How do I get back Smart Quotes?

I’m sure the solution is dead simple but, for the life of me, I can’t figure it out …

I have been writing text using “smart quotes” all week, but I hit the wrong key this morning and now everything I write comes out in “straight quotes”.

I know I can highlight the text and produce smart quotes [Text / Educate Quotes] but I’d prefer to get it right the first time. I already have the box ticked in Preferences regarding Activate Typographer’s Quotes - so I have no idea what I did wrong or, more importantly, how to fix this.

Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance.

Is this in the main editor area? Only the main editor area supports smart quotes (i.e. you don’t get smart quotes in the notes area). Also, what are your smart quote settings in the Typography area. I know you say they are turned on, but what about underneath that?

What font are you using? (Some fonts don’t have an obvious difference between smart and straight quotes.)

All the best,

Hi Keith,

Thanks for getting back to me.

To answer your questions – yes, I no longer have smart quotes in the main editor area.

My smart quote setting in the Typography area are: Activate typographer’s quotes [tick]. Under this, are the smart quotes for open primary, close primary - all of these are smart quotes. Beneath this, I have ticked the first box [replace double hyphens] and the third and fourth [ellipses and smart symbols]

What font are you using?

I’m writing in Times.

Huh. You should definitely be seeing smart quotes. Okay, first, try resetting your defaults - go to Scrivener > Preferences and click the “Defaults” button.

If that doesn’t help, zip up your project and send it to me at support AT literatureandlatte DOT com so I can take a look. (Try creating a new project first thought to see if smart quotes work in that - that way we will know whether or not it is affecting one project or all.)

All the best,

I have reinstated the default preferences and the smart quotes problem remains. That is, smart quotes only work when Spell Catcher is inactive - so there’s definitely some conflict between the two apps.

I wonder if any other Scrivener users have Spell Catcher …

In the meantime, I’ll email the project file.

Thanks for your help with this, Keith.


Wait, you didn’t mention Spell Catcher before at all. Given that Spell Catcher intercepts typing, that could well be the problem. I’ll have a look at the project tomorrow, but it does help to have all the facts in. :wink:

Sorry, Keith.

I discovered the Spell Catcher issue late last night. I wrote the post and thought I’d submitted it … I must have been more tired than I thought!

My apologies.

Just as a follow-up to this post, and for anyone using SpellCatcher and Scrivener together, it turned out to be a conflict between the two. The solution is to turn off smart quotes for Scrivener in SpellCatcher.
All the best,

In the future if you are in a bind or in a program that you need Typographer’s Quotes you can also get them by using the old archaic and cumbersome method of manual insertion:

you get [size=150]“[/size]

you get [size=150]”[/size]

you get [size=150]‘[/size]

you get [size=150]’[/size]

But usually that is an all else fails I gota have them scenario


For some reason these commands have never worked for me in Scrivener. I have typographer’s quotes turned on in the preferences, but I sometimes need to type ‘ {Option + ]} in the middle of word, and I get only straight quotes. I am also using Spell Catcher, but have turned off smart quotes for Scrivener in Spell Catcher.

While on the subject of Spell Catcher, my one gripe with Scrivener is that it is the only application I use in which Spell Catcher’s interactive spell checking doesn’t work properly, and so I have had to disable it (although the expansion of abbreviations works without any problems). When one has got used to using Spell Catcher’s interactive spell checking, the system spell checker seems so primitive, apart from which it doesn’t appear to remember words that it is supposed to have learnt, and so I have given up trying to teach it.

But I digress. How can I get the keyboard combinations for typographer’s quotes to work in Scrivener?


Those keyboard commands won’t work in Scrivener unless you turn off smart quotes. Or rather, they will do the inverse of what they usually do, which makes sense. If smart quotes are turned on, then you can force a straight quote by using one of the smart quote keyboard shortcuts (because otherwise you always get smart quotes).

As for SpellCatcher, I doubt this is Scrivener’s problem. Scrivener does nothing special with regard to spelling and just uses the standard OS X text system. Unfortunately I’m unwilling to test it, though. The last time I installed SpellCatcher as a trial, I had hell getting rid of it afterwards - I was left with extra commands in my menus, an item in my menu bar, and hidden files on my computer. It was too invasive for my liking, although I understand a lot of people really like it - it’s just that I don’t want to install it again.

All the best,

I can see the logic of that. I suppose I’ve been spoilt by Mellel, where I can have smart quotes turned on in the preferences, while still being able to use the keyboard commands for smart quotes, and use the control key for straight quotes.

As for Spell Catcher, I don’t want to harp on about it, but it works flawlessly in other applications using the standard OS X text engine, such as Pages, TextEdit and Nisus. It’s just a shame that it doesn’t work properly in Scrivener. :frowning: