Microsoft Word has proven itself in the business world, and the number of uses for the software is continually expanding. One of those uses is writing content that will be posted online, but some users have run into issues with Word’s formatting, specifically a feature called smart quotes, when posting Word content on the internet.
Here is an overview of smart quotes and how you can turn them on or off in Word 2013 and Word 2010.
What are smart quotes?
When we are taught to write, we are taught to use “curly” quotation marks to indicate when a quote begins and finishes. Quotation marks commonly found in books and printed materials are created with a specific typography that makes it look more visually appealing. Many professionals call these curly quotes and commas smart quotes.
Smart quotes are great at making documents easier to read. However, when the engineers who developed the keyboard for computers were writing the code, they used straight or “dumb quotes” – presumably because they were easier to code. These quotes are the marks you normally see to indicate measurements like feet and inches. This decision means many technical systems, like websites and browsers, may not be able read smart quotes and will render them incorrectly – usually as showing some gibberish like $#8217 instead of the actual quotation mark.
So, if you are using Word to create content for the Web it is a good idea to use straight quotes. By default, Word now has smart quotes enabled, but you can turn them off. Here’s how.
How to turn off smart quotes in both Word 2010 and 2013:
- Open a Word document and click on File followed by Options.
- Select Proofing from the left pane.
- Click on AutoCorrect Options… followed by the AutoFormat tab in the window that pops up.
- Un-tick the box beside “Straight quotes” with “smart quotes” which can be found under Replace.
- Click on the Autoformat As you Type tab in the same window and un-tick the box beside “Straight quotes” with “smart quotes” which is located under Replace as you type.
- Click Ok.
If you are looking to learn more about Word and how you can get more out of it, please contact us today to see how we can help.