How to Turn Overtype on and off in Microsoft Word

By Jonae Fredericks

Microsoft Word is a word-processing program with a wide range of advantages for the seasoned user. While the program may seem overwhelming for first-time users, its handy features become apparent over time. If you have ever found yourself editing a document that you composed in Microsoft Word and noticed that you left out a word, the flexibility of the program allows for a quick correction. Sometimes, while inserting a missed word, you will notice that your previous written text has been replaced by your newly edited replacement. If this is the case, overtype mode is probably the culprit. Although the overtype mode feature can be useful at times, it may cause frustration to a beginner. Not to worry; the overtype mode can be turned on and off with a few clicks of your mouse.

Things You'll Need

  • Microsoft Windows
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft Word
  • Computer
  • Mouse
  • Keyboard

Step 1

Open the Microsoft Word software program using the execution icon in your Microsoft Windows environment. This can be done by clicking on the Start icon with your mouse, and double clicking on the Microsoft Word tab.

Step 2

Move your cursor to the toolbar located at the top of the Microsoft Word program, and click on Tools. This will open up a new set of options for you to manage.

Step 3

Scroll down the Tools tab and click on Options. Sometimes when you open up the Tools tab, Options is not always visible, but if you click on the arrows at the bottom of the tab, it becomes available.

Step 4

Click on Options, and a new window will open up. Look for the tab that reads Edit, and click on it.

Step 5

Place a check mark in the box that reads Overtype Mode. To do this, click on the box and the check mark should appear. Click OK, and your Microsoft Word program will now be in overtype mode. To deactivate the overtype mode, repeat the above steps, uncheck the box, and click OK.

Tips & Warnings

  • A little fact about overtype mode that sometimes goes unnoticed by users can be found on the lower level of the screen, on the bottom of the Microsoft Word taskbar. The letters OVR may be highlighted or appear faded. If they are highlighted in bold black, then overtype mode is on; if not, it is off. You can alternate between the two constants by double clicking on OVR with your mouse.
  • You never know when a freak occurrence may cause your Microsoft Word program to close. It is advisable to always save your document periodically during its creation to avoid the frustration of finding that the document was not saved upon resuming the program.