Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Replacing Text Selections.

Replacing Text Selections

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 20, 2020)

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. Display the Word Options dialog box. (In Word 2007 click the Office button and then click Word Options. In Word 2010 or a later version, display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. Click Advanced at the left side of the dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Advanced options in the Word Options dialog box.

  4. Click on Typing Replaces Selected Text. (This should be the first option in the dialog box.) 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 (8959) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word 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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Getting the Expected Space Before a Heading

If your heading styles are designed to add extra space before the heading, you may be surprised when that extra space is ...

Discover More

Applying Bold Italics

Applying bold and italics formatting to text is easy in Word. If you want to apply bold and italics simultaneously, you ...

Discover More

Leap Years and Fiscal Periods

Need to figure out when a fiscal year ends when that period does not correspond to the calendar year? Here are some ways ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Adding Tabs at the Beginning of a Line

Press a tab at the beginning of a paragraph, and Word normally assumes you want to indent the paragraph. If you don't ...

Discover More

Hyphenating Your Document

One of the final touches you can add to a document is to hyphenate it. This allows text to flow more smoothly from line ...

Discover More

Adding Hyphens to Phrases

Editing text to turn regular words into hyphenated phrases can be a real bother. The chore can become a breeze if you ...

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 3 + 0?

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 ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu 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.