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As a Linux/Windows user, I am used to switching temporarily to Overtype Mode when using the command prompt.

As a new user to the Mac world, I do not know how to change text input mode from normal (i.e. Insert Mode) to Overtype Mode. This is of particular use to me at the command prompt, but also in text editors (eg TextWrangler or Sublime).

Anyone know of ways (using the keyboard only) to toggle between the two modes? (Solutions involving a mouse are not solutions, because I could simply select the text using the keyboard and re-type...but this is not what I am asking).

Any help appreciated.

  • As far as i know in Terminal there is no Override Mode. But Insiede of Textediting-Applications like Vim/MacVim, Textmate, Sublime, Atom there you have it. Although it is kinda common Texteditor Function it isn't a must to support this Feature. The Key/Key-Combo which is used to switch between insert and override should be written down in the Manual of the Application. There is no General Key like the Insert Key in the Windows/Office World. If you having trouble finnding a specific one let us know for which Application. – konqui Jul 15 '14 at 5:15
  • Most specifically, this is for the command line and not really text editing (I use Sublime & TextWrangler) – cmroanirgo Jul 15 '14 at 6:05
  • Have you tried using fn+return some Apps use this as shurtcut to toggle insert/overtype mode. Using vi/vim in ex (Command) mode maybe does support overtype. Can't test it cause i currently don't have access to a Machine with vim on it. – konqui Jul 16 '14 at 6:06
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I don't have access to my Mac right now, but on my Linux machine I'm set up to use zsh as my default shell. It looks like you can do this on Mac too. Once you're in zsh, you can easily use Vim keybindings. (I guess it may also work in Bash?)

With Vim bindings active, you can press ESC to go to Command Mode, then use any normal Vim keys including R to switch to Overtype mode.

  • In bash you can use set -o vi to switch to vi mode. – nohillside Feb 18 '15 at 12:11

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