This has been driving me crazy lately. I'm not used to having having a program have a global undo/redo functionality (as in when I undo something, it will undo the last action in any currently open Excel window). I'm used to having each open window having its own undo/redo list. How can I get Excel 2007 to function more traditionally like that?


3 Answers 3


If you want separate undo/redo lists, open separate instances of Excel.

If you simply open multiple files by double-clicking, they're opened in the same Excel process and share the same undo/redo list. If you manually open multiple instances of Excel and then open your files in those instances, they don't share the undo/redo list.

For further details, you might want to check out:


Unless operating on Excel files in different sessions I think we are stuck with a single undo list.

Edit that may (and quite possibly may not) help to explain the issue:

In Sheet1 A1 enter 1.
In Sheet2 A1 enter =Sheet1!A1.
In Sheet2 B1 enter =A1+1.
In Sheet1 B1 enter =Sheet2!B1

Both sheets now look the same and the undo stack has:

Typing `=Sheet2!B1` in B1  
Typing `=A1+1` in B1  
Typing `=Sheet1!A1` in A1  
Typing `1` in A1

Separating this out into the two sheets:

Sheet1                         Sheet2  

Typing `=Sheet2!B1` in B1
                               Typing `=A1+1` in B1
                               Typing ` Sheet1!A1` in A1
Typing `1` in A1

Unwinding just the Sheet1 part of the history is equivalent to deleting the contents of Sheet1!A1:B1. Try that and the values in Sheet2 will change. So even a separate undo history for each sheet/workbook/window would not achieve ‘isolation’.

Excel may (quite sensibly, in my view) be assuming that there is some basis for having two workbooks/windows open in the same session – that there is reason to expect interaction between one and the other. If such interaction is not required there is always the option to open workbooks in a different session.

At all frequent use of different sessions (eg extended desktop) may soon illustrate some of the advantages of operating within a single session.

  • I fear you may be right. Jun 17, 2013 at 20:59

A bit of a cop-out and only applies to newer versions of Excel, but if you’re willing to open Excel via your browser (at https://portal.office.com), each workbook will be in an individual tab with its own Undo/Redo history.

May be acceptable if you’re in a work environment without the ability to manage shortcuts, etc.

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