Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. 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: Updating to Smart Quotes.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 12, 2020)
Smart quotes are those fancy quotes that point different directions—you know, you see them all the time in typeset material. Word uses smart quotes automatically as one of the features in AutoFormat. However, you may be working with files created in a text editor, a different word processor, or a previous version of Word that did not use smart quotes. In these instances, you may think you are forced to change the quotes and apostrophes (since they are also "smart") individually.
Not so! You can, if you desire, use the AutoFormat command; this will convert the quotes and apostrophes. However, this can mess up your other formatting. If you only want to affect the quotes and apostrophes, and nothing else, follow these general steps:
Figure 1. The AutoFormat As You Type tab of the AutoCorrect dialog box.
Figure 2. The Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.
It is just as easy to get rid of smart quotes—for instance, if you need to send a document to a colleague who doesn't have a smart quotes capability. In this instance you can get rid of smart quotes and apostrophes by following the same steps. The only difference is that in step 5 you need to make sure that smart quotes is turned off.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9448) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Updating to Smart Quotes.
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