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: Determining if Overtype Mode is Active.

Determining if Overtype Mode is Active

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 4, 2014)


If you are using a macro that inserts text in a document, you might want to determine if the overtype mode is active. This is the typing mode that results in every keypress replacing an existing character in the file. If you don't check for this, your macro could have undesired results.

The status of overtype is controlled, oddly enough, by the OverType property of the Options object. If the property is True, then overtype mode is active; if it is False, then it is not turned on. The following line of VBA macro code checks the status of the overtype mode and turns it off if it is on.

If Options.OverType Then Options.OverType = False

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13266) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Determining if Overtype Mode is Active.

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. ...


Understanding and Using Bookmarks

Bookmarks are a great feature you can use to mark the location of text or to mark a position within a document. They can ...

Discover More

Copying Comments when Filtering

The advanced filtering feature in Excel allows you to quickly copy unique information from one data list to another. If ...

Discover More

Using Duplex Printing

Want to print on both sides of a piece of paper? Some printers have the capability to do two-sided printing ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Determining the Hour of the Day

Need to figure out the hour represented by a particular time value? It's easy to do in a macro; just use the Hour ...

Discover More

Determining the Upper Bounds of an Array

When working with variables in a macro, you may need to know the upper boundary dimension for an array. This can be ...

Discover More

Determining the Week of the Year

If you are working with dates in a macro, you may need to determine which week of the year a date falls within. This can ...

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.


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 more than 8?

2014-10-06 09:56:15

Glenn Case

While the tip will achieve the purpose stated, it will also likely result in some user frustration if the macro resets an option the user has selected. A good practice is to save the state of the option, and reset it at the end of the macro:

Sub XYZ()
Dim OTMode as Boolean
OTMode = Options.OverType
If OTMode Then Options.OverType = False

*** Your code here

Options.Overtype = OTMode
End Sub

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

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.