3 Ways to Prevent You from Accidentally Switching to Overtype Mode in Word

In this post, we will show you 3 ways to prevent you from accidentally switching to Overtype mode in Word.

Now and then, while typing in a Word document, you suddenly find newly entered texts are replacing the original ones. This happens most when you hit the “Insert” key by accident, which controls the “Overtype” mode by default.

Generally, there are 3 ways for you to toggle between “Insert” and “Overtype” mode.

  1. First, press “Insert” key again to switch back to “Insert” mode.
  2. The second way is to turn on “Overtype” on the status bar. Right click on status bar and check “Overtype” to bring it out. Now you can click on the command to change mode.Right click ->Check "Overtype"
  3. The third way is to close and reopen Word. Then Word will switch to “Insert” mode itself.

It’s easy to change “Overtype” mode back to “Insert”. But the fact is we notice the change only too late since texts are already gone. We then have to go through the fuss of undoing. Therefore, here are 3 ways for you to better control the function of “Insert” key.

Method 1: Alter Word Options

  1. To start off, click “File” tab then choose “Options” to open the “Word Options” dialog box.Click "File"->Click "Options"
  2. Next click “Advanced” on the left column.
  3. Then uncheck the “Use Insert key to control overtype mode” box.
  4. Lastly, click “OK” to save the modification.Click "Advanced"->Uncheck "Use the Insert Key to control overtype mode"->Click "OK"

Method 2: Use VBA Codes to Disable “Insert” Key to Control Overtype Mode

  1. To begin with, press “Alt+ F11” to open VBA editor.
  2. Secondly, click “Normal” to perform in the project.
  3. Click “Insert” and choose “Module”.Click "Normal"->Click "Insert"->Click "Module"
  4. Next double click on it to have the editing area open on the right side.
  5. Enter the bellowing codes there:
Sub DisableOrEnableInsertKey()
  Options.INSKeyForOvertype = Not Options.INSKeyForOvertype
End Sub
  1. Finally, click “Run” button.Enter codes->Click "Run"

You can consider assigning a button to the macro and adding it to the “Quick Access Toolbar” for later use. You can refer to this article: How to Remove the Formatting of Pasted Texts with Macro and VBA in Your Word

Run the macro once, the “Insert” will be disabled. And run it again, you will be able to press it to bring out the “Overtype” mode.

Here is the video demonstration:


Method 3: Confirmation when Pressing “Insert” Key

Now there is another situation where you may want to keep the “Insert” key’s control of “Overtype” mode but need to be noticed whenever the “Insert” key is pressed. Then install and run macro following the steps in foresaid method 2 but replace macro with this one:

Sub InsertKeyBinding()
  With Application
    .CustomizationContext = ThisDocument
    .KeyBindings.Add KeyCode:=BuildKeyCode(wdKeyInsert), _
      KeyCategory:=wdKeyCategoryCommand, _
  End With
End Sub
Sub OvertypeTurnedOn()
  Dim strButtonValue As String
  Options.Overtype = True
  strButtonValue = MsgBox("Are you sure to switch to overtype mode?", vbYesNo)
  If strButtonValue = vbYes Then
    Options.Overtype = True
    Options.Overtype = False
  End If
End Sub

Put your cursor inside the “InsertKeyBinding” macro and click “Run” once. Then whenever you press “Insert” key in the future, there will be a dialog box popping up, asking whether you want to switch to “Overtype” mode. You can choose as required.Click either "Yes" or "No"

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