Note: This article has done its job, and will be retiring soon. To prevent "Page not found" woes, we're removing links we know about. If you've created links to this page, please remove them, and together we'll keep the web connected.

When you're editing content in Microsoft Office you're in one of two basic modes: Insert or Overtype

  • Insert mode is what you're used to. As you type, any characters to the right of what you're typing move over to make room for your new text.

  • When you are editing text in overtype mode, you are typing text over your previous text. In this mode, typing new characters replaces any existing characters to the right side of the insertion point.

To switch back and forth between insert mode or overtype mode on a PC just press the Insert or INS key on your keyboard. Macs don't have an insert key, they're just in insert mode by default.

See Also

Use the keyboard to work with the ribbon

Free self-paced training courses for Office programs

Need more help?

Expand your skills


Get new features first


Was this information helpful?

What affected your experience?

Thank you for your feedback!