[R] random typing over text

Jim Lemon jim at bitwrit.com.au
Mon Apr 25 03:22:01 CEST 2011

On 04/24/2011 08:13 AM, derek wrote:
> Thank you very much. It was the Insert key. It was very annoying. Actually is
> this owerwrite function of any use?
Hi derek,
As Duncan mentioned, it is very useful when one wishes to type over 
existing text. However, this is a fairly uncommon wish in the typical 
GUI user environment, where the typist can highlight a group of 
characters and then begin typing. The highlighted characters disappear 
and the replacement is accomplished without changing the behavior of the 
keyboard. Many applications now attempt to guess what you want to 
highlight by performing the operation on words. To me this is not an 
advantage, for it often means that I delete one or more characters 
beyond what I wish. As Rolf noted, the adjacency of the Insert and 
Delete keys makes it far too easy to switch unwittingly to Insert mode. 
I sometimes wonder whether keyboard designers ever have to type, or 
whether they simply dictate their design inspirations into a microphone 
as some non-typists of my acquaintance do. When I received a new PC at 
work, some bright spark had placed an extra Backslash key next to the 
left Shift key _and_ reduced the size of the Shift key. After a few days 
of typing backslashes every time I wanted a capital letter, I popped 
both keys off and extended the Shift key to mostly cover the useless 
Backslash. I once programmed a special keyboard for a one-handed typist 
that allowed one to reprogram the meaning of keys, thereby accommodating 
individual preference rather than the lumbering Frankenstein of the 
average user. Now that would be a worthwhile innovation.


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