Mac Help Desk
Quick fixes for common Mac problems

How to insert on Mac keyboard

There are several differences between Mac keyboards and PC keyboards, both in the ways keys are laid out and the keys that are present. One key that is present on most Windows PC keyboards, but not on Mac, is Insert. In this article, we’ll show you how to insert on Mac keyboard.

What is the insert key?

The insert key usually sits in a block of keys between the main keyboard and a numeric keypad — near the page up and page down keys. It’s usually labeled Insert or Ins. When pressed, the Insert key turns on overwrite mode. This means that when you place the cursor between words in a passage of text and start typing, instead of filling the space between the words and pushing the words to the right of the cursor further along, it overwrites those words, deleting them and replacing them with new text.

Where is the insert key on MacBook?

MacBooks don’t have an insert key. In fact, no Apple keyboard has one. And macOS doesn’t natively support one. So, even if you have a third-party keyboard designed to be used with Mac, and this keyboard has an insert key, it won’t do anything when you press it.

How to insert on Mac

Does that mean there is no way to overwrite on Mac? No. Some applications have it built in as a feature that you can optionally turn on. For example, in Microsoft Word, you can go to Settings > Edit > Replace existing text as you type (overtype mode) and select the box next to it. And in LibreOffice, there’s a button in the toolbar to activate it. However, neither of those options has a keyboard shortcut. 

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