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: Replacing Some Smart Quotes.

Replacing Some Smart Quotes

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 24, 2012)

Greg has a large document that uses smart quotes throughout it. He needs to replace some, but not all, of the quote marks and apostrophes with their non-smart equivalents.

This is actually a rather common occurrence. Many people use smart quotes in their documents to give a more "finished" look to what they are writing, but sometimes need to have regular quote marks and apostrophes used in some instances, such as when noting minutes and seconds with times in the text.

The trick to doing this type of search and replace is to turn off Word's smart quote capabilities. Follow these steps:

If you are using a version of Word prior to Word 2007, follow these steps instead:

  1. Select AutoCorrect or AutoCorrect Options (depending on your version of Word) from the Tools menu. Word displays the AutoCorrect dialog box.
  2. Click on the AutoFormat As You Type tab. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The AutoFormat As You Type tab of the AutoCorrect dialog box.

  4. Make sure the Straight Quotes with Smart Quotes option is cleared.
  5. Click on OK.

Now you are ready to do your find and replace operation:

  1. Press Ctrl+H. Word displays the Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  2. Figure 2. The Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.

  3. Put either a quote mark or apostrophe in the Find What box.
  4. Put the same character in the Replace With box.
  5. Make sure you aren't searching for any formatting or using any formatting in the replacement text.

Use the controls in the dialog box to step through each occurrence of the character and replace it, if desired. Find and Replace will find every occurrence of the character you entered in step 2, regardless of whether it is "smart" or not. Since smart quotes is turned off, the replacement will be a regular quote mark or apostrophe, as desired.

There is one caveat to the information presented here: If you are doing a search with wildcards turned on, Word is much more discriminating in what is looks for. While a regular search doesn't differentiate between regular and smart quotes, a wildcard search does. Thus, you can't just type a regular quote in the Find What box when doing the wildcard search. Instead, you must hold down the Alt key and use the numeric keypad to type the correct code for the smart quote character you want: 0145 (opening apostrophe), 0146 (closing apostrophe), 0147 (opening quote), or 0148 (closing quote).

There is no way to avoid stepping through all occurrences of quote marks or apostrophes in the document, as they all must be examined so you can determine if you want to make a change. When you are done making your changes, make sure that you turn smart quotes back on (use the steps earlier in this tip), if you normally type with them turned on.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (7450) 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: Replacing Some 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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Ignoring Smart Quotes when Comparing Text

When comparing two pieces of text, you may find that Word's smart quotes can mess up the comparison. Here's a quick way to ...

Discover More

Setting Vertical Alignment

Excel allows you to adjust not only the horizontal alignment of values in a cell, but also the vertical alignment. This tip ...

Discover More

Non-standard Sorting

Information in a cell can be entered using line feeds, which results in multiple lines of data in the same cell. If you later ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More WordTips (menu)

Searching for Multi-Byte Hex Codes

Need to find a character for which you only know the hex code? There are a few ways you can search for the information, as ...

Discover More

Finding Quoted Text in VBA

Macros are created for all sorts of purposes in creating, editing, and processing documents. You might want to use a macro to ...

Discover More

Ignoring Accented Characters in Searches

When writing in non-English languages, there can be many variations of accented characters that are used in a word. You might ...

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}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 8Mpixels. 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 eight minus 3?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


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.

Newest Tips
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.