How to Automatically Convert Quotes to Smart Quotes in Word 2013

00_lead_image_smart_quotes

As you type in some word processors, quotes marks may automatically get converted from straight quotes to “smart quotes,” which are typographically correct quote marks that are curved one way at the beginning of a quote and the other way at the end of a quote.

You can manually type an opening smart quote by holding down the Alt key and typing 0147 on the number keypad. The closing smart quote is also created by holding down the Alt key and typing 0148 on the number keypad. This can get tedious. However, Word allows you to automatically convert straight quotes to smart quotes using an AutoFormat option. This setting should be on by default, but we will show you where it is so you can turn it on and off easily.

To access the setting for smart quotes, click the “File” tab.

01_clicking_the_file_tab

On Word’s Start screen, click “Options” in the list on the left.

02_clicking_options

The “Word Options” dialog box displays. Click “Proofing” in the list on the left.

03_clicking_proofing

On the “Proofing” screen, click “AutoCorrect Options…” at the top of the right side of the dialog box.

04_clicking_autocorrect_options

On the “AutoCorrect” dialog box, click the “AutoFormat As You Type” tab.

05_clicking_autoformat_as_you_type

To enable automatic conversion of straight quotes to smart quotes, make sure the “Straight quotes with smart quotes” check box in the “Replace as you type” section is selected (there should be a check mark in the box). Click “OK” to save the change and close the “AutoCorrect” dialog box.

06_turning_on_smart_quotes

Click “OK” on the “Word Options” dialog box to close it.

07_closing_word_options_dialog

This setting is also available in Microsoft PowerPoint and Publisher in the same location.

NOTE: If you’re creating a document containing text that might be copied and pasted to other applications or the command line or into script files, you might want to turn this setting off so you type straight quotes by default. Smart quotes can break commands or cause undesired functionality.

Lori Kaufman is a writer who likes to write geeky how-to articles to help make people's lives easier through the use of technology. She loves watching and reading mysteries and is an avid Doctor Who fan.