Ctrl+Z: Your Shortcut to Time Travel.

We all have our favorites, those keyboard shortcuts that make us feel like we’re really operating a computer.  The tactile satisfaction derived from delivering an observed command is, well, awesome.

One keyboard shortcut, an Einsteinian two-step, rises well above the others.  Ctrl+Z, with its exotic formula, manipulates time.  You wanna go back?  See fig. 1 below.

Figure 1.  Observe all that carbon scoring between the rows.  Ctrl+Z has seen a lot of action.

I know what you’re all saying; just click “undo.”  Agreed.  This simple click requires less effort than the delineated shortcut, and we love easy.  But keyboard shortcuts, when used with equal amounts of skill and caution, represent the binary Black Arts, a swift manipulation of perception.  Click “undo” if you must.  You’re choosing training wheels.

You have the power to control time.

Ctrl+Z is at its most potent when working with the uninitiated, the desperate job-seeker who needs to submit their resume yesterday, for a job they needed last week–all reverse time travel situations.

Meet “Marty,” a job-seeker in need of a little Ctrl+Z.  He’s inexplicably deleted the entire EMPLOYMENT section of his resume: poof!  Years of accomplishments.  Gone.  White Word landscape as far as the eye can see.  Marty’s hands explode into the air, fingers splayed, crashing down, landing on his head with a big fat slap (!).

I’ve been a Career Counselor long enough to know when someone’s in trouble.  I quickly rotate Marty’s laptop and punch in the time travel coordinates.  Magic.  The blood returns to Marty’s face, his EMPLOYMENT section manifests as if its been rehired.

Looking at me like I’m Nostradamus, “What’d you do?”

“Ctrl+Z.  It’s your friend.”  I casually return the laptop to its previous position.

I know, I know.  I’m going on and on about Ctrl+Z, the superstar in a galaxy full of capable Suns.  As a parent, I feel guilty about doting on The Z.  I’ve shortchanged the rest of the kids.  Ctrl+Z’s siblings are a brilliant group and should be recognized.

  • Ctrl+S is the backbone of the family, a true team player who works in tandem with Autosave.
  • Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V are monozygotic twins.  They have the same thoughts, and produce the same outcomes.  Unfortunately, they’re exploited by plagiarists.
  • Ctrl+F is the family sleuth, a detective who instantly finds terms in otherwise impenetrable text.
  • Ctrl+A is the family blob, immediately ingesting everything in eggshell blue, awaiting orders from Ctrl+C or Ctrl+X.

Bragging about our kids can really turn people off, so I’ll end the bulleted list here.  I’ve obviously left the majority out in the cold to fend for themselves, for food, water and overall use.

Ok, it’s time to come clean.  I wrote this on my Mac, which means I’ve lied to you the entire time.  Ctrl+anything won’t get you anywhere on a Mac, except for a shift between open programs.  Slyly, acting in subterfuge, Command+Z has assisted in penning this post.

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11 Responses to Ctrl+Z: Your Shortcut to Time Travel.

  1. nancyfrancis says:


    I’ve long been a supporter of the Ctrl+Z movement, glad to see there are others like me out there!

  2. Faun says:

    Sneaky Mac user you….:D

  3. JMP says:

    As a mediocre musician recording on the Cakewalk computer based programs, Control+Z lets me “do it over” and over and over and over, you get the idea.

  4. It be cool if you could apply crtl z on test days.

  5. When I introduce CTRL+Z to someone for the first time, I tell them he’s like a character in a movie that you can’t tell at first if you like him or not. But as the movie progresses, you find yourself pulling for him more and more.

    Love this statement: “Click ‘undo’ if you must. You’re choosing training wheels.”

  6. Bill says:

    *ex*cellent work! I’m surprised that SNL hasn’t capitalized on Ctrl+Z for a skit…

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