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Inserting Non-Fancy Quotation Marks in Word:

Say that you have Word configured to insert quotation marks as curly rather than just normal typewriter-like straight marks (which correspond to the ASCII quotation characters). But say that at some point you need to enter a straight quotation mark, for instance when you're entering some HTML code. What to do?

I struggled with this for years, until I accidentally discovered a trivial solution: After you type the quotation mark and it gets automatically made curly, just hit control-Z (undo), and it'll straighten out. The same seems to be the case for all the Word auto-corrections, such as (c) becoming a copyright symbol (if you have that set) and the like; hitting control-Z returns the item to being exactly what you typed.

My apologies if this is old hat to all of you, but my guess was that many people don't know about this, just as I didn't until recently. I think this is so for Word 2003 as well as Word 2007.

josil (mail):
I, for one, thank you for the hint. It certainly beats changing the global controls for a few instances.
4.15.2009 7:10pm
CDU (mail) (www):
I believe word has done this since they introduced autocorrect. If you undo it (ctrl-z) it will leave it that way.
4.15.2009 7:15pm
krs:
discovered this a while back and it's great... (c) to copyright, and auto-insertion of hyperlinks are probably the 2 things I use this for the most.
4.15.2009 7:17pm
Shelby (mail):
I've been doing this for years -- it certainly applies to Word 2003, and I believe to earlier versions as well (IIRC, at least back to Word 97).
4.15.2009 7:27pm
Dave N (mail):
Thanks for the tip. For years I have assigned the section sign § "alt-Z" (which is otherwise unassigned) since I like using it when referencing sections of the United States Code.

So knowing that "ctrl-z" has a purpose will be easy to remember.

On a related note, the only way I could get the section sign in the first paragraph was to write it in word and then cut-and-paste it into the comments. I have no idea how I would otherwise make a section sign when posting on this site.
4.15.2009 7:59pm
Le Messurier (mail):
Good reminder.

Here's a little time saver that I use: For typing the full name of a state type the abbreviation (as in AZ for Arizona), then type two periods (as in AZ..) Do this for each state and enter them in Auto correct. It's a pretty good time saver, especially if you do work where you are entering state names frequently.
4.15.2009 8:03pm
Dave N (mail):
Believe it or not there is an entire Wikipedia article on "Quotation Mark Glyphs," sometimes referred to as "smart quotes."
4.15.2009 8:16pm
John Armstrong (mail) (www):
Or you could use LaTeX like a civilized person.
4.15.2009 8:26pm
Michelle Dulak Thomson (mail):
Wow, that is news to me, and very welcome, because I need to "de-curl" the quotes in my copy all the time, and I've long since resigned myself to doing tedious search-and-replace operations to get rid of them.
4.15.2009 8:30pm
Roger Schlafly (www):
Or you can use Msft Word 97 and it does not try to be smart about the curly quotes.
4.15.2009 8:52pm
Skyler (mail) (www):
Turn off the curly quotes, or when you're done, do a find and replace.
4.15.2009 8:55pm
Hanah Volokh (mail) (www):
Backspace will also undo a lot of the autocorrect changes, such as (c) to the copyright symbol. But I just checked, and it does not work with the apostrophe.
4.15.2009 9:03pm
Ben S. (mail):

Believe it or not there is an entire Wikipedia article on "Quotation Mark Glyphs," sometimes referred to as "smart quotes."


Indeed, the "curly" quotes are known as "smart quotes," while the straight quotes are known as "dumb quotes." (Hat tip: Texas Law Review: Manual on Usage &Style.)
4.15.2009 9:12pm
rosetta's stones:
Yeah, and what good are quotation marks if you can't carry them and have them available to defend yourse... no wait, wrong discussion!
4.15.2009 9:19pm
jellis58 (mail):
Ive never understood why the default in word is to change (c) into the copyrigth symbol. I dont think I've ever had a reason to use type the copyright symbol but (c) comes up all the time in my writings...well not all the time but certainly way more than the copyright symbol.
4.15.2009 9:21pm
Wayne Jarvis:
You can delete (c) in the auto-correct menu.

I also agree with Le Messurier that auto-correct can be a useful timesaver if you take a couple minutes to set up some short hands. For example, I have Word set up so that "/s/" auto-corrects to §, "/p/" auto-corrects to ¶, /m/ auto-corrects to an em dash, and /n/ auto-corrects to an en dash.
4.15.2009 9:28pm
rkt:
You can also do a find and replace all. Type the " symbol in the find box and enter ^034 in the replace box. This is the ASCII code for the straight quote. Word will replace curly quotes with straight quotes. You can also turn off the setting which causes curly quotes to be entered in the first place in the Autocorrect options as mentioned above.
4.15.2009 9:31pm
Robb (mail) (www):
Thanks for the tip.

