Set and use overprint and insert modes in Word

Microsoft Word has two text input modes: Insert and Overtype. Each of these modes describes how text behaves when added to a document that already contains text. Here’s how these two modes work and how to use them.

The instructions in this article apply to Word for Microsoft 365, Word 2019, Word 2016, Word 2013, and Word 2010.

Set insert mode

In insert mode, new text added to a document shifts the current text to the right of the cursor to accommodate the new text as it is typed or pasted into the document. This is the default mode for entering text in Microsoft Word.

Set overlay mode

In overprint mode, when text is added to a document that already has text, the existing text is replaced character-by-character with the newly added text as typed.

If you want to turn off the default insert mode in Microsoft Word so you can type the current text, there are two ways to do it. The easiest way is to press the button insertion which activates and deactivates the mode. Another way to do this is to toggle overlay mode on and off by pressing the Insert key.

To change overlay mode settings:

  • Go to dossier > options.

  • In which Word Options choose in the dialog Progressive.

  • In which editing options choose one of the following options:

    • To control overprint mode using the Ins key, select Use the “Insert” button to control the surcharge Check the box.
    • To enable overdub mode permanently, select the Use overlay mode Check the box.
  • Choose OK.

  •   How to change all caps to lowercase in word