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The BACKSPACE key does not function as expected in Word

Support for Office 2003 has ended

Microsoft ended support for Office 2003 on April 8, 2014. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

SYMPTOMS
When you try to delete text in a document in Microsoft Word 2002 or in a later version of Microsoft Word by using the BACKSPACE key, the BACKSPACE key does not function as expected. That is, the BACKSPACE key does not delete the text.
CAUSE
This issue occurs when the following conditions are true.
  • In the Word document, the Track Changes feature is turned on. The Track Changes command is on the Tools menu.
  • On the Reviewing toolbar, either the Final view or the Original view is selected in the Display for Review list.
This behavior is a feature of Word that is designed to prevent the accidental deletion of hidden text that contains tracked changes. The Final view or the Original view may contain hidden text that contains tracked changes.

Additionally, this issue may occur if the Typing replaces selection option is off.
WORKAROUND


To work around this issue, use one of the following methods.

Method 1: Change the view

In the Display for Review list, change the view to either Final Showing Markup or Original Showing Markup.

Method 2: Move the insertion point past the hidden text

Use the RIGHT ARROW key or the LEFT ARROW key to move the insertion point past the hidden text. Then you can use the BACKSPACE key to delete the visible text.

Method 3: Turn on the "Typing replaces selection" option

The Typing replaces selection option deselects selected text as soon as you start to type. If you click to clear this check box, Word inserts the text that you type in front of selected text but does not delete the selected text. To delete the selected text, turn on the Typing replaces selection option. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the Edit tab.
  2. Click to select the Typing replaces selection check box, and then click OK.
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Properties

Article ID: 901124 - Last Review: 07/05/2006 22:46:17 - Revision: 4.3

  • Microsoft Office Word 2003
  • Microsoft Word 2002 Standard Edition
  • kbtshoot kbprb KB901124
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