Insert Smart Quotes

Hi all,
I’m interested in discovering if there is an easy way to insert opening and closing smart quotes at the same time, after I’ve written lines (or paragraphs, etc.) of dialog. I’ve never gotten the hang of quickly typing the quote characters, and find myself constantly fumbling for them. I’d like to be able to write a section of back and forth dialog, then go back and quickly insert the sets of quotes. Any ideas? Thanks in advance for the help, cg.

Are you saying that you’ve never gotten the hang of typing quotation marks in general while you’re writing dialogue, or that you’re not used to typing opt-[ and opt-{ to make typographically correct quotation marks? If it’s the latter, Scrivener automatically replaces ordinary quotes with “smart quotes” – go to Preferences > Typography > “Activate typographer’s quotes”.

I think he means assigning quotes around a paragraph after it’s been written.

No, I’m afraid there is no way of doing that. Such a feature would be of limited use, as it would only work in the particular case you describe - quick back and forth dialogue - and even then, it would only be of use for two or three paragraphs at most at a time, as it would not be able to allow for the “he said”, “she said” attributions etc.

All the best,

Text editors used for programming will sometimes have a “wrap with punctuation” feature that’s constantly on. For example, in TextMate, if you select a paragraph and type a quote mark, rather than replacing the paragraph with a quote mark, it’ll wrap the paragraph in quote marks. Of course, they won’t be typographically “smart” quote marks, but you could always use Scrivener’s “Smarten Quotes” later. TextMate is also cool because it inserts an “Edit in TextMate” item in any Cocoa application’s Edit menu, allowing you to edit Scrivener’s currently open document in TextMate. You do lose any formatting you previously made in the document, though.

But my impression is that the OP wants to batch do the whole lot … I’m with Keith. You’ll risk ending up with the quote marks in masses of wrong places. Or else you’re going to have to mark off each bit individually first, which defeats the automation process.


Maybe type expansion apps like Typinator, TypeIt4Me, TypeExpander and I think Spell Catcher too can do what you want.

From Typinator I know for sure that you could replace a single " by two quotation marks of your choice and automatically move the cursor in between them.

I am really lazy but this didn’t come to my mind ever. First thing is that quotation marks are fast to reach on the keyboard. Second is that this “closing quotation mark is already there” feature would confuse me, especially as I work on other machines where I don’t have it. Third, this only works with double quotations marks. ’ could be a single one or an apostrophe. Since as far as I know none of the expanders handle regular expressions—for: [alphanumerical]’[alphanumerical] is an apostrophe, the rest are mostly not—it wouldn’t work.

If you are not interested in solutions for on the fly but after writing a TextSoap cleaner that wraps selected text in quotation marks might be the right thing for you. You can even set a keyboard shortcut to it so one hand selects with the mouse, the other hits the shortcut.

I think this can also be done with an AppleScript for free.

Thanks for the responses, I figured it was worth a try. Perhaps I should just invest more time in hitting the ‘quote’ keys accurately. Thanks anyway, cg