Quotation marks

I do appreciate the Format > Convert > Quotes to Smart or Straight Quotes, but some in some countries there are very odd rules.
French and Italian seem to preder the Guillemets (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guillemet).

So far I do my smart quotes to guillemets convertions manually with “Find and Replace”, and it has to be done in two steps, one for the opening and one for the closings quotation marks. So I was wondering if Scrivener could incorporate a menu choice like:
Format > Convert > Quotes to Guillemets

Thank you for your attention,

Beppe, this should already be possible, but it’s system-wide not Scrivener-specific. Go to System Preferences > Keyboard and choose the Text pane. Below “Spelling” you’ll see ‘Use smart quotes and dashes’. There you can change which glyphs are used for double quotes and single quotes … click on the blue drop-down menu button.

Of course, if your system language is not English, these things will all have different names, but otherwise they should be the same.

HTH :slight_smile:



  1. I’m presuming you’re having to do the conversion for selected documents so need something that’s not system-wide: if you’re not, then Mark’s method is a lot simpler!

  2. I’ve just tried these methods out as an experiment and they seem to work BUT there may be cases where they don’t, so you’ll want to test them carefully!


  1. Doing the replacement of “ ” by « » in one pass.

In the Find box, use the drop-down Find In option Regular Expression (Regex)
In the Find field enter: “(.*?)” (those are smart quotes)
In the Replace field enter: « $1 » (note the spaces)

Screen Shot 2016-10-25 at 17.02.20.png

Then find and replace in the normal way. This should do your two pass F&R in one go. (The text between the smart quotes basically means “take every character between the first smart quote and the next one and dump it into a variable $1 so that you can use it in the Replace field…”)

  1. You can use the ‘Replacements’ feature in Compile to do change the “smart quotes” into « guillemots » when you’re ready to publish – takes a bit of setting up, but it seems to work ok.

Screen Shot 2016-10-25 at 16.39.45.png


  1. You can’t add the “ ” in directly (in either method) – you’ll have to cut and paste them I think.
  2. I’ve added a space after « and before » — I think that’s right for French, not sure about Italian!
  3. Not tried converting from single quotes as that runs into the apostrophe clash (though I’m sure it can be done with regex…)
  4. Method 2 will only work across a complete project, so if you want to combine English and Italian in one compilation, sorry…

Not sure if this will help, as you’ll have to wait until compilation before the change happens, but it’s something to experiment with in the meantime.

Thank you for your replies.

Actually I use the standard English marks, but sometimes I need the same document with the French ones, so I use the find/replace command to do it. My idea was to have a find/replace command that could do two sessions of find and replace, one for the opening and one for the closing marks, in just one sweep.

The regular expression works well for this problem, I didn’t even know it was there, thanks!