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Sunday, December 8, 2013

A US Copy Editor's Perspective: How to Change Straight Quotes to Curly

Since curly quotes seem to be the favored presentation in the US publishing world, I'm sharing here the process for changing your straight quotes to curly, unless you have a professional formatter who does that for you.

NOTE: This changes EVERY quote mark, single or double, already curly or not. So makes a formatting mess of clutter if you do it with track changes on. Turn that off.

REMINDER: I suggest adding within your MS a track changes comment everywhere a reverse quote mark starts a word (like ’em) so you can double check and make sure those remain the closing curly quote, not the opening curly quote.

These are do-it-yourself instructions for MSWord 2007/2010/2013. For MSWord 2003, see link below.

  • Turn off Track Changes
  • Go to File tab
  • Choose Options
  • Select Proofing
  • Set AutoCorrect’s “AutoFormat as You Type” to “Replace as You Type”
  • Replace “Straight Quotation Marks” with “Smart Quotation Marks”
  • Then exit to return to your MS on the screen and do a global Find/Replace for double quote marks.
  • Repeat a global Find/Replace for single quote marks.

If you have any problems, here’s a good site to check: http://www.addintools.com/documents/word/where-autoformat.html.

Good luck, all!

Denise Barker, author + blogger + copy editor

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