Microsoft Word 2003 Characters and Symbols

Get Rid of the Fancy Quotes

Summary: Remove Word 2003's smart quote auto-correct feature for more portable documents.

Normally, in Microsoft Word 2003, when you enter quotation marks, Word 2003 replaces the normal quotation marks with "smart" (sometimes called "fancy" or "curly") quotes that tend to look like they are surrounding the text. While these quotes may look great on paper, there are instances where they can be problematic.

For example, if you write a Microsoft Word 2003 document and copy and paste it to a text file, such as a web page, that text file or web page may look fine to you, but to others who may not have standard Microsoft fonts, such as Linux or Macintosh users, those "smart" quotes will look like blocks or invalid characters.

One way to get rid of these quotes as you type is to press CONTROL-Z after you press a quote. This way, as you type a quote, Microsoft Word 2003 will convert it to a "smart" quote, and pressing CONTROL-Z will change it back to a "straight" or "normal" quote.

Or, to permanently get rid of the Smart Quotes:

1. Choose the "Tools" menu and select "AutoCorrect Options".

2. When the "AutoCorrect" multi-tabbed dialog box appears, select the "AutoFormat" tab.

3. Uncheck "Straight quotes with smart quotes".

4. Select the "Autoformat as you type" dialog box.

5. Uncheck "Straight quotes with smart quotes".

6. Press "OK" to close the dialog box.

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Last Modified on: July 13, 2008, at 12:04 A.M. EDT

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