Along these lines: does anyone know of a forum, wiki, or anything where people talk about the technical aspects of publishing law reviews? As we struggle with a myriad versions of Microsoft Word, and 4-inch-thick 3-ring binders, I'm wondering what better ways there are.
4.15.2009 9:34pm
Splunge:
But say that at some point you need to enter a straight quotation mark, for instance when you're entering some HTML code

You're writing HTML in Word? Or, to rephrase so the insanity becomes manifest, you are writing markup commands (HTML) in an application designed to hide markup commands and instead show you the marked-up text?

Surely you meant something else. Editing HTML in Word is like fixing your car while driving it.
4.15.2009 9:50pm
Barbara Skolaut (mail):
"But say that at some point you need to enter a straight quotation mark, for instance when you're entering some HTML code. What to do?"

Have your secretary fix it?

Seriously, I usually use (and like) curly quotes, but I do cite-checking/proofreading for one attorney who uses only straight quotes. If I have just a couple to insert, I copy from another portion of the document and past then where I need them. If there are a lot, I ask his secretary to do a global when I'm finished with the document.

Hey, if I do her job, she won't have one. ;-p
4.15.2009 9:51pm
Thoughtful (mail):
rkt:

The elegance of EV's approach over "find and replace all" is that you may only want SOME of the quotes as dumb quotes and others as smart quotes.
4.15.2009 9:51pm
Joe Trossa:
I second Splunge. There might be something worse to use when coding HTML, but as far as I know, Word is the least suitable.
4.15.2009 10:31pm
Roguestage:
jellis58, I'm with you - some of the preset autocorrects in Word are just silly.

I also second what's been said about fiddling with the autocorrect options for the perennial offenders. In Word 2003 and I think 2007, it's in the 'Tools' menu as 'Autocorrect options'. I've also used this to add a few of the habitual typing errors I make that aren't in Word's database (for example, I almost always type interst instead of interest, so I added it to autocorrect). This won't work if you're going back and forth between straight and curly quotes in one writing, but it's good to be able to add your own general rules.

Usually, you can also get to autocorrect options by hovering your mouse over what was just autocorrected, and clicking on the little symbol that appears - it will give you the options of changing it back, removing that autocorrect from the menu, or opening the autocorrect menu.

Caveat: I use a Mac, and this may be differently-configured for Windows.
4.15.2009 10:51pm
Ariel:
I use s;; for the § symbol. You can set up other unlikely combinations for straight quotes - I just tried l;; as it's near the quote and it works to produce straight quotes. If you do that, they are only produced when you need them.
4.15.2009 10:56pm
FredR (mail):
Works for Word 97 also, and is a good way to keep Word from changing your email and web addresses.
4.15.2009 11:12pm
Mike McDougal:
Ctrl+z is useful for getting rid of the e-mail link in court documents. Unless you're electronically filing, no one is going to have a chance to click the e-mail address at the top of your motion for summary judgment.
4.15.2009 11:18pm
Bill Poser (mail) (www):
If like me you use OpenOffice.org Writer rather than MS Word, a nice feature is that you can selectively enable or disable various aspects of autocorrection. You can even have different choices for what happens as you type and what happens when you import a document. I've disabled just about everything.
4.15.2009 11:21pm
Bill Poser (mail) (www):

You're writing HTML in Word?


"Entering some HTML code" is not the same as "writing HTML". Starting from the assumptions that EV is not an idiot and hardly computer-illiterate, I infer that he is talking about citing bits of HTML in an ordinary document, not writing web pages.
4.15.2009 11:25pm
Ed in Florida:
The lesson I get from this discussion is the importance of nomenclature. Once you know that "fancy quotes" or "curly quotes" are known as "smart quotes" you can easily Google the term and deal with the situation in Word.

Another resource available for those who want unusual characters while using Windows is Start | Accessories | System Tools | Character Map

This will at least point you on the way to your goal.

On a normal keyboard, if you hold down the Alt key while typing 0167 on the keypad (the numbers that are controlled by the Num Lock button), you get § after you release Alt.

For fun, puzzle over the difference between Alt-0167 and Alt-167 and why that happened.
4.15.2009 11:39pm
Bill Poser (mail) (www):

For fun, puzzle over the difference between Alt-0167 and Alt-167 and why that happened


I don't have an MS Windows system to try this with, but am I correct in guessing that Alt-167 produces LATIN SMALL LETTER T WITH STROKE?
4.16.2009 12:17am
Avatar (mail):
Yeah, if you're going to type in Word extensively and you need to worry about things like that, you definitely should spend a few minutes in the Autocorrect menu setting everything up just the way you like it.
4.16.2009 12:24am
Ed in Florida:
Bill Poser: "I don't have an MS Windows system to try this with, but am I correct in guessing that Alt-167 produces LATIN SMALL LETTER T WITH STROKE?"

