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?


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 – Billy ONeal Jan 31 '12 at 3:52
  • haha. You know me too well. :) – BleepingElf Jan 31 '12 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.

  • 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. – Keith Twombley Jun 8 '15 at 19:35
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    It works even in Google docs... – Abhimanyu Nov 10 '19 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. – Billy ONeal Jan 31 '12 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 '12 at 3:55
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    @BillyONeal: If you don't want to turn it off all the time, just hit Ctrl+Z when it does that. – sbi Jan 31 '12 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 '15 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 '12 at 11:39
  • @sq33G Notepad++ has a plugin called NppExport, which does the same if you select 'Copy HTML to clipboard'. – Stewart Dec 9 '15 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. – Billy ONeal Jan 31 '12 at 5:53
  • My bad, I forgot how obscure the new Style button location is. I'll edit. – surfasb Jan 31 '12 at 6:07
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    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. – Jukka K. Korpela Jan 31 '12 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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