How to Stop Deleting as You Type

How to Get Microsoft Word to Stop Deleting as You Type

A computer has two different typing modes — the insert mode and the overtype mode. The former is the default mode and works much as you’d expect, with what you type being inserted at the location of the text cursor, displacing existing text. The latter replaces text instead of displacing it, effectively “typing over it” as the name implies. You can toggle between these two modes by pressing a key; if you don’t think you’ll ever use the overtype mode, you can also permanently switch it off in Microsoft Word.

  • Press the “Ins” key to toggle overtype mode off. Depending on your keyboard model, this key may also be labelled “Insert.” If you simply want to disable overtype mode but keep the ability to toggle it back on, you are done. If you want to permanently disable it in Word so you don’t accidentally activate it, continue to the next step.
  • Select the “File” tab, click “Options” and select the “Advanced” tab
  • Disable the checkbox labelled “Use the Insert Key to Control Overtype Mode” and then click “OK.” When doing this, ensure the checkbox labelled “Use Overtype Mode” is also disabled, otherwise you will be stuck in overtype mode.
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