Quotation ending with dash produces left curly quote


I’m using Scriv 3.1.5 for Mac OS Catalina on my iMac.

I’m writing dialogue for fiction. When I end a quote with a dash (to indicate that the speaker has been cut off), Scriv makes this last quote a left curly quote. So, I type something like:

“Well, I was–”

And the second quote mark is the same as the first (left). This seems to be the case whether I use single or double quotes, hyphens, en dash, or em dash.

I’m not sure if this is a bug or just a setting I’m not aware of, but I can’t find the answer.

I’ve got another bug, but I’ll report that separately.



Here are some previous threads that may be of assistance:

Thanks for this. I apologise that I hadn’t noticed that there was already so much discussion on this.

However, there appears to be no standard solution. I appreciate that this may be a Mac OS problem, and also that there may be occasions when you WANT an em-dash to be followed by an open/left quote. What I don’t understand is why the program/system doesn’t automatically recognise that there is or isn’t an open quote. If I write

“Look, all I’m saying is”–she pulled a face–"I don’t like it."

then the third quote obviously needs to be open/left, because it comes after the last quote was closed. Similarly, if I write

"Look out! It’s going to–"

then it’s obvious that the second quote needs to be a closing quote, as it closes the previous open quote. So, I don’t really understand why there’s a problem with this, or what to do about it.

I think the best solution is to type them in yourself, which is really easy to do on a Mac. It probably differs per keyboard layout, but on English, it is ⌥[ for open and ⇧⌥[ for close.

Automation is only so useful so long as it works, and without a comprehensive understanding of tricky grammar and usage, it’s not always going to work.

If you type then in using those shortcuts, will they definitely not revert at some future point. Will the changes stick?

I should think not, as the system generally only changes the text you’ve just keyed in, not text that exists anywhere else in the document. The latter policy would lead to mayhem, with text changing off-screen and so forth. There is a good reason to constrain the automated modification of text to the cursor point.

Ok. Thank you once again. I’ve made those changes using the shortcuts, so I’ll see if they stick! Up until now, I’ve been simply typing two sets of quotes, and then deleting the one I don’t need, but that hasn’t work (the changes seem to revert).
Anyway, I’ll no doubt be back in touch if it doesn’t resolve.