[LH4406] Bug - Single quote mark facing wrong way after double quote mark

I did a search of old topics, but I can’t figure out if this has been mentioned or not. I only noticed it today, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t pre-existing. Using Beta version 39, 64-bit, Windows 10 Pro.

When I use a single quote immediately after a double quote, the single quote warps as if it is a closing quote. Example:

“‘Tina’, did you say? I heard that name once.”

I seem to be able to fix it by doing double quote, space, single quote, word… and then going back and erasing the space.

Just tested Beta 41; problem persists. If an opening double quote is followed immediately by a single quote, the single quote will be a closing quote.

Just tested Beta 42: Problem persists. The single quote directly after a double quote attempts to “close” the quote.

This probably has to do with the logic being used by the smart quote algorithm to decide which way to type the smart quote. Unfortunately, the logic surrounding it isn’t so great (others have complained about it before). I can’t think of any circumstance where I would want left double quote followed by right single quote… no wait, one could write that as a plural, I suppose, where that could be the case, but otherwise, no instance occurs to me (and that one’s pretty silly).

I would recommend adding a substitution for this, but I tried it and it does not work. I’m not sure why. Other substitutions work just fine.

So, two bugs.

Out of curiosity, I just tried this in Word; same problem. Given that Microsoft have rather more extensive development capabilities than L&L, I’m guessing that fixing this may be a bit more complicated than many of us are assuming.

I’m not testing the beta, but FWIW I’ve long, long noticed this in Scrivener v. 1.x. I generally notice it immediately after a parenthesis, e.g.:

Type that in Scrivener, and you’ll get a close quote after the opening parenthesis, just as with a double quote - single quote sequence. Same thing happens with single quote followed by double quote. So a long-standing bug, and as jje says, also present in Word–although Word does not make the error following a parenthesis. I never noticed this in Word, because I never write anything significant using it. If anyone’s interested, the word processor/research software that I do use (Nota Bene) has never had this problem.

One way I found that seems to fix the problem is to put the single ’ up first and then put the " before it. I’ve tested it a few times and it seems to work.

The problem seems to me that it stems from the idea that the single quote is being taken as part of the double quote.

Yes, that workaround would definitely work. I think rwfranz is right about the problem being in the logic being used by the smart quote algorithm. In the workaround, the single smart quote already exists, and nothing is done about it when the double smart quote is put before it.

Overall, when a quote is typed, single or double, the program checks to see what’s in front of it. If there’s (A) a space, it makes an opening quote; if there’s (B) a letter or punctuation mark, it makes a closing quote. An existing opening quote (or opening parenthesis) is being treated as belonging to category B rather than A. It is a punctuation mark, after all; but it needs to be treated as a kind of null, so that the preceding space would cause an opening quote to appear.

Ok, I could see this not being a Scrivener-specific problem. I can work around it. I’ve been a programmer and a quality engineer before, so I posted it because I figured they’d want to know about it. Thanks guys!

No, I see it as a bug but not one program specific to just Scrivener. It wouldn’t show with smart quotes because they are straight in design. My suspicion is that nobody had thought or considered to differentiate the difference between a single ’ versus a double ". Now auto correct may be playing on that and correcting what it sees as an error. The closing ’ or " works as designed at the end of word or sentence since its at the end.

Just a thought.

It is Scrivener-specific in this form; there’s another form that’s Word-specific. It’s also not just a matter of single ’ vs. double ", since an opening parenthesis has the same effect.

This has been fixed and will be available in the next update.

Ooh, nifty! Thank you so much! Doing some heavy dialogue writing in my novel (don’t worry, I have things backed up three ways to Sunday), and I keep running into it. I appreciate!

Excellent! I encounter it often enough with an opening parenthesis that this alone is almost enough to make me eager for v. 3!