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Barry MacDonnell's
Toolbox for WordPerfect

Macros, tips, and templates for Corel® WordPerfect® for Windows®
© Copyright 1996-2021 by Barry MacDonnell. All Rights Reserved.

Page updated Sep 28, 2020

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Tired of hitting the Insert key by mistake and toggling Typeover mode "on" -- thereby overwriting the following text?

Here's how to reassign the Typeover function on your WordPerfect keyboard to another keystroke combination so that the Insert key remains in Insert mode (i.e., its typical state)

Related tips

•  Prevent typing in rEVERSE cASE when you have left the CapsLock key "On" with a WordPerfect setting -- and one that works in all Windows programs

•  Quickly correct already typed reverse-case text with the Convert Case macro

Do you keep hitting the Insert key when you wanted to hit Backspace or Delete?

Here's one solution (see Tips below for other methods):

1. You can edit your WordPerect keyboard definition and remove the Insert key's assignment, which by default is assigned to the "Typeover" (toggle) function.

2. Then you can reassign Typeover to Ctrl+Shft+Insert (i.e., all three keys pressed simultaneously) so it's there whenever you need it.

This effectively keeps the Insert key in "Insert" mode when using WordPerfect (if that's where it was when you last deliberately used it).

[Instead of reassigning the Typeover function to shortcut keys, you could assign a small macro directly to the Insert key. It would then briefly and automatically pop up a small message when it "toggles" the Insert key to the opposite state so as to visually alert you of the key's status. See Footnote 1. But first, please read the Method below since it contains important information.]


•  Click on Tools, Settings, Customize on the main menu.

The Customize Settings dialog appears:

Customize Settings - Keyboards tab

•  Click the Keyboards tab (see above), then select (click on) either the <WPWin Keyboard> or another keyboard definition -- whichever one you want to customize.

Note: Some users may feel more comfortable customizing a copy of the keyboard definition and leave their default keyboard alone. Hence you can (optionally) click Copy to make a copy of the keyboard (choosing the desired keyboard in "Select keyboards to copy") and save it under a different name. Then click on it in Customize Settings to choose it from the list of available keyboards.

•  Click the Edit button (see above) to edit the chosen keyboard definition on that dialog.

The Keyboard Shortcuts dialog for that keyboard definition will open:

Keyboard Shortcuts dialog

•  Here you can choose the key or key combination you want to change (reassign) in the left-hand "Choose a shortcut key" list. In this case it is the Ins key (an abbreviation for the Insert key).

You'll have to scroll down a bit in that list to find it:

Keyboard shortcuts dialog showing Ins key

•  Click on the Ins shortcut key once to select (i.e., choose) it. Then click on the Remove Assignment button. (See image above.)

Note: By default, Typeover is normally assigned to the Ins shortcut key, so this step removes ("unlinks") the Typeover/Insert toggle feature from the Insert key in the keyboard definition you are editing. Following removal, when you close the above dialog the Insert key on your physical keyboard will be "dead" ... however, you could assign a small macro to that key to restore the Typeover/Insert feature with a couple of enhancements, as an alternative to the next step (or as a supplement to it). See the Tips below.

•  Reassign the Typeover feature:

In the same "Choose a shortcut key" list look for the Ins+Ctrl+Shift shortcut key combination -- typically an un-assigned shortcut -- located a few items below the Ins shortcut, and assign the Typeover feature to that shortcut key combination.

Shortcut Keys dialog - Assign Typeover feature

Here's how (refer to image above):

- Choose the desired shortcut to use: Click on the Ins+Ctrl+Shift key combination in the shortcut key list to choose it. (This assumes the shortcut is available, as shown above; if not, use another available shortcut.)

Find the Typeover feature: On the Features tab, choose (click on) Edit under the "Feature categories" list and then choose (click on) Typeover.

Click on the Assign Feature to Key button on the right side of the dialog that is now active (i.e., not dimmed out). This links this feature to the chosen shortcut key. (Later, in actual use when working on a document using this Keyboard, you will press and hold both Ctrl and Shift, and then press Insert.)

•  Close all dialogs with OK or Close.

•  Test both the Insert key and the Ctrl+Shift+Insert keys on your keyboard to ensure they are correctly assigned.

- The Insert key on your keyboard should no longer do anything (unless, of course, you assign something else to it, such as a macro described below).

- The Ctrl+Shift+Insert keys on your keyboard should now toggle back and forth between Typeover mode and Insert mode.


