How To Enable Insert Key In Microsoft Word 2007, Word 2010

Microsoft Word versions previous to Word 2010 and Word 2010 and even Windows WordPad had an option to overwrite the text if we press the Insert key before typing anything. Things have changed in Microsoft Word 2007 and onwards. Now there is an Insert Mode which works in the same way as pressing insert key in the previous versions. But the problem is that it must be enabled before it can be used in Microsoft Word 2007 or Word 2010. Otherwise Insert will have no function by default.

microsoft word 2010 starting

To enable this feature in Microsoft Word 2007, follow the instructions below:

  1. Open Microsoft Word 2007 and click on the File Menu Globe on the top left corner of the Microsoft Word window.
  2. Go to Word Options.
     word file menu globe
  3. In Word Options, go to Advanced and check the following checkbox:
    ”Use the insert key to control overtype mode”
    word options

This will enable the Insert Mode in Microsoft Word 2007 and same is the case with Microsoft Word 2010. I’m giving the screenshots of Advanced Options in Microsoft Word 2010.

Word 2010 File Menu:

word 2010 file menu

Word 2010 Advanced Options:

word 2010 advanced options





36 responses to “How To Enable Insert Key In Microsoft Word 2007, Word 2010”

  1. Jason H

    Interesting. Although I, for one, am glad they’ve disabled the functionality by default after many incidental type-overs I’m glad you’ve published the information so I know how to fix it if one of my users prefers it the other way.

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  3. Ariel


  4. Shorty

    Thanks a lot. I don’t know why i never looked this up when i had word 2007! it’s only when i upgraded to 2010, i got fed up of the lack of functionality and decided to look it up. Thanks a lot!

  5. Shannon

    Damn Micro$oft… Thanks for the fix it was driving me mad!

  6. Luisa

    Thanks for that…why remove that feature by default? It’s not as if it was taking up valuable memory…yet another setting I have had to fix in Office 2010, it’s becoming annoying!

  7. kikinyc

    thank you

  8. krishna

    awesome information… simple but hard to get… thanks a lot for useful information..!!

  9. Rebi

    Thank you, this is a great help!

  10. Nicci

    Thank you for making this easy! Big help!!

  11. Leah

    Thanks so much for this. *sigh of relief*

  12. Marilyn

    Thank you so much – I thought something was wrong with my keyboard!

  13. Andre

    Thanks for the info. Had worked with gritted teeth for over a year now and just had enough today, so went online and found your guide.
    Thanks so much

  14. Shorty

    wow it’s amazing, this little piece of information has helped and has continued to help so many. 🙂

  15. byron


  16. Niamh

    Hi I did this before and it was a great help. Now it has suddenly stopped working again and when I follow your instructions, I am unable to click on ‘advanced’ in options. It is faded and I can’t click on it. Maybe I am in some protected mode that I didn’t realise I went into??? Please help!

  17. Amanda

    Thank you so much for the help. It’s bad enough to learn the new program, but dealing with the hiccups is a whole other issue!!!
    You made my day!!!

  18. Brian

    I should add that notepad and Wordpad also lack the ability to switch to overwrite / overtype mode. At least in Windows 7. In addition, the new version of Word may allow you to use overwrite mode, but there is no indicator on the screen which mode you are in.

  19. Karen

    Am I missing the indicator on screen that shows when the overwrite mode is on. Do I need to be in a particular view? In the documents I frequently type it is necessary to go back and forth with using the overwrite feature. As it is not always obvious (the blank line I’m overwriting sometimes moves ahead even though the feature is on) it is nice to have the indicator.

  20. anna

    Thanks, this was very useful.

  21. Isackodiba

    2010 ms word key

  22. Christiaan van Hasselt

    Thanks indeed but how do you make visible in Word 2010 that you are using (have pressed) the insert function (button)? In Word 2003 (I skipped 2007) one could see/read OVR or something similar below.

    1. Sanix

      @Christiaan van Hasselt: You can use the same instructions above. Just go to Word 2010 menu –> Options –> Advanced. Check the following:
      Use the Insert key to control the overtype mode.

  23. Emma

    Thanks a lot, I ve been looking for a way to enable this insert button. In some cases, it is very useful

  24. Barbara

    Thank you so much! Made my day!

  25. Peter

    For those who cannot see any visual indicator on the screen of which mode Word is in, (for 2007/10 only) right click on the status bar and select Overtype, this will place the Insert/Overtype indicator on the left side of the status bar. You can also alter the mode by clicking the icon but it is obviously much faster to use the keyboard.

  26. Dr. Mark

    Thak you very much!

  27. Dr. Mark

    Sorry, Thank you, very much!

  28. Whew! That was driving me crazy. Thanks for the help.

  29. Verna

    Thanks. It was very useful!

  30. Senny

    Wow! Finally an answer. And i was thinking im the only one with this problem haha. Tnx a lot! Bless

  31. PA Little Bear

    Thanks for that Gem

  32. Rachel Boardman

    Thaaaaaaaaank you!!

  33. Rachel Boardman

    Aw man, actually, it’s not working for me. I have a keyboard where I have to press ‘function’ before ‘insert’, I wonder if that is the problem. Does anyone know how to select ‘insert’ from MS office 2010 (I mean, make the ‘insert’ key work without actually pressing the key if that makes sense?)

    1. Anonymous

      As Peter indicated above: “You can…alter the mode by clicking the icon…”
      To enable the icon in Word 2007 or 2010, “…right click on the status bar [at the bottom of the screen] and select Overtype, this will place the Insert/Overtype indicator on the left side of the status bar.”
      Thank you Peter, this just helped me.

  34. AE Rice

    I turned on the Insert key in Advanced Options (Word 2010), but it still doesn’t work for documents already created, only for new ones. What is going on?