I have tried:

  • Ctrl+Shift+' which worked for someone else in Outlook 2003
  • File → Options → Mail → Spelling and AutoCorrect... → AutoCorrect Options... → AutoFormat tab → deselect "straight quotes" with "smart quotes" checkbox

Neither worked for me. Any tips?

  • 5
    I found it in the intuitive File>Options>Mail>Editor Options>AutoCorrect Options>AutoFormat As You Type
    – Cuadue
    Apr 8, 2015 at 20:54
  • 1
    I just paste in a ' from Putty when I need one.
    – Noumenon
    Jun 3, 2018 at 2:56
  • FWIW I do Win+R and type ', then copy-and-paste when I need it
    – airstrike
    Oct 30, 2019 at 20:00
  • yep, two places exist, turn them both off File→Options→Mail→Spelling and AutoCorrect→AutoCorrect Options: - →AutoFormat tab - →AutoFormat As you Type tab
    – m1m1k
    Jan 10, 2020 at 21:17

5 Answers 5


Peter - You were in the right place in your original post, except you have to go to the "AutoFormat As You Type" tab. There is a checkbox on that tab that will turn off the formatting that occurs as you type.


To be honest, I am not sure what the effect of the settings on the "AutoFormat" tab is. I always use the "AutoFormat As You Type" tab to turn this feature off.

Hope that helps...


On the Tools menu, click AutoCorrect Options, and then click the AutoFormat As You Type tab. Under Replace as you type, select or clear the "Straight quotes" with "smart quotes" check box.

  • 1
    In Microsoft Outlook 2010, the tools menu is no longer listed as a group and the commands and icons of tools are scattered to display at different places in the ribbon. There is no button 'AutoCorrect Options" on any of the Outlook 2010 menus. The only 'AutoCorrect Options button is in Outlook 2010 File-> section Options-> section Mail-> as listed above, and as far as I can tell, the "Straight quotes" with "smart quotes" check box does not work for me - I have it de-selected and I still get straight single and double quotes replaced with curly single and double quotes.
    – Myer
    Feb 1, 2012 at 15:23

There seems to be 2 tabs with "replace straight quotes with smart quotes". Tab 1: AutoFormat Tab 2: AutoFormat as You Type

Regards Delta-force

  • 3
    duplicate of @shannon's answer
    – JoshP
    Sep 27, 2012 at 18:56

If the contact has a special character Outlook will automatically quote the name in the Inbox and outbox, there is no fix for that.

  • Welcome to Super User! Please read the question again carefully. Your answer does not answer the original question.
    – DavidPostill
    Mar 25, 2015 at 15:18

I know JoshP said Delta-Force's answer is a copy of Shannon's answer, but let's make this super clear in one spot.

As Delta-Force says, you may to need to set this in two places, the one the OP mentioned (AutoFormat) AND the one Shannon mentioned (AutoFormat As You Type).

I found a place that describes this reasonably well for Word, and I'll edit those instructions to describe Outlook here:

  1. On the File tab, click Options.
  2. Click Mail, then Editor Options and then click the AutoCorrect Options button.
  3. In the AutoCorrect dialog box, do the following:
    • Click the AutoFormat As You Type tab, and under Replace as you type, select or clear the "Straight quotes" with “smart quotes” check box.
    • Click the AutoFormat tab, and under Replace, select or clear the "Straight quotes" with “smart quotes” check box.
  4. Click OK in the AutoCorrect dialog.
  5. Click OK in the Editor Options dialog as well.
  6. Profit.

Here they are in all of their duplicitous glory.

two tabs and locations of what needs turning off

Do both.

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