case. I'll be interested in what others find.

    And you're right that I can work around this problem by copying the text I've just typed, pasting it once, then pressing F4 to paste again. That's what I do. It's only a little harder. The "problem" is not that F4's behavior is impossible to tolerate; it is that F4's behavior is impossible to understand, and as I said, it has bugged me for years.

  5. #4
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    Hi jsachs

    Unchecking the 'When selecting, automatically select entire word' under Advanced Editing - Word Options changed that behavior for me. I'm not sure you want to uncheck that though; you may get undesirable behaviors when performing other operations.

    Carol.



    Edit: Never mind; this is not true. I have rechecked that box, but I no longer get the 'weird behavior' at all.
    Last edited by konopca; 2014-06-06 at 07:26.

  6. #5
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    I have noticed the same behavior, but only if (in your example) I would capitalize the "P." then the F4 key would give me "retty ." If I used lowercase "p," then the whole word would be repeated. I had just assumed pressing and releasing the shift key made the "P" a previous action to the rest of the word.

    Pat

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    I don't suppose you've got an entry in Autocorrect which is replacing pretty with retty? Just a thought
    John

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    Win7 Home Prem + Word2003 here:
    F4 key repeats everything I type since the last F4 press (or since the last of any of these: Delete, Insert).

    It doesn't repeat multiple Deletes, just the last one.
    It does repeat multiple Backspaces, with or without a string of letters.
    It ignores most other keys, such as Esc, Shift, Ctrl, Alt, CapsLock.

    Oddly, in the course of testing these, I discovered that my Word2003 no longer recognizes Shift-Tab; it moves to the right just like Tab, instead of backing up to the left as (I think) it used to do.

  9. #8
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    you could go into the dictionary and set it up so that everytime it pastes 'retty' the dictionary changes it to 'pretty'.
    i did that for my 'hte' problem, now everytime it type 'hte' its changed to 'the'. (dyslexic keyboard, not my fault)

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