When dragging an object to copy it, I sometimes forget to hold before releasing, so the object is moved rather than copied. In this case I need to undo, and then retry the copy manually, which is frustrating when it takes time to align it properly.

Is it possible to create a shortcut for automating this, i.e. storing the "move" distance (which would be the numbers inside the Move ⌥ ⌘ M dialog), undoing, then applying the move again as a copy?

In other words, when I copy an object from position A to position B, I forget to hold , and now the object is only in position B. How can I now get copies of this object in both positions A and B, without manually finding position A or B again?

  • Do you mean that "Redo Last Action" stops working after you Undo a step? And then you need to recalculate the distance to duplicate the next one to?
    – Mentalist
    Jun 18, 2020 at 1:32
  • 1
    There is snother way. The alt/option click move tool and rmb move dialog remembers the last move you can just type a minus mark there and hit copy. This can be useful if you did something else and have lots to undo
    – joojaa
    Jun 18, 2020 at 6:06
  • @Mentalist I mean redo works, but redo will still move it rather than copy, if the undone action was a move Jun 18, 2020 at 12:36

1 Answer 1


Move..... ooops forgot to press Option/Alt

  • Edit > Undo
  • Edit > Copy
  • Edit > Redo Move
  • Edit > Paste in Front (or Paste in Back/Place)

Result: Two iterations, original position and moved position

To the best of my knowledge there's no inherent way to see the original transform distance after a move if you were "free-handing" the move to begin with. And while you can certainly use transform operations to move and copy in one step, doing so with an unknown distance isn't possible.

You could use the Info Panel to note the different X, Y, or both positions when toggling back and forth between Undo and Redo, then do the math to determine distance. The copy step above is typically much easier and faster, especially with shortcuts.

  • Thanks, should have realised that myself! After more experimenting, I’ve found Copy, Undo, Paste in Place (⌘C, ⌘Z, ⇧⌘V) is slightly faster still, and make sure Paste Remembers Layers is enabled if multiple items from multiple layers are selected. Jun 17, 2020 at 20:30
  • Re the second point, the Move dialog (⇧⌘M) is prepopulated with the Δx and Δy of the last move Jun 17, 2020 at 20:32

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