MS Word: Change Smart Curly Quotes to Simple Ones

Smart curly quotes provided by MS Word look pretty but can be a real nuisance sometimes. Learn how to replace them with simple straight quotes.
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Microsoft Word by default converts your simple quotes into nice looking curly quotes (aka smart quotes). But sometimes we want our plain old straight quotes back. Curly quotes look nice both on screen and on paper but they may create hiccups in data-processing work. While plain quotes are easily recognized by other applications but smart quotes might not be recognized.

When caught in such a situation, for the life of you, you just somehow want to get back to straight quotes (it happened with me a week ago –and that it why this post!). MS Word does not provide a simple way to toggle between smart and plain quotes. Here is how you need to deal with the situation.

In Office 2007 and onwards

  • Go to the Office button given in the top-left corner of MS Word (its a colorful spherical button bearing MS Office logo)
  • A menu will appear. Click on Word Options button present in the bottom right corner of the menu
  • A box will appear. Go to Proofing tab
  • Click on AutoCorrect Options button
  • Another box will open. Click on AutoFormat tab
  • Now depending upon what you want, check or uncheck the “Straight quotes” with “smart quotes” check box.

In Office XP and below

  • Go to Tools menu and select AutoCorrect
  • A box will come. Click on AutoFormat as you type tab
  • Under Replace as you type section, Now depending upon what you want, check or uncheck the “Straight quotes” with “smart quotes” check box.

This will prevent MS Word from converting simple quotes to smart quotes as you’ll type further.

NOTE: This article is part of our MS Word Guide. This guide solves your day to day MS Word problems. Easily!

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