User Guide Cancel

Undo, redo, history panel, and automation

  1. Illustrator User Guide
  2. Get to know Illustrator
    1. Introduction to Illustrator
      1. What's new in Illustrator
      2. Common questions
      3. Illustrator system requirements
      4. Illustrator for Apple silicon
    2. Workspace
      1. Workspace basics
      2. Create documents
      3. Toolbar
      4. Default keyboard shortcuts
      5. Customize keyboard shortcuts
      6. Introduction to artboards
      7. Manage artboards
      8. Customize the workspace
      9. Properties panel
      10. Set preferences
      11. Touch Workspace
      12. Microsoft Surface Dial support in Illustrator
      13. Recovery, undo, history, and automation
      14. Rotate view
      15. Rulers, grids, and guides
      16. Accessibility in Illustrator
      17. Safe Mode
      18. View artwork
      19. Use the Touch Bar with Illustrator
      20. Files and templates
    3. Tools in Illustrator
      1. Tools at a glance
      2. Select tools
        1. Selection
        2. Direct Selection
        3. Group Selection
        4. Magic Wand
        5. Lasso
        6. Artboard
      3. Navigate tools
        1. Hand
        2. Rotate View
        3. Zoom
      4. Paint tools
        1. Gradient
        2. Mesh
        3. Shape Builder
      5. Text tools
        1. Type
        2. Type on a Path
        3. Vertical Type
      6. Draw tools
        1. Pen
        2. Add Anchor Point
        3. Delete Anchor Point
        4. Anchor Point
        5. Curvature
        6. Line Segment
        7. Rectangle
        8. Rounded Rectangle
        9. Ellipse
        10. Polygon
        11. Star
        12. Paintbrush
        13. Blob Brush
        14. Pencil
        15. Shaper
        16. Slice
      7. Modify tools
        1. Rotate
        2. Reflect
        3. Scale
        4. Shear
        5. Width
        6. Free Transform
        7. Eyedropper
        8. Blend
        9. Eraser
        10. Scissors
  3. Illustrator on the iPad
    1. Introduction to Illustrator on the iPad
      1. Illustrator on the iPad overview
      2. Illustrator on the iPad FAQs
      3. System requirements | Illustrator on the iPad
      4. What you can or cannot do on Illustrator on the iPad
    2. Workspace
      1. Illustrator on the iPad workspace
      2. Touch shortcuts and gestures
      3. Keyboard shortcuts for Illustrator on the iPad
      4. Manage your app settings
    3. Documents
      1. Work with documents in Illustrator on the iPad
      2. Import Photoshop and Fresco documents
    4. Select and arrange objects
      1. Create repeat objects
      2. Blend objects
    5. Drawing
      1. Draw and edit paths
      2. Draw and edit shapes
    6. Type
      1. Work with type and fonts
      2. Create text designs along a path
      3. Add your own fonts
    7. Work with images
      1. Vectorize raster images
    8. Color
      1. Apply colors and gradients
  4. Cloud documents
    1. Basics
      1. Work with Illustrator cloud documents
      2. Share and collaborate on Illustrator cloud documents
      3. Upgrade cloud storage for Adobe Illustrator
      4. Illustrator cloud documents | Common questions
    2. Troubleshooting
      1. Troubleshoot create or save issues for Illustrator cloud documents
      2. Troubleshoot Illustrator cloud documents issues
  5. Add and edit content
    1. Drawing
      1. Drawing basics
      2. Edit paths
      3. Draw pixel-perfect art
      4. Draw with the Pen, Curvature, or Pencil tool
      5. Draw simple lines and shapes
      6. Image Trace
      7. Simplify a path
      8. Define perspective grids
      9. Symbolism tools and symbol sets
      10. Adjust path segments
      11. Design a flower in 5 easy steps
      12. Perspective drawing
      13. Symbols
      14. Draw pixel-aligned paths for web workflows
    2. 3D effects and Adobe Substance materials
      1. About 3D effects in Illustrator
      2. Create 3D graphics
      3. Map artwork over 3D objects
      4. Create 3D objects
      5. Create 3D Text
    3. Color
      1. About color
      2. Select colors
      3. Use and create swatches
      4. Adjust colors
      5. Use the Adobe Color Themes panel
      6. Color groups (harmonies)
      7. Color Themes panel
      8. Recolor your artwork
    4. Painting
      1. About painting
