Wednesday Jan 19, 2022

Turn off smart quotes in Microsoft Word

Smart dating is an online writers nightmare. If you’ve never heard of them and have already tried submitting a writing for publication online, you probably already know them closely without even knowing it. If you are lucky enough to know about this problem early on, it will not present much of a problem as it is an easy format solution. However, if you’ve already written tons of smart quote infested text that you expect to upload to the web, things can get a bit more complicated.

So what are smart quotes?

In summary, smart quotes or “cross quotes” are the default quotation marks and apostrophes that Microsoft Word uses. Instead of using standard straight quotes, or “dumb quotes,” Word automatically reformats them and turns them into the wavy annoyances we talk about here.

If you don’t fix this problem before uploading your nice shiny new article to the internet, it won’t look like you wrote it. What will most likely happen is that every instance where an apostrophe or quotation mark is used turns into a question mark or some other nasty character. The result will be a very unprofessional looking article, unfinished and a very frustrated writer.

How to get rid of smart quotes

Fortunately, this is an extremely easy solution. If you are using Microsoft Office 2007, these are the steps:

1) Click on the Office button in the upper left corner of your screen. Scroll down to Word Options (at the bottom of the box). Click it. Scroll down to the “review” selection in the new window that just opened, click on it.

two) Now, click on AutoCorrect Options. A new window will open. Examine the tabs at the top of the box and click AutoFormat. You will see the word “replace” with six check boxes below it. The first is the one you want. It should say “straight quotes” with “smart quotes”. Uncheck this box. Optionally, you can also uncheck the rest of the boxes and save the last one titled “Hyperlinked Internet and Network Paths” to further simplify Internet formatting problems you may experience.

3) You are almost done. Go back to the tabs at the top of the box and click the one that says AutoFormat as you type. Now just do the exact same thing you did in step 2 by unchecking all the same boxes here.

What if I already have articles written with smart quotes?

If you’ve already typed text with Microsoft Word with the smart quote option turned on, I’ll tell you what I did. There may be an easier way to do this, but this seemed like the easiest way to me. I just used the search function (just hold Ctrl and press F) in Word to find all the apostrophes in my article, then all the quotes. This way, the show will take you to each one, one at a time, and you can deal with them as they come. This will save you the hassle of checking your articles by hand trying to make out every last apostrophe.

That’s all there is to say about smart quotes and what to do with them. I just hope you were able to find this information before the smart quotes could cause you too much trouble. That is all for now!

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