Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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 July 22, 2016)

2

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 and Word 2013 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, and 2013. 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

Make AutoCorrect Pay Attention to Character Case

If you rely on AutoText (as most Word users do), you may have noticed that it doesn't always give the desired results ...

Discover More

Setting Matrix Row Spacing in the Equation Editor

The Equation Editor is a tool you can use to create complex mathematical formulas and insert them in your documents. If ...

Discover More

Item Not Available in Library

When sharing workbooks with others, you may find that the macros in those workbooks may not work as you expect. This tip ...

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)

Shortcut Key to Delete a Paragraph

There are numerous ways you can delete paragraphs as you are editing your document. This tip looks at a couple of the ...

Discover More

Using Manual Line Breaks with Justified Paragraphs

If you use justified paragraphs, you know that if you press Shift+Enter, it can lead to some odd spacing between words ...

Discover More

Checking for Matching Parentheses

There are lots of little "gotchas" that can make the difference between a finished document and a polished document. One ...

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 six minus 3?

2015-01-27 17:05:24

Gerri Carter

I am trying to do a transparency for a t-shirt. I need to mirror the text so that it can be read once ironed onto the shirt.

I have Word 2010 professional but for the life of me I can no longer perform this simply task. Please help.


2013-11-30 04:52:01

Surendera M. Bhanot

One should not be scared of deletion (by overwriting) the selected text. Rather one should get used to it. It is rather a privilage that one does not have to first delete and then insert new text.

If by mistake the selected text is deleted, one can always get it back by pressing ^y (undo).


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.