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: Replacing Text Selections.

Replacing Text Selections

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated May 31, 2021)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


By default, if you have selected some text and then press any key except a cursor control key, the selected text is replaced with what you type. This can be annoying, especially if this behavior does not match what you are familiar with in another word processor. To disable this aspect of Word, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Options from the Tools menu. Word displays 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 Typing Replaces Selection. If the check box is selected, then what you type replaces what you have selected; if it is not selected then what you type is inserted before what you have selected.
  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 (1162) 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: Replacing Text Selections.

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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