Smart quotes occasionally not-so-smart?

Just found out that I’m experiencing a problem with smart quotes, in that they don’t always convert to typographically correct quotation marks even though I’ve checked the option in settings.

What I’ve found is this:
If writing in full screen (composition) mode, quotes convert nicely.
If writing in regular mode, they don’t.
However, sometimes (sorry) the second (closing) quote converts nicely even in regular mode, while still refusing to convert the first one on the line. And subsequent ones on the same line, too. It’s all very strange.

I don’t recall having experienced this before, but then again I’m almost constantly writing in composition mode. I’m pretty sure though that it has worked for me in normal mode before, so something seems to have changed.
Any thoughts about this? (The only change to my system that I can think of is that I’m now using Lion — perhaps I haven’t used normal mode since migrating, and this is related to the new OSX?)
Also, my language is Swedish, in case that may interfere one way or the other.

Would love to provide more details, but I don’t really know what else to tell you.



Hi Fredrik,

If you are using Lion, then Scrivener just calls through to OS X to handle the smart quotes replacement - it literally says to OS X, “This editor should use smart quotes”, and then OS X deals with the replacement, there’s not a line of code in Scrivener itself handling it. Lion introduced lots of new auto-replacement code, though, and this seems to be playing havoc with some things, such as spell-checking, for some users, so I wonder if this is down to the same thing (i.e. a Lion bug). What happens if you quit and restart the program? Do things start working again?

One thing we could try is flushing your UI settings. You can do this by going to the File menu and holding down the Option key. The “Close Project” item will change to “Close Project and Clear Interface Settings”. If you choose this and then reopen the project, the project will open in a vanilla state - no data will be lost, but the window size will be back to the default, the binder will be collapsed, and all the View settings will be reset. One user found that doing this cleared a spell-checking problem, so it’s worth a shot.

All the best,

Embarrassing fact: I never tried to restart the program.

Of course you’re right. The oldest trick in the book. And it helped. My only excuse is that closing programs just doesn’t feel the same anymore, with sandboxing and remembering open documents and all. But obviously everything isn’t opened to the exact same state it was before, and in this case that was no doubt for the better… :blush:
I’m guessing my constant just-closing-the-lid, never closing programs and thus never re-starting them either, isn’t the best habit after all. It’s just so convenient I forget there are other ways…

So. As you were. Nothing to see. Move on.

And thanks.

Interesting - this has been clearing the spelling problem for people too (for a while, before it rears its head again). There definitely seems to be an issue somewhere affecting such things; I’m hoping it is just a Lion glitch and not something running amok in Scrivener…

Thanks and all the best,

I’ve also just noticed a problem with smart quotes that might be related.

I’m getting the wrong quotes when I convert a section that ends with an em-dash. For example, if I select:

“Look out for that—”

and do Format > Convert > Quotes to Smart Quotes, I get two open-quotes instead of an open and close quote.

This is on Snow Leopard. I tried clearing the Interface Settings but it had no effect.

This one is just the way the text system works–it always does an open quote after the em-dash. There are ways to get around it when you’re typing–type another letter first, or two quotes or whatever, then go back and delete the first unnecessary character; use Opt-Shift-[ to make a close smart-quote character; or, if you never want an open quote after the em-dash (or at least want it much less often than a close quote) you could set up a substitution for this. In the Navigation tab of Scrivener’s Preferences, make sure that “Symbol and text substitution” is checked, then click the button to open the system text preferences and add a replacement for —“ to become —”. (Opt-[ will give you the open quote character and Opt-Shift-- will create an em-dash.)

If you’re using straight quotes and converting later, you’ll need to use find/replace for this in the editor or set up a replacement for it at compile time.

Thanks, it was a lot harder than it should have been but I was eventually able to set up an autocorrect preference to make the smart quotes happen the way they should.