(I’m using the Mac version of Scrivener, v 2.2)

I talked once before about importing from Word.  Whenever I import a doc, I convert it to the default formatting, then I change the quotes to ‘Smart Quotes’.  What are Smart Quotes? (and why do I convert to em?)

Well, quotes are quotes.  They look like this: (single) ‘ (double) ”

Or this:

When you’re typing, especially in a word processor like Word (or Scrivener), the program tends to convert your quotes into what we call a ‘curly q quote’.  Why?  Because they look prettier and can be easier to read on the screen.  But if you’ve ever written something in a word processor and tried, for example, to copy/paste that into your blog, your quotes (and apostrophes) don’t show up correctly.  This is because the curly q quote isn’t ‘real’ text and the browser can’t reproduce them (so you get a string of odd characters).

Importing your document into Scrivener, it’s converted into an RTF and those curly q quotes tend to go away (this has been my experience, anyway).

Why do I convert them?  It’s not really about like or dislike of curly q quotes – it’s about consistency.  Any new quotes I type will be curly q (because that’s the default setting for all my new projects), so it distracts me to have some curly q quotes and some straight.  The curly q (smart quotes) look prettier, so I just convert them all over and move on.

Doing so is simple.  After you import your doc, click somewhere inside of it.  Next, click Format – Convert – Quotes to Smart Quotes.  Depending on the size of the document, this could take a second or a minute.

When it’s done, your quotes will be ‘smart’.

More Scrivener Tips coming!

Don’t have Scrivener?  You can try it free here (no, I don’t get paid for pointing you at them!).

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1 Comment

  • Paul (@princejvstin) Posted June 11, 2012 11:15 am

    Thanks, Patrick.

    I do find the conversion of some characters, including quotes, in and out Word incredibly frustrating. It sounds like Scrivener handles this with just an option.

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