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Hidden Keyboard Trick Makes Non-Curly Quotes in Windows Live Writer

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Tired of Windows Live Writer switching all your double and single quotes to the curly versions? Sure, you can turn it off in the options panel, but there’s actually a cool trick to use them that you might not have noticed.

Of course, this is only really useful when you’re writing articles with command line tips since the curly quotes break copy and paste, so for the 5 people out there that might read this article, be glad that I was bored and felt like writing this up.

Use the Hidden Keyboard Trick to Make Non-Curly Quotes

Here’s the basic idea: Whenever you type the ” or ‘ keys, Windows Live Writer replaces them with the curly version—but if you hit the backspace key, it will revert it back to the regular version.

For instance, here’s how it works. You’ll probably notice that a video would have illustrated this point better, but I’m lazy and there’s only 5 of you reading this article anyway.

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The same thing works for single quotes as well, and a few other characters that you might type.

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If you’d prefer, you can always head into the options panel and just turn the smart quotes option off, of course.

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Well there you are. I expect all 5 of you to leave a comment telling me that you already knew about this feature and  you’re very disappointed in me for wasting my time writing it up. Go on, I’m waiting…

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 10/14/10

Comments (17)

  1. Bubby4j

    Seems more then 5.

  2. RushArt

    Lol.
    Why the depression? If truly just 5 people reading this, then I’m one of the 5 and I don’t know it before.

  3. greenlink

    I already knew about this feature and i’m very disappointed in you for wasting my/your time writing it up.

  4. Jason Faulkner

    I’ve noticed that even after doing this (I use the backspace trick) when you publish it via Live Writer, it still puts the curly quotes around your text in the

    tag.

    The only sure way to get them to use straight quotes is by putting the text in a tag.

  5. Jason Faulkner

    Edit – dropped some of my text from above

    I’ve noticed that even after doing this (I use the backspace trick) when you publish it via Live Writer, it still puts the curly quotes around your text in the -blockquote- tag.

    The only sure way to get them to use straight quotes is by putting the text in a tag -pre-.

  6. Me2

    Well, here goes….

    “…there’s only 5 of you reading this article anyway.”

    Six now. A new record!

    Nice site, interesting info, and useful. Thanks.

  7. Pejeno

    “Well there you are. I expect all 5 of you to leave a comment telling me that you already knew about this feature and you’re very disappointed in me for wasting my time writing it up. Go on, I’m waiting…”

    LOL

  8. Edward de Leau

    What I’m looking for is a way to run the new Windows Live Writer on XP :) and some way to paste php code in it between colorizer [ ] tags without messing up my complete code.

  9. rbailin

    What you need to add is how to do this in MS Word without disabling the smart quotes feature permanently in options.

    The same trick in MS Word is to type the quote or apostrophe, and then hit Ctrl-Z to undo the auto-format change to curly quote or curly apostrophe. Useful for entering 4′ 6″ (4 ft. 6 in. (length) or 4 min. 6 sec. (lat/long degrees)).

  10. Tangmeister

    ftw. I should do that and get >5 comments ;D

  11. bibby

    Sorry, what was that again? I wasn’t paying attention.

  12. Trevor Bekolay

    C’mon dude, that was true in like, Word 95.

    GEEZ

    Sincerely,
    Your loving employee

  13. Shirley

    It worked in Windows Live Mail 2011 also. Thank you! That had really been bugging me.

  14. Eric Z Goodnight

    I can see why you would want to do this, as browsers don’t seem to like “Smart Quotes” very much. However, because I am a huge nerd, let me drop some useless typographical knowledge!

    The single and double “straight quotes” are not quotes at all, but are primes and double primes largely for denoting feet and inches. “Smart quotes” are true quotes and most modern word processing programs will correct this because of the constant bellyaching of typenerds like myself.

  15. Matthew Guay

    @Trevor – 1+ :)

    And, hey, I like curly quotes; straight quotes are only for Terminal! :P

  16. gilteon

    Semi off-topic, but does anyone know how to make cmd use straight single quotes? It gets annoying to have to always use double quotes when using GNUWin32 command-line apps in the cmd shell.

  17. lehenryjr

    or you can use AutoHotKey and remap a key set to produce those by default.
    Just trying to help…

    Until next time,
    Larry Henry Jr.
    LEHSYS.com

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