Word includes a setting that allows you to automatically convert straight quotes to smart quotes, or specially curved quotes, as you type. However, there may be times you need straight quotes and you may have to convert some of the quotes in your document.

There may be various reasons why you need to convert smart quotes to straight quotes, but we’re going to show you an easy way to convert the quotes using the “Find and Replace” feature.

Before using “Find and Replace” to replace some of the smart quotes in your document to straight quotes, you must turn off the setting that automatically converts straight quotes to smart quotes. We previously showed you how to turn on the setting. Simply follow that procedure to access the setting and turn it off.

Once the setting is off, press “Ctrl + H” to open the “Find and Replace” dialog box.

Enter a quote in both the “Find what” edit box and the “Replace with” and click “Replace”. The first quote is found. If it’s a smart quote, click “Replace” to replace it with a straight quote.

You can also use this procedure to find and replace smart apostrophes to straight apostrophes.

NOTE: If you’re doing a search with wildcards turned on, you’ll have to use the codes for the smart codes to find them. A regular search doesn’t differentiate between straight and smart quotes, but a wildcard search does. If the wildcard setting is on, you must hold down the “Alt” key and use the numeric keypad to type the correct code in the “Find what” edit box for the smart quote character you want to find: “0145” (opening apostrophe), “0146” (closing apostrophe), “0147” (opening quote), or “0148” (closing quote). In the “Replace with” edit box, you can just type a quote or apostrophe, as long as the smart quotes setting is off.

If you normally type with smart quotes turned on, be sure to turn on the smart quotes setting again when you’re done with the replacements.

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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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