The very minute you begin typing is probably the same time that you’ll need to know how to edit that text you’ve just typed.
Delete vs. Backspace
The difference between using Delete vs. Backspace is really a matter of direction. And, everything begins with the blinking I-beam. So, based on your cursor position:
- Delete clears text, one character at a time, to the right.
- Backspace clears text, one character at a time, to the left.
Insert vs. Overtype Mode
By default, Word should operate in Insert mode. This means that as you add new text in between existing text, the text to the right of your cursor simply pushes to the right to make room for the new addition.
However, you may wish to type over existing text. A good rule of thumb is to delete the text you want to erase first, and then add the new text. But, if you want Word to type over existing text, effectively deleting one character at a time as you type, you’ll need to enable overtype mode. In previous versions of Word, you could easily switch back and forth between Insert and Overtype mode by using the Insert key on your keyboard.
And, you still can, but you’ll have to enable the Insert key first in the Word Options dialog box.
Enabling the Insert Key
1. Open the Office Menu
2. Choose Word Options
3. Click the Advanced tab
4. Check Use the Insert key to control overtype mode
5. Click OK
Switch Between Insert and Overtype Mode
1. Follow the instructions for Enabling the Insert Key
2. Press [Insert]
(Each time you press [Insert], Word will toggle between Insert and Overtype mode)