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Chapter 19. GNU Emacs > Putting Emacs in Overwrite Mode

19.5. Putting Emacs in Overwrite Mode

Many users are used to editors that are normally in overwrite mode: when you backspace and start typing, you type over the character that is underneath the cursor.[2] By default, Emacs works in insertion mode, where new characters are inserted just before the cursor's position.

[2] This includes some mainframe editors, like XEDIT, and (in my memory) a lot of older tools for word processing and general editing.

If you prefer overwrite mode, just give the command ESC-x overwrite-mode. You can use command abbreviation (Section 19.6) to shorten this to ESC-x ov. On many keyboards, pressing INSERT also turns on overwrite mode. If you get tired of overwrite mode, use the same command to turn it off.


  

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