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How to change straight quotes to curly quotes in Microsoft Word

There are two types of quotation styles. Yes. You’ve most likely seen them but some have never scrutinised the difference. These are straight quotes (” ‘) and curly quotes (‘‘ ‚‚ ’’)also known as smart quotes.

In history, space was essential when the use of typewriters was common and it was discovered that straight quotes were more convenient because they required only two keys, making room for two extra characters while the curly quotes required four. That’s how this difference came about. Although this is true, curly quotes are in some cases, more often than one would imagine, the most preferred because they look more like the other characters and fonts. They are also more readable than straight quotes.

All this considered, Microsoft Word users often need to find a way to go about switching between these two types depending on their preference as they create and record text. There is a feature that Word possesses that enables straight quotes to automatically be changed to curly quotes. Here are a few ways how this can be done;

Using the Autocorrect / Autoformat

  1. Find the File tab and click it. Thereafter, select Options.
  2. Select Proofing and then click Autocorrect Options.
  3. Once you get to the Autocorrect dialog box, select AutoFormat as you type and under Replace as you type, select the straight quotes with the smart quotes check box.
  4.  Click OK.
  5. Under Find type one straight quotation mark ()
  6. Then for Replace type one curly quotation mark ()
  7. Select Replace All
  8. If you wish, you can use the above texts but with a double quotation mark (“ ”, ” “)

After following the above steps diligently, all the quotes in the change should have changed to one’s preference. Feel free to change font types to ascertain the desired difference.

Using the Alt Code

You can simply insert the ALT code to insert the curly quotations. Long press the ALT key and then type the number.

Quotation MarkParticularWord Command
Opening Single QuoteALT 0145
Opening Double QuoteALT 0146
Closing Single QuoteALT 0147
Closing Double QuoteALT 0148

Using this code guide, you can easily insert the desired smart quotations.

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