The Magic F4 Key in Microsoft Office

In the "you learn something new every day" department, I was working in Excel today and had to look up some obscure way to manipulate a pie chart. The resource helped me solve the problem at hand, but also introduced me to a feature of Office that I'd not ever used before:


So what does this magic key do? It simply repeats the last command on whatever the current context is. In my case, I needed to hide multiple wedges in a pie chart. So I clicked the first wedge and navigated through the point-and-click menus to change the background color to transparent. From there, I can just point on the next wedge and press F4, and repeat for the remaining steps.

This technique works for most operations in Excel, Word and Powerpoint. So next time you catch yourself repeating the same point-and-click task many times, just do it once and try using F4 for the rest. You'll save loads of time.