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.

Changing the Insertion Point Cursor

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 9, 2012)

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.

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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