☼  Alternative to the steps above:

You can simply remove the Typeover assignment (see steps above for the general procedure) from the Ins key to disable the key's default function in WordPerfect (only). Then enable the Insert "toggle" button on the Application bar located on the bottom of the main WordPerfect window. You can then use this button with your mouse when needed.

Here's how: Enable the Application Bar with View, Toolbars and tick the Application Bar checkbox. (See "To see these bars on screen..." here.) Then click OK to exit back to the main screen. Right-click on any empty area on the Application Bar. Click on Settings and then you can enable various options -- including adding the Insert Mode button.

☼  Alternative to removing Typeover from the <Insert> key:

Rather than reassigning the Typeover feature you can add a visual and audible reminder (alert?) that you have toggled Typeover "on" (or "off") by assigning a small macro to the Insert key. See Footnote 1 for examples.

Other keyboard tips

To prevent "reverse case" -- wHERE sENTENCES lOOK sOMETHING lIKE tHIS -- when you leave the <Caps Lock> key on or press it by mistake, see here. To correct already typed reverse-case text, see the Convert Case macro here.

☼  For additional information on assigning a macro, feature, program, or string of keystrokes to a key or key combination (i.e., a "shortcut" or "hot key"), see here.

☼  See Section 4 on the main Tips page for some general tips about menus, toolbars and property bars, and keyboards.

Footnote 1
[...Continued from above]

Below are two versions of a small "toggle" macro that you can assign (i.e., link) to the Insert key
so that you will be alerted to the current state of your Insert key.

When you press Insert again in the same document, the assigned macro will (as usual) toggle the Typeover/Insert mode to the opposite state and display a different message.

[See the steps above about assigning a macro to the Ins key shortcut -- but using the Macro tab instead of the Features tab. Note that the shortcut listed there is shown as "Ins" and not "Insert" -- but it refers to the Insert key on your keyboard.]

•  The first macro example pops up a small, large-print, 2-second message with a "beep" sound to alert you to the Insert mode (i.e., "Typeover ON" or "Typeover OFF").

•  The second macro example temporarily toggles the display screen to a 20 percent larger Zoom whenever the Insert key turns Typeover ON, then returns the zoom to its original setting. (Zoom is a feature on the View menu.) It also displays a brief message with a beep sound.

- - -
Note: To copy raw macro code such as you see below into your WordPerfect program to create a working macro, see here. You can play either macro a few times in succession to see the effects, then assign one of them to the Ins shortcut key as described above.
- - -

Macro example #1
(based on a macro by Klaus Pfeiffer here)

// Macro begins here (slightly modified from the original)

Global vBoldOn=NTOC(65048)
Global vBoldOff=NTOC(65049)
Global vRedOn=NTOC(65044)
Global vRedOff=NTOC(65045)
Global vBRon=vBoldOn+vRedOn
Global vBRoff=vBoldOff+vRedOff
TypeoverKey()   // (toggles typeover on/off)
     CoachPromptShow(vBRon+"Typeover ON"+vBRoff; 20)
     CoachPromptShow(vBoldOn+"Typeover OFF"+vBoldOff; 20) 

// [CoachPrompt() is marked obsolete but still works up to at least WPX9]
Procedure CoachPromptShow(vMsg; vWait)
       CoachPrompt(PromptName: "CoachPrompt";
                Message:" "+vMsg+" ";
                Font:     "Arial";
                FontSize:  18;
                Left:     50;  
                Top:     50
// Macro ends here

Macro example #2
(based on a macro by Noal Mellot here)

// Macro begins here
(slightly modified from the original)
// [You can remove both DisplayZoom() commands and just use Prompts]

vCurrentZoom:=?Zoom  // (store the current zoom setting)

TypeoverKey  // (toggles typeover on/off)
If(?TypeoverActive) // (i.e., Typeover mode is on)
     // Increase zoom 20% temporarily, then display a message:
    DisplayZoom (Percent: vCurrentZoom * 1.2)
    Prompt ("INSERT KEY (current document)";
        vBoldOn + "TYPEOVER = ON!" + vBoldOff + vHRt + vHRt +
        "[Temporary] Zoom = " + ?Zoom + "%";
        NoButtons! | Beep! | ExclamationPoint!;;)
    DisplayZoom (vCurrentZoom)
Else   // (i.e., Typeover mode is off)
    Prompt ("INSERT KEY (current document)";
        "TYPEOVER = OFF" + vHRt + vHRt +
        "Zoom = " + ?Zoom + "%";
        NoButtons! | Beep! | InformationIcon!;;)
// Macro ends here