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: Updating to Smart Quotes.

Updating to Smart Quotes

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 21, 2015)

Smart quotes are those fancy quotes that point different directions—you know, you see them all the time in typeset material. Word uses smart quotes automatically as one of the features in AutoFormat. However, you may be working with files created in a text editor, a different word processor, or a previous version of Word that did not use smart quotes. In these instances, you may think you are forced to change the quotes and apostrophes (since they are also "smart") individually.

Not so! You can, if you desire, use the AutoFormat command; this will convert the quotes and apostrophes. However, this can mess up your other formatting. If you only want to affect the quotes and apostrophes, and nothing else, follow these general steps:

  1. Make sure you have smart quotes turned on. (You do this on the AutoFormat tab of the Options dialog box or the AutoFormat tab of the AutoCorrect dialog box, depending on your version of Word.)
  2. Press Ctrl+H or choose Replace from the Edit menu. Word displays the Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.

  4. In the Find What box, enter a quote mark.
  5. Click on the No Formatting button, if it is available. (If the No Formatting button is not visible, you may need to click on the More button to display it.)
  6. In the Replace With box, enter another quote mark.
  7. Again click on the No Formatting button, if it is available.
  8. Click on Replace All.
  9. Repeat steps 3 through 7, this time using an apostrophe instead of a quote mark.
  10. Close the Replace dialog box when the replacements are finished.

It is just as easy to get rid of smart quotes—for instance, if you need to send a document to a colleague who doesn't have a smart quotes capability. In this instance you can get rid of smart quotes and apostrophes by following the same nine steps. The only difference is that in step 1 you need to make sure that smart quotes is turned off.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (963) 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: Updating to Smart Quotes.

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. ...

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