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: Using Overtype Mode.

Using Overtype Mode

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 17, 2014)

Overtype mode is an editing mode in which everything you type replaces something else in your document. When overtype mode is active and you type a letter, it replaces the letter to the right of the insertion point. When overtype mode is not active, your text is inserted where the insertion point is located.

You can tell when overtype mode is active in two ways. First, by the effect it has on your document (described in the previous paragraph). Second, the status bar will have an indicator that says OVR. There are three ways to turn on overtype mode. The first is to use the Ins key, but this depends on the function you have assigned to that key. The second method is to double-click on the OVR letters in the status bar. The third method is to follow these steps:

  1. Select Options from the Tools menu. You will see the Options dialog box.
  2. Make sure the Edit tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Edit Tab of the Options dialog box.

  4. Click on the Overtype Mode check box.
  5. Click on OK.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (950) 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: Using Overtype Mode.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Viewing Formula Results

When editing information in a cell, you may need to know the result of a portion of your formula. The shortcut described in ...

Discover More

Selecting Multiple Cells by Mistake

Click on a cell and you expect the single cell to be selected. If you instead get a group of cells, it can be frustrating to ...

Discover More

Clearing the Undo Stack in a Macro

When writing a macro, you may need a way to clear the undo stack. This can be done with a single command, as described in ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (menu)

Understanding the Clipboard

You can use the Windows Clipboard to move information around in Word. To make the most of the Clipboard, it is helpful to ...

Discover More

Creating the 'Mils' Symbol

Different industries use their own terminologies and symbols. In the military, one symbol is referred to as the "mils" ...

Discover More

Inserting Today's Date

When writing letters, reports, or other date-dependent documents, you need to regularly insert the current date in the ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 4 + 3?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.