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Changing the Insertion Point Cursor

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Changing the Insertion Point Cursor.

Depending on your preferences in programs, you might find Word's blinking "insertion point" cursor to be bothersome. For instance, you might prefer that the insertion point actually blink at a different rate, or not at all.

There is no way within Word to control the insertion point in this way. However, you can affect its behavior by making some changes directly within Windows. Try following these steps if you are using Windows 7:

  1. Click the Start button and then click Control Panel. You'll see the familiar Control Panel dialog box.
  2. Click Hardware and Sound.
  3. Click Ease of Access.
  4. Click Ease of Access Center. (You may hear your computer talk to you for just a moment.)
  5. Click Make the Keyboard Easier to Use.
  6. Click Keyboard Settings. (This option is near the very bottom of the dialog box.) Windows displays the Keyboard Properties dialog box.
  7. Make sure the Speed tab is displayed. (See Figure 1.)
  8. Figure 1. The Speed tab of the Keyboard Properties dialog box.

  9. At the bottom of the dialog box is a place to control the Cursor Blink Rate. Adjust the blink rate, as desired.
  10. Click on OK.

If you are using Windows XP, follow these much simpler steps instead:

  1. Choose Settings from the Start menu, and then choose Control Panel. Windows displays the Control Panel.
  2. Double-click on the Keyboard applet. Windows displays the Keyboard Properties dialog box.
  3. At the bottom of the dialog box is a place to control the Cursor Blink Rate. Adjust the blink rate, as desired.
  4. Click on OK.

Depending on your system, you may need to restart Windows in order for the change to take effect.

It should be noted that the above instructions will not work with all versions of Windows or with all keyboards. Different versions of Windows, for instance, have different steps you follow to display the Control Panel. (That should be obvious from comparing the Windows 7 instructions to the Windows XP instructions.) In addition, some non-standard keyboards may have their own setup programs that differ from the one used by my keyboard. In any event, if you are able to display the configuration program for your keyboard, it should have settings that allow you to control the blink rate of the cursor, as described above.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1521) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Changing the Insertion Point Cursor.

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Comments for this tip:

salvador    16 Sep 2016, 22:25
Thanks for the tip. I found it very useful.

I'd really appreciate if someone could tell me how to change Text cursor's shape from "I" to"_" underline.

Not only for Word, but to any Text Box prompt whithin Windows.

Thanks in advance.
Charles    27 Jan 2013, 07:35
Subject : Docked Magnifier not centred on text as typed

Previously, prior to upgrading from Windows 7, when typing within Word 2007, or Outlook 2007, the Docked Magnifier would follow the text insertion point.
However now, having upgraded to Windows 8, the docked magnifier remains centred upon the mouse cursor.
I.e. I am unable to see the words in the docked magnifier area as I am typing them.
I.e. how can I get the Mouse Pointer to follow the Input Caret ?
Please can you explain how to configure the previous behaviour.

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