Ah, that's the fun part of code pages, you get a º from typing Alt-167
4.16.2009 12:53am
Bill Poser (mail) (www):
Ed in Florida,

So if you omit the leading zero you get the old DOS CP437?
(My incorrect hypothesis was that without the zero the 167 was interpreted as a hexadecimal Unicode codepoint.) I'm glad I use an OS written by sane people.
4.16.2009 3:20am
Splunge:
I infer that he is talking about citing bits of HTML in an ordinary document, not writing web pages.

Uh huh. So why does he care what kind of quotes he uses? If it's just there for someone to read -- he's writing a little treatise on how to insert hyperlinks in law blogs, say, with example snippets -- it doesn't matter what kind of quotes he uses. People aren't going to cut and paste the snippets into a browser and expect them to work, right?

For fun, puzzle over the difference between Alt-0167 and Alt-167 and why that happened.

With Alt-0167 you get U+00A7, which means the number is interpreted as decimal when it should be octal by all rights, and with Alt-167 you get U+00BA (some Spanish character) and the number has no relation to Unicode. I'm guessing MS says a four-digit number must be interpreted as Unicode, while a 3-digit number is some older index that tries to squeeze all the weird characters into one byte.
4.16.2009 6:36am
Splunge:
Hmm, can I type one of these? ♂ Or these? ♀ I wonder if every FF user sees them, or whether it depends on the window system?
4.16.2009 6:42am
Michael Drake (mail) (www):
I use the find and replace solution, for two reasons. One, I sometimes like to have two versions of the document, one with "smart" formatting and one without. And two, odds are high with the other method that I'll miss a smart quote here and there.
4.16.2009 7:32am
Andy L.:
ctrl-z also will undo auto capitalization. I use it for that all the time.
4.16.2009 8:25am
TerrencePhilip:
On a related note, the only way I could get the section sign in the first paragraph was to write it in word and then cut-and-paste it into the comments. I have no idea how I would otherwise make a section sign when posting on this site.

? I just enter alt-21 and the § sign appears with no problem, just as it does in Word.
4.16.2009 9:37am
Aeon J. Skoble (mail):
Actually, I didn't know that one, thanks!
4.16.2009 9:41am
Houston Lawyer:
Every time I get a new computer or my computer gets reconfigured, I have to go in and turn off the vast majority of the things that Word automatically does for you without asking.

Most of the defaults appear to be set up for idiots. I also think that the spell check writers have their own agenda for how certain words should be spelled that conflict with how I learned them.

I miss WordPerfect.
4.16.2009 10:11am
ASlyJD (mail):
I've just set my insert symbol box to stay on the §. Then, it's just ALT I S ENTER. Now admittedly, that doesn't work if you use the menu for a number of symbols, but I've not had a problem with it.
4.16.2009 10:16am
Bill Poser (mail) (www):

Uh huh. So why does he care what kind of quotes he uses? If it's just there for someone to read -- he's writing a little treatise on how to insert hyperlinks in law blogs, say, with example snippets -- it doesn't matter what kind of quotes he uses. People aren't going to cut and paste the snippets into a browser and expect them to work, right?


Well, I can't speak for EV, but yes, some people do like even quoted bits of text to look just right. One reason for doing this in the case of HTML is that a naive person might copy the smart quotes, which will not work. And yes, some people may well cut and paste snippets into a browser and expect them to work.
4.16.2009 12:19pm
stoshy (mail):
The Alt-Z trick doesn't work in Wordperfect for Windows. It erases rather than corrects the (c)/copyright. Anybody know a cure?
4.16.2009 2:02pm
RV:
Every lawyer should delete the (c) autocorrect from their version of Word. Just go to "Tools," click on "AutoCorrect Options," and scroll down the list you see at the bottom until you see the "(c)" entry. Hit "Delete" and you Word will never try to change (c) into the copyright symbol ever again.

I use "sctn" for the section symbol since it doesn't involve reaching for any special symbols, but to each his own on that one.
4.16.2009 2:43pm
kathryn:
I don't remember if this is the case in HTML, but in the typography world, those "dumb" single and double quotes aren't actually considered quotes: they are prime and double prime.
4.16.2009 2:48pm
RV:
WorPerfect has a similar auto correct list somewhere, although it may be called something different. I used WordPerfect in law school and did something similar to what I do in Word to turn the autocorrect off. That was before I finally gave up on using the superior product and started using Word so that other people could open the documents I created.
4.16.2009 2:50pm
LarryA (mail) (www):
You're writing HTML in Word? Or, to rephrase so the insanity becomes manifest, you are writing markup commands (HTML) in an application designed to hide markup commands and instead show you the marked-up text?
Well, I tend to write blog replies in Word, then copy/paste. Besides spellcheck, etc. I have shortcuts like <B> to <blockquote></blockquote>, <I> to <i></i>, and <A> to <a rel="nofollow" href=""></a>. Working in Word and pasting also minimizes frustration when clicking the Preview or Post Comment button loses my entry.
4.17.2009 1:31pm

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