how to redo in illustrator

How to Redo in Illustrator: 5 Simple Methods

  • Post category:GRAPHIC DESIGN
  • Post published:June 7, 2023
  • Reading time:28 mins read

As a graphic designer, your journey towards enhanced productivity and seamless creative exploration hinges on your ability to quickly undo and redo actions in Adobe Illustrator. Mistakes are an inherent part of the creative process, but with the power of redo at your fingertips, you can effortlessly revert back to previous versions of your artwork, saving you valuable time and effort.

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into four easy methods to redo in Adobe Illustrator, ensuring that you can navigate the intricacies of your design process with finesse and precision.

What is Redo in Adobe Illustrator?

Before we dive into the practicalities of redoing Adobe Illustrator, let’s clarify what it means. Redoing an action in Illustrator is essentially the act of undoing an undo. Imagine this scenario: you perform an action, but then change your mind and undo it. However, upon further consideration, you realize that the previous action was indeed preferable.

This is where the power of redo comes into play. By executing the redo command, Illustrator will reverse the last action, bringing your artwork back to its previous state.

While redoing and undoing actions in Illustrator can be incredibly useful, it’s important to note that there are certain limitations. For example, you cannot redo an action if you haven’t used the undo function in the first place.

Additionally, the redo and undo options are not applicable to actions performed within the View menu, such as showing or hiding the Bounding Box, Ruler, Grid, or Smart Guides. However, it is worth mentioning that you can employ the redo and undo actions when modifying the canvas size in Adobe Illustrator.

Method 1: Harnessing the Power of Keyboard Shortcuts

The quickest and most efficient way to redo an action in Adobe Illustrator is by utilizing keyboard shortcuts. By memorizing a few key combinations, you can effortlessly restore your artwork to its previous state. On a Mac, press Command + Shift + Z to redo an action, while on Windows, the corresponding shortcut is Ctrl + Shift + Z. You can repeat this process as many times as necessary, depending on the number of undo actions you have performed.

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Mac OS
how to redo in illustrator (10)

It’s essential to note that there are certain keyboard shortcuts, such as Command + Y or Ctrl + Y, which are specifically designated for the Redo action in Adobe Captivate. Using these shortcuts in Adobe Illustrator can inadvertently cause your graphics to switch to Outline mode and turn black. If you find yourself in this predicament, simply press Command + Y or Ctrl + Y once again to restore your artwork to Preview mode.

Method 2: Leveraging the Edit Menu

Another straightforward method to redo an action in Adobe Illustrator is by utilizing the Edit menu. Simply navigate to the top menu bar, click on Edit, and select Redo from the dropdown menu. If the Redo option appears grayed out and unselectable, it indicates that you have not yet used the Undo feature. In order to access the Redo function, you must first perform an Undo action. Once an Undo action has been executed, you will be able to utilize the Redo feature and restore your artwork to its previous state.

how to redo in illustrator

Method 3: Exploring the History Panel

The History panel in Adobe Illustrator offers a powerful tool for accessing previous states of your design throughout your working session. This panel functions similarly to the History panel in Adobe Photoshop, allowing you to track and revisit various stages of your artwork. To access the History panel, follow these simple steps:

  1. Click on “Window” in the top menu bar.
  2. Scroll down and select “History” from the dropdown menu, or navigate to “Window > History.
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Upon opening the History panel, you may not see any actions listed initially, especially if you have just opened a file or created a new document. However, as you begin taking action on your artwork, the History panel will record each individual stage as a separate entry.

how to redo in illustrator

Should you decide to undo a specific action, the corresponding stage in the History panel will be highlighted, and your artwork will revert to the state associated with that particular stage. If you wish to redo the action, simply select any of the subsequent stages in the panel.

This method proves particularly useful when dealing with a significant number of steps, allowing you to bypass unnecessary actions and directly access the desired stage of your artwork.

It’s worth noting that the number of stages listed in the History panel is not unlimited. By default, Illustrator allows for 100 undos and redos. However, you have the option to modify this limit according to your preferences. Simply click on the three horizontal lines in the top right-hand corner of the History panel to access the panel options.

