Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Turning Off Word's Second Guessing with Quote Marks.

Turning Off Word's Second Guessing with Quote Marks

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated April 15, 2022)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


1

Andrew often needs, in the course of editing and writing, to put a digit or two in quotation marks in order to quote or cite it. He works in the UK where the preferred system of quoting is for single quote marks, with doubles for quotes within quotes. (The US prefers the opposite.) If Andrew types a single quote mark, then, say, the number 92, and type a closing quote mark, that opening quote mark immediately flips and becomes an initial apostrophe. This happens because Word thinks Andrew is typing a calendar year without the 19 (as in 1992). He is looking for a way to not have this "flip" happen.

Assuming that you have the correct language set for your document (UK English as opposed to US English), the flipping is occurring because AutoFormat is making a wrong assumption about what you are doing. The solution to such guessing is actually easier than you think: just use Ctrl+Z. When Word changes the opening quote mark, immediately press Ctrl+Z and the AutoFormat change is undone.

If you prefer not to have to press Ctrl+Z in those instances where AutoFormat guesses wrong, then you should consider turning off the Smart Quotes feature in AutoFormat and instead using the keyboard shortcuts for inserting just the quotes you want. You can discover these shortcuts by choosing Insert | Symbol and looking at the Special Characters tab. Near the bottom you will see the shortcut keys for all the quote marks. You can also find the shortcuts at this Word MVP page:

http://wordmvp.com/FAQs/General/InsertSpecChars.htm

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (449) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Turning Off Word's Second Guessing with Quote Marks.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Develop Macros in Their Own Workbook

If you develop macros and edit them quite a bit, you may be running the risk of causing problems with the macros or with ...

Discover More

Cannot Open Multiple Word Documents

What are you to do if you try to open a document and Word automatically closes your previous document? Word is not ...

Discover More

Counting Odds and Evens

If you have a series of values in a range of cells, you may wonder how many of those values are even and how many are ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (menu)

Asking for Delete Confirmation

When you select some text and then press the Del key, the text should immediately be removed from your document. If you ...

Discover More

Dealing with Run-On Sentences

A common task when editing documents is to break up run-on sentences. You can make this task a little easier by using the ...

Discover More

Transposing Two Paragraphs

Need to swap two adjacent paragraphs? Your editing arsenal can include a command to do this is you use the macro in this tip.

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is six less than 9?

2020-09-04 13:08:50

Matt Fleckenstein

Thank you for this! Solved an annoying problem for me!


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Videos
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.