Photoshop: Why doesn't Command/Control + z undo each history step?

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  • Question
  • Updated 7 years ago
  • Answered
Dear Adobe Gripes #14906, #14390, #4542, #1188, #2109, #14632, #15348

"If I hit Ctrl+Z twice, it means I want to undo two things, not undo
something, then redo it. What are you, apple?"

"Why doesn't Control "Z" undo each history step? Why the does it act
like a toggle switch instead?"

"Please make Control + Z do multiple undo in Photoshop"

"Make Undo/Redo work like in all other programs and get rid of Step
Forward/Backward commands."

"How 'bout a simple apple-z instead of a stupid Step Backwards?"

"Allow Cmd+Z and Shift+Cmd+Z to be used to undo/redo multiple steps in
Photoshop. Displaying and navigating through the history panel is a *huge*
pain in the ar$e."

"My fingers hurt from typing Cmd+Option+Z all day just to get the same
multiple undo behavior as Cmd+Z in every other application on the planet.
Please switch the key equivalents for these functions."
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Photoshop FAQ, Official Rep

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Posted 9 years ago

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Photo of Jeffrey Tranberry

Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Official Response
Photoshop’s unusual Cmd-Z mapping is due to the fact that the app lets you toggle across multiple history states in one keypress.

For example, you might do something, then click 10 steps back in the History panel. Let’s say you then hit Cmd-Z. Would you expect Photoshop to undo the most recent operation (getting you back to where you’d been prior to the last click), or to go to the 11th-back history state (that is, to go further back in time)? I’d expect PS to do what it does now: it undoes the click instead of digging me deeper.

I’m not sure it’s possible to preserve the current (and to my mind correct) behavior while also making Cmd-Z work in the more common way (which would also be correct). Of course PS could ask customers to make a choice via a dialog, but that’s just a recipe for blank stares. (via John Nack and myself)

If you don't like the default behavior, Photoshop allows you to change the shortcuts by selecting Edit>Keyboard Shortcuts Simply remap the current shortcuts:

To match other applications more closely: