Curly Quote Catches

Curly quotation marks curve in, toward the content that they bracket.

They look nice, and some would say they facilitate reading ease. But curly quotes can cause snafus with macros, wildcards, and content management systems (CMS) like online education interfaces and website back ends. And sometimes Word just doesn’t want to create a mark with the right curl. Here’s how to fix those snags.

Correcting the Curl

If your quotes (or apostrophes) are simply facing the wrong way, the easiest thing to do is type a second mark beside it then erase the wrong one. Or, use one of the keyboard shortcuts listed in the table below. Alt codes work on both operating systems but Mac users may have to turn on the alt codes (or even the unicode) keyboard first. Windows users should type the first two keys together, then press the keys that follow the comma.

Alt CodeMacWindows
opening single quotealt + 0145opt + ]
closing single quotealt + 0146 opt + shift + ]ctrl + ‘, ‘
opening double quotealt + 0147opt + [shift + “
closing double quotealt + 0148opt + shift + [ctrl + ‘, shift + “

Solving F&R Errors

If your find and replace string isn’t working, or it is royally messing up the manuscript, try replacing all the curly quotation marks with straight ones before you run the F&R. Then change them back.

You can read about how to easily change them in this other post.



Got a gnarly Word problem? Submit your problem and we’ll try to answer it in the new Q&A thread.


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