From there, select “Set History Limit” and adjust the number of states to either 50, 100, or 200, depending on your needs. With an expanded history capacity, you can freely explore the depths of your creative process with confidence.

how to redo in illustrator
how to redo in illustrator

Method 4: Embracing Version History Panel

For those seeking an even more robust redo and undo capability, Adobe Illustrator offers the Version History panel. This feature allows you to access and manipulate every saved version of your file, ensuring complete control and flexibility in your design journey. To unlock the power of Version History, follow these steps:

  1. Save your Illustrator file to Creative Cloud by clicking on “File” in the top menu bar and selecting “Save As…” from the dropdown menu, or navigating to “File > Save As….
  2. In the Save to Creative Cloud window, name your file in the Save As field and click the Save button. Your file will now be saved in the .aic format.
  3. To access the Version History panel, click on “Window” in the top menu bar and select “Version History” from the dropdown menu, or navigate to “Window > Version History.”
how to redo in illustrator

Initially, you may not see any history versions listed in the Version History panel, as they are generated upon saving your file to Creative Cloud. However, as you continue to work on your file and save new iterations, timestamps will be automatically generated, capturing each version. These timestamps serve as markers, allowing you to revisit and revert to specific versions of your artwork effortlessly.

To undo or redo a specific version, simply click on the three dots located on the right side of the desired timestamp and select “Revert to this version” from the dropdown menu. Illustrator will swiftly restore your artwork to the selected version, providing you with the freedom to explore different creative directions without fear of irreparable consequences.

Keep in mind that versions saved using the Version History panel will be available for 30 days before they expire. If you wish to preserve specific versions beyond this timeframe, you can do so by selecting the bookmark icon located on the right side of the respective timestamp.

Method 5: Revert to a Previous Version

Suppose you want to revert your Illustrator file to the last saved version. In that case, you can use the “Revert” function. Follow these steps:

how to redo in illustrator
  1. Click on the “File” option in the top menu.
  2. Select “Revert” in the drop-down menu, or go to File > Revert.
  3. A notice or prompt will appear, warning you that proceeding will result in the loss of all current changes, reverting the file to the previously saved version.
  4. Click the “Revert” button, and your file will immediately change to the version you had before.
how to redo in illustrator

If the “Revert” option appears grayed out and inaccessible, it means your file doesn’t have any changes made yet.

How Many Times Can You Undo in Adobe Illustrator?

Before we delve into the methods of undoing in Adobe Illustrator, let’s address the default number of undo available. By default, Illustrator offers a certain number of undo for your convenience. To access this setting, follow these steps:

  1. Open Illustrator and click on the Illustrator menu located at the top corner of the page.
  2. Scroll down to “Preferences” in the drop-down menu and select it.
  3. In the Preferences window, navigate to the “Others” section.
  4. Look for the “Undo Counts” subsection and choose from the selection box. You can select 50, 100, or 200 counts, representing the number of times you can undo your actions.

Keep in mind that higher undo counts require more memory and may impact the performance of the software. In most cases, 100 undo counts should be sufficient for your design process.

Can I redo multiple actions in Illustrator?

In Adobe Illustrator, it is not possible to redo multiple actions simultaneously with a single command or shortcut. The redo function in Illustrator is designed to redo the most recent action that has been undone using the undo function.

Each time you perform an undo action, the redo history is cleared, and only the most recently undone action can be redone. This means that if you have undone multiple actions and want to redo them, you need to redo each action one by one in the order they were undone.

To redo multiple actions in Illustrator, you will need to use the redo command or shortcut repeatedly for each individual action that you want to redo. This allows you to selectively redo specific actions in the order they were undone, rather than redoing all actions at once.

Remember that the ability to redo multiple actions at once is not available in Adobe Illustrator, so it is important to be mindful of the actions you undo and redo to maintain the desired workflow and achieve the desired design outcome.

