Undo and Redo – LibreOffice Writer

Undo and redo are basic functions in any word processor and most applications. Undo allows you to go back at least one change in a document history. If you take a step back and decide that is wrong, redo allows you to move forward again, by at least one step.

LibreOffice give you the option to go back 99 changes in a document’s history. This page covers undoing and redoing changes to a LibreOffice Writer document.

In LibreOffice this can be done in the following ways:


Pressing Ctrl Z on your keyboard, if you are using Windows or a Linux distro. Mac users need to press Cmd Z.

This only allows you to undo one change at a time. It will work back to the first change you made when you opened or created a document.

To redo a change, the keystroke in Ctrl Y, or Cmd Y.

Edit menu

The undo typing item is the first one in the Edit menu. Simply click the Edit menu. Then click the Undo item to undo the last change in a document.

The menus are the same from version to version of LibreOffice Writer and from operating system to operating system. In most operating systems, the menus will be in each document window. In some, like Mac, they will be in the bar at the top of the screen.


There is an icon in various toolbars or ribbons. It is an arrow that curls to the left, and it has a drop-down menu with the past 99 changes made in a document.

Standard toolbar

The traditional user interface for LibreOffice has various toolbars that contain functions and features. The Standard toolbar contains the Undo icon with associated menu.

The drop-down menu contains up to the last 99 changes made since the the document was opened. It allows you to go back in time to a certain change. You can not skip over changes with the undo list.

  • Click the icon in the Standard toolbar to undo the last change.
  • Or click the arrow to reveal the last changes made made since the document has been open.
    1. Highlight the change you want to revert the document to.
    2. Click the left-button on the mouse.

Several of the experimental user interfaces that were added to LibreOffice, have the undo and redo icons.

Contextual groups

Contextual groups contains the Undo item in the Clipboard section. It does not contain the drop-down menu with a long list of changes. It only allows you to revert the document one change at a time. The redo icon also only allows you to replace one change at a time.

Contextual single

Contextual single is different than Contextual groups. It contains the undo and redo items with their drop-down menus in the second section.

Tabbed and Tabbed Compact

In the Tabbed user interface, the undo and redo icons and their drop-down menus are in the top left of the window. It is parallel to the tabs that change the ribbon when they are selected. The icons in this area of the window remain, regardless of the tab that is clicked.

Groupedbar Full and Groupedbar Compact

These two user interfaces divide their main toolbars into sections with icons and menus. There are seven sections and drop-down menus.

The undo and redo icons and drop-down menus are in the second section of the Groupedbar Full user interface. The Edit menu in the section has the Undo and Redo items in it.