(Legacy) Adobe Photoshop CS3: Undoing Previous Actions

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This article is based on legacy software.

If you have mistakenly deleted an element or added an unwanted element to an image, you can use one of Photoshop's undo features to correct the mistake. You can undo your most recent action using the Undo command found in the Edit menu. If you would like to undo more than one action, you may use the Step Backward command or the History palette.

Using the Undo Command

You can undo your last action using the Undo command found in the Edit menu. Unlike Microsoft Word, Photoshop does not allow you to use the Undo command to correct multiple actions. 
NOTE: If the Undo command is unavailable, the option either appears disabled or as a Redo command function.

  1. From the Edit menu, select Undo.
    Press [Ctrl] + [Z].
    NOTE: The Undo menu option will read Undo (Action) (where Action represents the last action you completed).

Using the Step Backward Command

The Step Backward option allows you to sequentially undo more than one action.

  1. From the Edit menu, select Step Backward.
    Press [Alt] + [Ctrl] + [Z].

  2. Repeat step 1 as needed.

Using the History Palette

Every action or change in an image constitutes a new image state. By default, the History palette records and displays the 20 most recent image states. By selecting a previous image state from the History palette you can begin working from that point, erasing all states that followed it. To keep a particular state saved in the History palette throughout the whole work session, a snapshot can be made.

Accessing the History Palette

The History palette shares a window with the Actions palette. If the History palette is closed, open it by doing the following:

  1. From the Window menu, select History.
    NOTE: A checkmark will appear next to History when the History palette is displayed.
    On the Dock, click History.history button
    If the History palette window is open, but the Actions palette is visible, select the History tab.
    The History palette appears on the right side of the screen.

Undoing Actions with the History Palette

  1. From the History palette, select the image state you would like to revert to.

  2. Begin working on the image from that state.

Making a Snapshot

The Snapshot command lets you make a temporary copy (or snapshot) of any image state. The new snapshot is added to the list of snapshots at the top of the History palette. Selecting a snapshot lets you work from that version of the image.

  1. At the bottom of the History palette, click Create New Snapshot. create new snapshot
    The new snapshot is created in the snapshot section of the History palette.
    Right click the state you want to make the snapshot of,
    1. Select New Snapshot... 
      The New Snapshot dialog box appears.
    2. In the Name text box, type a name for the snapshot.
    3. In the From pull-down menu, make the appropriate selection.
      Full Document makes a snapshot of all layers in the image at that state.
      Merged Layers makes a snapshot that merges all layers in the image at that state.
      Current Layer makes a snapshot of only the currently selected layer at that state.