Expert Tips for Efficient Redoing in Illustrator

To optimize your experience with the redo function in Adobe Illustrator, consider these expert tips:

  1. Customize Keyboard Shortcuts: If the default keyboard shortcut for redoing in Illustrator doesn’t suit your preferences, you can customize it. Simply navigate to “Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts” and assign a shortcut that aligns with your workflow.
  2. Utilize the History Panel: In addition to the redo function, Illustrator offers the History panel, which provides a visual timeline of your actions. By using the History panel, you can selectively revert back to specific steps within your design process, giving you more control over revisions.
  3. Save Incremental Versions: As you make significant changes to your design, it’s prudent to save incremental versions of your file. This way, even if you accidentally redo an action that you didn’t intend to, you can always revert back to a previous version without losing valuable progress.


Mastering the art of redoing in Adobe Illustrator is a crucial skill for any graphic designer seeking to optimize their workflow and maximize productivity. By harnessing the power of keyboard shortcuts, leveraging the Edit menu, exploring the History panel, and embracing Version History, you can seamlessly navigate through your design process, effortlessly reverting to previous states and unleashing your creative potential.

Remember, the journey of a graphic designer is one filled with experimentation and iteration. Embrace the power of redo, and let your imagination soar as you explore the vast possibilities of Adobe Illustrator.


Q. What is the shortcut for redo in Illustrator?

A. The shortcut for redoing an action in Adobe Illustrator is “Ctrl + Shift + Z” for Windows and “Command + Shift + Z” for Mac. By using this shortcut, you can easily redo the most recently undone action in Illustrator.

Q. How to do redo in Adobe Illustrator?

A. To redo an action in Adobe Illustrator, you have two options:
a. Go to the “Edit” menu located at the top of the Illustrator window. From the drop-down menu, select “Redo.” This will redo the previous action.
b. Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut “Ctrl + Shift + Z” (Windows) or “Command + Shift + Z” (Mac) to quickly redo the last action.

Q. What is Ctrl Shift B in Illustrator?

A. In Adobe Illustrator, pressing “Ctrl + Shift + B” (Windows) or “Command + Shift + B” (Mac) activates the “Hide/Show Bounding Box” feature. This shortcut allows you to toggle the visibility of the bounding box around a selected object. By using this shortcut, you can conveniently hide or show the bounding box as needed.

Q. What is the opposite of Ctrl Z in Adobe Illustrator?

A. The opposite of the “Ctrl + Z” shortcut, which performs the undo function in Adobe Illustrator, is “Ctrl + Shift + Z” (Windows) or “Command + Shift + Z” (Mac). While “Ctrl + Z” allows you to undo the most recent action, “Ctrl + Shift + Z” lets you redo the previously undone action, effectively reversing the undo command.

Q. How to undo and redo in Adobe Illustrator?

A. To undo and redo actions in Adobe Illustrator, follow these steps:
1. Undo an Action:
▪To undo the most recent action, you can use the keyboard shortcut “Ctrl + Z” (Windows) or “Command + Z” (Mac).
▪Alternatively, you can go to the “Edit” menu at the top of the Illustrator window, then select “Undo” from the drop-down menu.
▪Repeat the keyboard shortcut or select “Undo” multiple times to continue undoing previous actions.
2. Redo an Action:
▪To redo an action that you have just undone, you can use the keyboard shortcut “Ctrl + Shift + Z” (Windows) or “Command + Shift + Z” (Mac).
▪You can also go to the “Edit” menu, then choose “Redo” to redo the previously undone action.
Repeat the keyboard shortcut or select “Redo” multiple times to continue redoing previous actions.

Want to learn more?

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. Always refer to official Adobe Illustrator documentation and consult with professionals for specific guidance tailored to your individual needs.

Aanchal Shukla

I'm a Graphic designer with over 10 years of experience now turned full time Wordpress Developer , SEO Expert and Writer for I post simple FAQ guides and tutorials that cover Graphic, Animation, Filmmaking and Passive Income and Product Review in general.