The case of the purloined curly quotes.

I'm making final revisions to a masters thesis that's had stuff pasted in from many sources.

What I generally do is choose to Paste Special and choose Unformatted Unicode to avoid importing any formatting that will clash with my doc and require cleanup later.

 For example, if you find a great reference on somebody's personal website:

Ephrat, Daphna. “In Quest of an Ideal Type of Saint: Some Observations on the First Generation of Moroccan Awliya' Allah in Kitab Al-Tashawwuf.” Studia Islamica. 94 (2002): 67-84.

but find red Comic Sans MS a bit much, you could paste it in as unformatted text and get

Ephrat, Daphna. "In Quest of an Ideal Type of Saint: Some Observations on the First Generation of Moroccan Awliya' Allah in 'Kitab Al-Tashawwuf' ." Studia Islamica. 94 (2002): 67-84.

When you do that, you lose italics, which I don't find much problem
generally. The real nuisance is the replacement of curly quotes (i.e., “ ” or ‘ ’ ) with soulless straight quotes (i.e., " " or ' '), which then have to be fixed manually (or handled at the end with several needlessly complex search & replace operations).Or so I thought.

Just came across this on the M$ site. Turns out all you have to do is enable the replace-as-you-type feature for quotation marks and then you can replace all instances of " with " and Word handles the rest. D'oh!

I've been writing macros in VBA, mapping keyboard shortcuts to all sorts of stuff, and using Autocorrect to finish words for me for more than a decade and I didn't realize I could do this simple thing. Sad.

WD2000: How to Replace Smart Quotes with Straight Quotes

Replacing Existing Straight Quotes with Smart Quotes
Use the following method to replace existing straight quotes with smart quotes in a document.
1. To turn on smart quotes, follow these steps:
a. On the Tools menu, click AutoCorrect, and then select the AutoFormat As You Type tab.
b. Under Replace as you type, click to select the "Straight quotes" with "smart quotes" check box, and then click OK.
2. On the Edit menu, click Replace.
3. In the Find what box, type a quotation mark.
4. In the Replace with box, type a quotation mark.
5. Click Replace All.

  • dawood

    It only works for some though… and if you use Endnote (the prog) to handle your citations, you have to make sure you change the template designs to use the ‘curly quotes’ or else they still display in the standard ones, but it is cool once it is sorted.
    Man, I didn’t know you were such a geek that you had done all that – you should have asked me bro! :D
    Ps, also check out:
    It is very useful if you are on PC/Mac!

  • svend

    I don’t do Endnotes since I want to be able to work on multiple PCs, but I’m a RefWorks addict. I have at in the vicinity of 2K items saved under a score of categories.
    Re: that EndNote issue
    That’s actually my point. If you’ve enabled autocorrection for quotes, you just do a search & replace for ‘”‘ with ‘”‘ and it’s instantly fixed. So who cares about the Endnotes template if it takes 3 keystrokes to fix?

  • dawood

    Not quite so easy, as “” on both sides would then either become all “ or all ”… tried it many times on Word 2003 and also Word 2007. :(

  • dawood

    Just to clarify, when you use the Endnote “Format Bibliography” option to format all of your citations and make the actual reference list at the end of the paper/text, it bases all of the styles on the template from inside the Endnote program itself. It is like it has been pated in to Word with the “keep original formatting” option, so it keeps the straight quotes without taking the curly quotes.

  • svend

    Salaams. Well, we don’t need to come to blows over this :) , but I suspect either you haven’t done what I’m suggesting right or I’m just not understanding your point. Seems to me that even if you’ve pasted it in with that original formatting, if you’ve enabled the option I’m talking about, any replacement of ” with ” will correctly insert curly quotes.

  • dawood

    Does it work if you paste “with” in to Word directly? (I mean with the quotes included) It doesn’t for me even though I have the setup the same as you described (Word 2007 though) and also even after I have chosen ‘match destination formatting’.
    Word only changes the quotes when you actually type them, afaik.

  • svend

    > Word only changes the quotes when you actually type them, afaik.
    Aha! Au contraire, mon frere. I too was under this tragic misapprehension till I chanced upon that help page and felt my blood run cold. I thought to myself, “Wait, what they’re saying to do shouldn’t work. Could it be that I have I been making something so simple difficult for nothing for all these years? Did I repeatedly figure out, forget and re-research how to distinguish between straight and curly quotes in search & replaces for nothing? !#@*^@#@#$^*@”
    In Word 2003 (my condolences if you have that hunk of junk Word 2007–you’ll have to sift through that awful interface yourself), if you do the following
    FORMAT –> AUTOCORRECT OPTIONS –> “AutoFormat As You Type” tab –> Check the “Replace ‘Straight quotes’ with ‘smart quotes’” checkbox
    and then do a search and replace of ” with ” those should magically be correctly replaced.
    It’s a bright new day.

  • Famous Quotes

    I just love the whole stuff. I love it.

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