MS Office QuickTip: Re-enabling Overtype Mode in Word 2010

MS Word stylized logoI was typing in a Word 2010 document today when I pressed the Insert key to type over data that was already in the form.

Nothing happened. The new words just kept inserting into the old words, spreading the existing letters apart and messing up my form column.

I pressed Insert again. Same thing. There was no indication on the screen that I had toggled from insert to overtype mode. From the looks of things, there wasn’t even an overtype mode to toggle to.

My MS Office 2010 upgrade had removed overtype mode.

If this happens to you, it’s fairly easy to recover and once again happily toggle between insert and overtype modes in Word docs.

Here’s how to re-enable overtype mode in Office 2010.

1. In your document, click on File–>Options from the Office 2010 menu bar.

2. On the Word Options screen, click on Advanced to view the Advanced Options. Under the Editing Options section, look at the check boxes to Use the Insert key to control overtype mode and Use overtype mode. If these options are not checked, check both options and that will re-enable your overtype mode.

The annoying thing about this besides the fact that turning off overtype mode may be a default MS Word 2010 configuration, is that I couldn’t find any indicator to tell me whether or not I was in overtype mode. On the older Word versions, it seemed as if a little box came up that read either ‘INS’ or ‘OVR’ whenever I toggled between the two modes. I couldn’t find it in Word 2010, but if somebody knows where it is, please email me at the address below.

So if you lost overtype mode when you migrated to Word 2010, perform this simple configuration. It’s a quick fix to bring back a beloved feature.


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About Joe Hertvik

Joe is the owner of Hertvik Business Services, a service company providing written white papers, case studies, and other marketing content to computer industry companies. He is also a contributing editor for IT Jungle and has written the Admin Alert column for the past ten years. Follow Joe Hertvik on Twitter @JoeHertvik. Email Joe for a free quote on white papers, case studies, brochures, or other marketing materials.
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1 Response to MS Office QuickTip: Re-enabling Overtype Mode in Word 2010

  1. rose says:

    right click on the status bar (bottom of screen), choose “overtype”. click on “overtype” to toggle back and forth between “insert” and “overtype”.

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