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: Turning Off Smart Quotes for Specific Styles.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 10, 2018)
Janet wonders if there is a way to disable smart quotes for particular styles. She works on a lot of programming documentation, with code examples, where smart quotes are invalid syntax. She would like for Word to notice that she is typing or pasting in "code example" paragraph style or "literal" character style, and not change the quote marks.
There is no way to do this in Word. The smart quotes feature is part of the AutoFormat capabilities of Word, and as such is either on or off for the entire document. Further, turning smart quotes on or off at any given point only affects what you type from that point forward, and it doesn't affect anything you paste into the document.
The best solution for the situation where you are creating programming documentation and you don't want smart quotes to appear in paragraphs formatted with a certain style is to create a macro. The macro would step through the paragraphs in your document and, if the paragraph was the designated style, change any smart quotes to regular quotes. Such a macro could be run at any time to make any necessary changes to the smart quotes.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (12396) 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: Turning Off Smart Quotes for Specific Styles.
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