      2. Paint with fills and strokes
      3. Live Paint groups
      4. Gradients
      5. Brushes
      6. Transparency and blending modes
      7. Apply stroke on an object
      8. Create and edit patterns
      9. Meshes
      10. Patterns
    5. Select and arrange objects
      1. Select objects
      2. Layers
      3. Group and expand objects
      4. Move, align, and distribute objects
      5. Stack objects    
      6. Lock, hide, and delete objects
      7. Duplicate objects
      8. Rotate and reflect objects
    6. Reshape objects
      1. Crop images
      2. Transform objects
      3. Combine objects
      4. Cut, divide, and trim objects
      5. Puppet Warp
      6. Scale, shear, and distort objects
      7. Blend objects
      8. Reshape using envelopes
      9. Reshape objects with effects
      10. Build new shapes with Shaper and Shape Builder tools
      11. Work with Live Corners
      12. Enhanced reshape workflows with touch support
      13. Edit clipping masks
      14. Live shapes
      15. Create shapes using the Shape Builder tool
      16. Global editing
    7. Type
      1. Add text and work with type objects
      2. Create bulleted and numbered lists
      3. Manage text area
      4. Fonts and typography
      5. Format type
      6. Import and export text
      7. Format paragraphs
      8. Special characters
      9. Create type on a path
      10. Character and paragraph styles
      11. Tabs
      12. Text and type
      13. Find missing fonts (Typekit workflow)
      14. Update text from Illustrator 10
      15. Arabic and Hebrew type
      16. Fonts | FAQ and troubleshooting tips
      17. Create 3D text effect
      18. Creative typography designs
      19. Scale and rotate type
      20. Line and character spacing
      21. Hyphenation and line breaks
      22. Text enhancements
      23. Spelling and language dictionaries
      24. Format Asian characters
      25. Composers for Asian scripts
      26. Create text designs with blend objects
      27. Create a text poster using Image Trace
    8. Create special effects
      1. Work with effects
      2. Graphic styles
      3. Create a drop shadow
      4. Appearance attributes
      5. Create sketches and mosaics
      6. Drop shadows, glows, and feathering
      7. Summary of effects
    9. Web graphics
      1. Best practices for creating web graphics
      2. Graphs
      3. SVG
      4. Create animations
      5. Slices and image maps
  6. Import, export, and save
    1. Import
      1. Place multiple files
      2. Manage linked and embedded files
      3. Links information
      4. Unembed images
      5. Import artwork from Photoshop
      6. Import bitmap images
      7. Import Adobe PDF files
      8. Import EPS, DCS, and AutoCAD files
    2. Creative Cloud Libraries in Illustrator 
      1. Creative Cloud Libraries in Illustrator
    3. Save
      1. Save artwork
    4. Export
      1. Use Illustrator artwork in Photoshop
      2. Export artwork
      3. Collect assets and export in batches
      4. Package files
      5. Create Adobe PDF files
      6. Extract CSS | Illustrator CC
      7. Adobe PDF options
      8. File information and metadata
  7. Printing
    1. Prepare for printing
      1. Set up documents for printing
      2. Change the page size and orientation
      3. Specify crop marks for trimming or aligning
      4. Get started with large canvas
    2. Printing
      1. Overprint
      2. Print with color management
      3. PostScript printing
      4. Print presets
      5. Printer's marks and bleeds
      6. Print and save transparent artwork
      7. Trapping
      8. Print color separations
      9. Print gradients, meshes, and color blends
      10. White Overprint
  8. Automate tasks
    1. Data merge using the Variables panel
    2. Automation with scripts
    3. Automation with actions
  9. Troubleshooting 
    1. Crash issues
    2. Recover files after crash
    3. File issues
    4. Supported file formats
    5. GPU device driver issues
    6. Wacom device issues
    7. DLL file issues
    8. Memory issues
    9. Preferences file issues
    10. Font issues
    11. Printer issues
    12. Share crash report with Adobe
    13. Improve Illustrator performance

Learn how to use Undo, Redo commands, and the History panel to control the state of your design in Adobe Illustrator.

