Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 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.

Updating to Smart Quotes

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated November 21, 2020)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


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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:

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

  6. Make sure that the "Straight Quotes" with "Smart Quotes" check box is selected.
  7. Click OK.
  8. Press Ctrl+H. Word displays the Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  9. Figure 2. The Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.

  10. In the Find What box, enter a quote mark.
  11. Click on the No Formatting button, if it is available. (If the No Formatting button is not visible, you may need to click on the More button to display it. If it is visible but not clickable, it means that no previous searches were done that included formatting.)
  12. In the Replace With box, enter another quote mark.
  13. Again, click on the No Formatting button, if it is available.
  14. Click on Replace All.
  15. Repeat steps 8 through 12, this time using an apostrophe instead of a quote mark.
  16. Close the Replace dialog box when the replacements are finished.

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 Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Updating to 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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What is 3 + 7?

2020-11-21 11:25:50

Galen Currah

We do half of our editing work with French language texts that employ « and » as first-level speech marks. Since our Office suite is Engliish, search and replace that includes speech marks convert these to curly, English " and ". Therefore we keep two tiny macros (micros?), one two toggle on curly quotes and another to switch them off.


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