Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Automatically Using Smart Quotes.

Automatically Using Smart Quotes

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated December 23, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


"Smart quotes" is the Word phrase for what typographers call opening quotes and closing quotes. If you look at the quote marks in any printed book, you will notice that the quote marks at the beginning of a quote look different from those at the end; these are smart quotes, according to Word. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. Regular quotes compared to smart quotes.

The opening quote is produced by holding down the Alt key and typing 0147 on the keypad. The closing quote is produced in the same fashion, only you type 0148 on the keypad. Since this can get rather tedious, Word has included an AutoFormat option that changes normal quotes with smart quotes. This option is set by default, but there may be times when you want to check the setting or turn off the option. You can find the option by following these steps:

  1. Display the Word Options dialog box. (In Word 2007 click the Office button and then click Word Options. In Word 2010 and later versions display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. At the left side of the dialog box click Proofing.
  3. Click AutoCorrect Options button. Word displays the AutoCorrect dialog box.
  4. Make sure the AutoFormat As You Type tab is displayed. (See Figure 2.)
  5. Figure 2. The AutoFormat As You Type tab of the AutoCorrect dialog box.

  6. Make sure the Straight Quotes with Smart Quotes option is selected.
  7. Click OK to dismiss the AutoCorrect dialog box.
  8. Click OK to dismiss the Word Options dialog box.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (6708) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Automatically Using Smart Quotes.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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