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.

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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.

Profile Photo for Lori Kaufman Lori Kaufman
Lori Kaufman is a technology expert with 25 years of experience. She's been a senior technical writer, worked as a programmer, and has even run her own multi-location business.
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