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 the Insert Key to Insert Text.

Using the Insert Key to Insert Text

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated February 13, 2021)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


When you first install Word, the Insert key is used to turn overtype mode on and off. To some people this is very awkward, particularly if they are used to working with other word processors that use the Insert key differently. In some word processors the Delete key is used to delete text, and the Insert key is used to place the text at the current cursor position.

Word can work in this way, as well. You can set the Insert key to function the same as the Ctrl+V key combination—it will insert the contents of the Clipboard. To control the way the Insert key works, use the following steps:

  1. Select Options from the Tools menu. Word displays the Options dialog box.
  2. Click on the Edit tab. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Edit tab of the Options dialog box.

  4. Make sure the Use INS Key for Paste check box is selected.
  5. Click 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 (1079) 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 the Insert Key to Insert Text.

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. ...

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