How do I paste or type without moving the insertion point? I am currently on 10.8.x.

I want to be able to type where the insertion point (blinking I-bar) doesn't move but the text I type goes in front of it.

So for example imagine that | represents the current position of the I-bar, and I have the text "[$path.'/to/my/folder'] = ." in the clipboard.

Then I have the following situation:

$myPathArray| = '/rest/of/path';
$myPathArray = '/rest/of/path';
$myPathArray = '/rest/of/path';
$myPathArray = '/rest/of/path';

See, I want to be able to place the insertion point where the | is above, then paste and have the text get inserted so that now I would be in the following situation without having to move the | myself:

$myPathArray|[$path.'/to/my/folder'] = '/rest/of/path';
$myPathArray = '/rest/of/path2';
$myPathArray = '/rest/of/path3';
$myPathArray = '/rest/of/path4';

That way I could just press down arrow one single time after pasting and be here:

$myPathArray[$path.'/to/my/folder'] = '/rest/of/path';
$myPathArray| = '/rest/of/path2';
$myPathArray = '/rest/of/path3';
$myPathArray = '/rest/of/path4';

How can I do that?

It would also be nice to be able to type stuff in so if I typed "kcab" at the insertion point I would go from this:


to this:


I am using various text editors like PHPStorm and BBEdit but I would think these two types of text modes would be OS-level features.

  • I thought I had an answer but I don't... I'm puzzled. Something like the windows Insert key, or..?
    – Tetsujin
    Nov 14, 2014 at 19:55
  • @Tetsujin The insert key doesn't lock the cursor to one location. In Windows, it toggles between overtype and insert mode. See: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insert_key
    – Bowen
    Nov 14, 2014 at 19:55
  • It's a key I've never used, nor seen the need for, personally - I was just poking ideas. If I needed to change 'wards' into 'backwards' I'd park the cursor in front of 'wards' & type 'back'
    – Tetsujin
    Nov 14, 2014 at 20:01

1 Answer 1


I have never seen such behavior on an OS level. This is likely because such behavior is normally needed for a very specialized task like programming or spreadsheeting, which would be better handled by individual applications.

You might be able to rig something up in Automator that could duplicate this behavior, but I suspect you probably want a different solution.

You can easily do what you need using Sublime Text's multiple select feature, without having the exact behavior that you describe.

In general, if your scripts are starting to get very repetitive, it's probably a better idea to figure out how to easily automate it, rather continue down the path of manual repetition.

  • Fair enough. I'll mark you as the correct answer if we don't get any real answer.
    – CommaToast
    Nov 17, 2014 at 8:07

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