By using the Undo or Redo commands and the History panel, you can easily control the state(s) of your design.

Undo, redo changes, or revert to the last saved version

The Undo and Redo commands let you undo or redo changes you've made in the document, allowing you to correct mistakes as you work. You can undo or redo an operation after you select the Save command. You can also revert a file to the last saved version. However, the Undo, Redo, and Revert actions don't work if you close and reopen the file.

Follow the steps to perform any of these actions:

  1. To undo or redo, choose Edit > Undo or Edit > Redo.

  2. To revert the document to the last saved version, choose File > Revert.

 You can also use the History panel to efficiently perform Undo/ Redo actions in Illustrator.

Use History panel

You can use the History panel to jump to any recent state of the design you created during the current working session in Illustrator. Each time you add any elements to the design, you can see new states being added to the History panel. 

For example, if you select, draw with a pen tool, and rotate part of a design, each of those states is listed separately in the panel. When you select one of the states, the artwork reverts to how it looked when that change was first applied. You can then work from that state.

To open and use the History panel, follow the steps below:

  1. Choose Window > History.

    History panel and the History panel menu
    History panel and the History panel menu

  2. To undo a specific change, select the name of the state and click Step Backward from the History panel menu.

  3. To redo a specific change, select the name of the state and click Step Forward from the History panel menu.

  4. To create a new document from the selected state, do the following:

    1. Select the name of the state in the History panel.
    2. Click New Document from the History panel menu.
  5. To change the number of states that displays in the History panel, do the following:

    1. Click Set History Limit from the History panel menu.
    2. Select the number of states from the History States.
  6. To remove the states that follow a selected state, do the following: 

    1. Select the name of the state in the History panel.
    2. Click Clear History from the History panel menu.

When you select a state and clear the history, the states that come after it are removed. While the states that come before the selected state are also removed, the changes remain in the document. Also, see things to keep in mind when working on the History panel.

Things to keep in mind

  • Program-wide changes, such as changes to panels, color settings, actions, and preferences, are not reflected in the History panel, because they are not changes to a particular design.
  • By default, the History panel lists the previous 100 states. You can change the number of remembered states by setting the History States under Preferences > Performance. 
  • If the number of states exceeds the limit mentioned in the History States, the older states are automatically removed from the History panel.
  • Once you close and reopen the document, all states are cleared from the panel from the last working session.
  • By default, selecting a state and then changing the design eliminates all states that come after it. 

Automating tasks

Graphic design is a field characterized by creativity, but there are some aspects of the actual work of illustration that can be repetitious. In fact, you’ll probably notice that the time you spend placing and replacing images, correcting errors, and preparing files for printing and web display often reduces the time you have available for doing creative work.

Illustrator provides a variety of ways to automate many of the repetitive tasks you have to do, leaving more time to concentrate on the creative aspects of your work.

An action is a series of tasks that are recorded while using the Illustrator application—menu commands, tool options, object selection, and so on. When you play an action, Illustrator performs all of the recorded tasks for you.

Illustrator provides prerecorded actions to assist you in performing common tasks. These actions are installed as a default set in the Actions panel when you install the Illustrator application.

A script is a series of commands that tells your computer to perform a sequence of operations. These operations may involve only Illustrator, or they may involve other applications, such as word-processing, spreadsheet, and database-management programs. Illustrator provides default scripts to assist you in performing common tasks. You can access these scripts by choosing File > Scripts.

Data-driven graphics streamline how designers and developers work together in high-volume publishing environments.

Join the conversation

If you have a question to ask or an idea to share, come and participate in Adobe Illustrator Community. We'd love to hear from you.

Adobe logo

Sign in to your account