Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 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

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated June 20, 2020)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


1

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 Microsoft 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

Understanding the VLOOKUP Function

Functions are at the heart of Excel's power in working with data. One of the most misunderstood functions provided by ...

Discover More

Trimming Spaces from Strings

Need to get rid of extraneous spaces before or after the text in a string? VBA provides three different functions you can ...

Discover More

Top Margin Ignored when Printing

When you press the Print button in Excel, you want your worksheet to go to your printer and produce output as you expect. ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Preventing the Insertion of Non-Breaking Spaces

When you copy and paste information from the Internet, you may end up with a lot of non-breaking spaces in the pasted ...

Discover More

When to Hyphenate Your Document

Want to add a finishing touch to your printed document? Hyphenating the words in the document can make your text read ...

Discover More

Pasting Pictures and Text into a Document

Getting information from a website into a Word document can be frustrating at times. In this tip I examine some of 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}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) 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 7 + 1?

2022-06-28 16:52:46

Matej

Thank you! Unfortunately, this only works when the selected text is in one piece, I cannot for example select text with similar formatting and replace it. I know that there is a 'find and replace' function, but it doesn't work for some reason.


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.

Videos
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.