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I have this Dell Dual USB/PS2 Keyboard with built-in Touchpad Mouse P/N 0TH827, but it doesn't have an Insert key.

Keyboard

Is there another way to press the Insert key?

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  • 25
    @theonlygusti ... to toggle insertion mode?
    – Quentin
    Apr 27, 2017 at 15:28
  • 2
    @theonlygusti In my particular case (development), to fill values into a pre-formatted code block. Situational, but not useless -- much like Backspace and Delete.
    – Quentin
    Apr 27, 2017 at 16:28
  • 3
    @theonlygusti TotalCommander and Altap Salamander use insert key to select-deselect entries. Much more handy use of [Insert] key. And where original Ins toggle is usefull? When you have raw text to edit (source code); it is really easier to just overwrite the letters and delete the rest. For Average Joe the key is uselss, though.
    – Crowley
    Apr 27, 2017 at 16:54
  • 2
    @theonlygusti overwrite mode is commonly used to fill a text table in the old times. And it's also used for copy/paste (Ctrl+Insert, Shift+Insert). In Linux where there are 2 different clipboards then Ctrl+C and Ctrl+Insert will put text into those clipboards. In Windows the 2 shortcuts are the same
    – phuclv
    Apr 27, 2017 at 17:01
  • 1
    @theonlygusti To create ascii arts, for example.
    – user23013
    Apr 28, 2017 at 8:34

4 Answers 4

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The 0 key at the bottom of the numpad on the upper-right of your keyboard will function as an Insert key when Num Lock is turned off. That is why it is labeled with both 0 and Ins on the key itself.

Note that the Shift key acts as a temporary toggle on the Num Lock state when you press one of the keypad keys (just like Shift acts as a toggle on Caps Lock for letters). Therefore, when Num Lock is on, pressing Shift+Numpad-0 will act as Insert.

enter image description here

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  • 2
    This is the more correct answer I suppose, and should be accepted, but I still like my answer below because I honestly think toggling the Num Lock key will cause havoc when you forget it's off, and also because once you've installed Autohotkey you'll be happy forever haha. All the same, this answer is correct, easier to implement (at first), and a great catch. Apr 25, 2017 at 18:01
  • 6
    I once had a keyboard with broken arrow keys and it actually is possible to learn to switch num lock on and off... after a few weeks.
    – Goose
    Apr 25, 2017 at 19:22
  • 2
    @mayersdesign This depends very much on what you use your keyboard for. I do very little numerical work and, although I sit at a computer all day, I really couldn't tell you the last time I used the numeric keypad. Apr 26, 2017 at 8:13
  • 2
    Actually, almost all keyboards have functional directional keys, home key, pageup, pagedown, insert, delete and end keys, build into the numpad (when nunlock is off). Apr 26, 2017 at 12:54
  • 2
    I've been reading the text on the numberpad keys for years, finally know how they're supposed to work +1. It's interesting that some applications ignore the "suggested" shift+ buttons, a text editor uses them as labeled, but Chromium ignores or uses them to select text somehow - not the same as the regular home, end, PgUp, etc buttons
    – Xen2050
    Apr 29, 2017 at 1:47
25

You can use the On-Screen Keyboard program built into Windows to toggle the Insert key.

enter image description here

  • In Windows 10: Start > Settings > Ease of Access > Keyboard, then turn on On-Screen Keyboard.
  • In Windows 8.1: Hit the lower right corner, click Search, type On-Screen Keyboard, then click On-Screen Keyboard.
  • In Windows 7: Start > All Programs > Accessories > Ease of Access > On-Screen Keyboard
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  • 6
    Can you explain how to use charmap to generate the insert key?
    – DavidPostill
    Apr 26, 2017 at 15:40
  • how do you get that right block with all the control keys, this does not show for me Aug 10, 2019 at 12:05
  • You could also launch osk in windows>run (win + r) Jul 8, 2020 at 21:41
23

Install AutoHotkey and, apart from all the other amazing uses for it, you can remap the insert key to any key or key-combination you like!

For example this:

^i::insert

... would remap it to Control + I.

Whenever remapping keys, be sure to consider what other programs might be affected by the remapping, and try to keep any custom remapping clear of them. For example, Control + Z would be a very bad idea :)

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    If you're going to remap a key, remap Scroll Lock, which isn't ever used, or Pause|Break, since the only thing it's used for is Windows + Pause|Break, which opens the System Information window. Scroll Lock is already a toggling key, so it would remap really well, since Insert also toggles.
    – mbomb007
    Apr 25, 2017 at 19:38
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    This solution would only work on Windows
    – Theraot
    Apr 25, 2017 at 20:09
  • 5
    @mbomb007 – insert as toggling key instead of ScrollLock is tricky, because unlike NumLock, CapsLock or ScrollLock, it does not have hardware register for its state and applications handle toggling just by convention, each is handling it separately. (Can be easily tested.) Programmers and technical users will also oppose remapping Pause|Break, because it still works in console and Ctrl+Break is also often used. Windows+I (suggested by the answer) is also already used. Maybe Windows+Ctrl+I is still unused.
    – miroxlav
    Apr 25, 2017 at 20:18
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    @mbomb007 – I just wanted to oppose potentially misleading information.
    – miroxlav
    Apr 25, 2017 at 20:21
  • 7
    Since this keyboard also lacks a Windows key, I am not sure the example chosen in this answer is appropriate... Apr 26, 2017 at 7:57
0

Coming late to the party, I know, but I had a similar issue and I wanted to share my solution.
So, I have this HP laptop and for some reason they've decided to remove the insert key. I "live" in Windows, but I spend a lot of time in terminals on remote servers, linux of course, so ctrl+c and ctr+v are not an option and I have to rely on the good old ctr+insert and shift+insert to do the job.

After some time spent searching for alternatives, the numpad-0 in not really such a good/handy solution, I've found that you can remap keycodes by fiddling with the registries. What's even better there's this little tool called SharpKeys that makes the job even easier.

So the solution was to remap an "useless" key, in may case was prt scr, to insert and get my "flow" back. Depending on the situation and preferences one could use some other key.

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