The Repeat Command in Excel for Mac

by Gregory on January 10, 2011

Adding the Repeat command icon to the Quick Access Toolbar in Excel for Windows is a simple process that I explained in a blog post last week. Excel for Mac — 2011 or 2008 — doesn’t have a Quick Access Toolbar, but you can customize the toolbars and menus.

Add the Repeat Icon to the Standard Toolbar

  • Right-click the toolbar and select Customize Toolbars and Menus…

Customize Toolbars and Menus

  • At the top of the dialog box select Toolbars and Menus
  • Select the Show checkbox for the Worksheet Menu Bar
  • In the Worksheet Menu Bar click Edit

Customize Toolbars and Menus

  • Select Repeat and while holding down the Control key, drag to the Standard Toolbar

Repeat icon on Standard Toolbar

  • Click OK

Strangely enough, if you select Commands at the top of the Customize Toolbars and Menus dialog box, then select Edit from the Categories window, there is no Repeat command in the commands window. This is why I thought it didn’t exist in Excel for Mac.

The Three Different States of the Repeat Icon

The Repeat icon becomes active and has color when the current command can be repeated. It will be grayed-out if the current command can’t be repeated. After there’s been an Undo action, the Repeat icon will change to a Redo icon.

Turn on Toolbar ScreenTips

Repeat Shortcut Key ScreenTipThere’s an option to show shortcut keys in the toolbar screen tips that’s nice to have turned on. It shows the keyboard shortcut for the Repeat command to be Cmd+6.

  • Right click the Standard Toolbar
  • Select Customize Toolbars and Menus…
  • Click the Show shortcut keys in ScreenTip checkbox

Shortcut Keys in ScreenTips

  • Click OK
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U January 14, 2011 at 11:55 am

Thanks for the post. Still, it doesn’t seem to work with fill colors. I guess that’s because they updated it this version.

brett October 17, 2011 at 3:01 pm

thanks for the great tips. Would you know if there a similar repeat key in Word for Mac as the one you describe in Excel?

Gregory October 18, 2011 at 3:59 am

Yeah, there is. You can follow the instructions here almost verbatim and put a Repeat key on the toolbar in Word.

Shirley M. Bailey March 4, 2012 at 4:16 pm

Hi. I have just installed Office For Mac 2008. I very much miss my “Repeat” button and my “Paste Just Formula” button. The steps you describe for adding the Repeat command icon to the toolbar do not work for me. The dragging of the command to the standard toolbar does not work, although it is not grayed-out. Of more interest for me is the “Paste Just Formula” command. Do you know of any way to do this in Office For Mac 2008?

Gregory March 4, 2012 at 4:29 pm

I’ve resigned myself to learn that the keyboard shortcut Command+6 is the Repeat command on a Mac. (Instead of F4 on a Windows PC)

However, I’m not sure I understand what you mean by the “Paste Just Formula” command. Did you mean the Paste Special Values command?

Thomas August 22, 2012 at 1:17 pm

Hi. So I followed your directions and brought the repeat command onto my standard toolbar. However the command is constantly grayed out not allowing me to repeat any actions. Even for basic functions such as fill or insert the repeat command stays grayed out. I don’t know what else to do after moving the command onto the standard toolbar and it still doesn’t work. Is there any help you can give me?

Gregory August 23, 2012 at 7:29 pm

It doesn’t work for all commands, and the button will be grayed out if there is nothing to repeat. Having said that you can also try the shortcut CMD+6 to see if that will repeat the last command. That shortcut should work like the button. If one or the other, or both, doesn’t work then there may be a command key that has been reprogrammed on the MAC which is preventing that particular keyboard combination from working.

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