Microsoft Word, by default, tries to convert quotes into slanted quotes, such as seen in the following screenshot:

word example

I would like to force this kind of text to be specifically written with vertical, or "typewriter style", quotes, as this monospaced font is intended to signal "machine generated" output. How does one do that?

7 Answers 7


In Office 2007 you can change the formatting that Word does automatically through the main button on the ribbon.

If you want this behavior changed permanently: Under Proofing > AutoCorrect Options > Autoformat as you type... You can de-select Straight Quotes as Smart Quotes and that should revert the quotes to being straight.

  • Where have I seen that name before? +1 Jan 31, 2012 at 3:52
  • haha. You know me too well. :) Jan 31, 2012 at 3:53

When typing, right after you type a regular double-quote, if Word turns it into a "smart quote," immediately hit Ctrl+Z. This should undo that automagic change. This distinctly works in Word 2007; I just tried it to be sure.

  • 1
    I like this solution best since the vast majority of the time I want Word to turn my quotes into smart quotes. I can leave the functionality on and just undo it in the few occasions I need straight quotes. Note that this also works with single quotes. It still works in Office 2013. Jun 8, 2015 at 19:35
  • 1
    It works even in Google docs...
    – Abhimanyu
    Nov 10, 2019 at 6:35

It depends which version you are running as to where this is, but you can turn off this behaviour. Uncheck the following option:

Tools / AutoCorrect Options / AutoFormat / Replace / "Straight Quotes" with "Smart Quotes"
  • 1
    Hmm.. but this turns it off all the time. I'd like to turn it off only for e.g. code snippets. Jan 31, 2012 at 3:51
  • There aren't options to apply autocorrect to specific styles. Your option is to search/replace (you can target a specific style with a search/replace).
    – Paul
    Jan 31, 2012 at 3:55
  • 5
    @BillyONeal: If you don't want to turn it off all the time, just hit Ctrl+Z when it does that.
    – sbi
    Jan 31, 2012 at 8:23

The key that you are looking for is " character 0022. To get it, go to insert symbol, and then look under basic latin.

Do a find and replace to change all of the quotes that you have to this one.

If you wish, you can create a shortcut or autoreplace to do this for you, but that may be more than what you are looking for.

  • You will still need to switch off the option under 'AutoFormat as you type' for this to work; otherwise, Word will change them to 'smart' quotes while carrying out the replacement operation.
    – Stewart
    Dec 9, 2015 at 16:46

The simplest method is probably to type the text in a text editor (Notepad, Notepad++, whatever) and copy and paste it to Word. The automatic conversion of Ascii quotation marks to language-specific quotation marks is applied only on direct keyboard input.

  • The bonus of using all-MS products: Visual Studio brings over its formatting to Word, so you can preserve code colorization as well as quote characters (and apostrophes, while we're on the subject) when copying and pasting code snippets
    – sq33G
    Feb 1, 2012 at 11:39
  • @sq33G Notepad++ has a plugin called NppExport, which does the same if you select 'Copy HTML to clipboard'.
    – Stewart
    Dec 9, 2015 at 16:50

Why not create a separate style for code snippets? Then you can just use the Style Gallery to format code to match.


You can create a Style in two different ways.

  1. On the Home tab, on the "Style" section, you can click the little dialog box button launcher on the bottom right hand corner to open the Style Pane. Then you can click the "Add new Style button."

  2. The easier method is to select some text that is formatted how you like it. On the "Style" gallery ribbon, click the drop down button and select "Save selection as New style". Click Modify and make sure it only applies the Character formatting, and not also the paragraph spacing, etc etc.

  • I don't see a way to cause a seperate style to do this. Jan 31, 2012 at 5:53
  • My bad, I forgot how obscure the new Style button location is. I'll edit.
    – surfasb
    Jan 31, 2012 at 6:07
  • 2
    This does not seem to address the issue of quotation marks. The difference between Ascii quotes "" and language-specific quotes like “” or » « is a character-level matter, not formatting. Jan 31, 2012 at 7:01

Record a macro to set and unset defualt options of straight quotes; assign a keyboard shortcuts for them.

Trigger macro each time you want straight quotes. That's it.

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