Fixing Curly Quote Issues

When you write a book or ebook it's important that the reader's eyes can flow along the text. Curly quotes are a key part of this. Here is how to ensure the curly quotes are set up properly in your document.

Curly quotes, also known as book quotes, are quotes that have proper angling so that the reader can easily see where quotes start and end. Here is an example. I'll do it with a graphic so you can see it no matter what browser you're using.

fixing curly quote issues

The top line is with straight quotes. Those are confusing because they don't indicate if a quote is starting or ending a quote, or is an apostrophe style quote, or anything else. They interrupt rather than flow the reader's eyes.

The second line is what you want - curly quotes. This is the industry standard for quotes.

The third line is what you want to absolutely avoid at all costs - mixed quotes. This is a sign of an improperly done document.

So here is how to fix your document so it is universally done with the proper book-style quotes.

In Word, go into Options - Proofing - AutoCorrect. Look for the AutoFormat area.

fixing curly quote issues

Make sure you have it set to change all "straight quotes" to "smart quotes". This is what Word calls curly quotes.

Once this is set, go to your main document. Do a search and replace. Search for ". Replace it with ". Yes, in both cases you are solely looking for a double-quote and nothing else. That's OK. Run the replace. What it will do is change all double quotes to properly formatted curly quotes. Now do the same thing with single quotes, looking for ' and replacing it with '. Again in both cases it's just a single quote with nothing else. Again, this will result in the document having all curly quotes.

Be sure you also understand Single and Double Quotes and how they're used.

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