Two quote marks one next to the other


A weird and VERY annoying thing happens when I import files from Word 2010.

The text in the Editor contains random “double quote marks” (see capture.)

Using Convert (either to straight or curly quotes) corrects the problem but ONLY in parts of the document.

I need to scan the paragraphs, find where the problem still exists, select the paragraph and use Convert which corrects the problem for this particular paragraph.

And on and on.

This is not only tedious, it can also be inaccurate. I am working on a 23,000 word manuscript and I find this extremely time consuming. Imagine what will happen with longer work.

Any ideas will be appreciated.

I have a theory - I suspect that the quotes you’re pasting from Word are different than the quotes Scrivener uses. So, while they may be visually indistinguishable to you, they’re technically uniquely different symbols, so Scrivener tries to close it’s quotes with the matching character it uses, which might not be the same one Word used. So essentially, Scrivener doesn’t recognize the Word quotes as quotes, because they’re not the same quotes.

This is just a theory, and I haven’t confirmed this between Scrivener and Word (which I’ve had the pleasure of not using for over a decade, but which fuels my company’s help desk ticket revenue stream quite nicely due to issues such as this). But, it’s been an issue I’ve dealt with on countless occasions with numerous other scenarios, so it seems a plausible explanation. And I’m no spokesperson for L&L, but as a software developer very sympathetic to the headaches these issues cause, I’ll just add that it’s not technically a “bug”, since there are cases where you don’t want one treated like the other. But it can be very frustrating at times! Perhaps a feature to “normalize punctuation” would help with this, since that preserves the ability to use special instances of these characters, but also allows you to just “make it normal”.

If that is indeed the issue, you may run into issues with hyphens/dashes/minus signs (there are no less than 6 variations of this symbol that programs like Word often replace a normal keyboard-entered dash with, and all are often visually indistinguishable in many fonts), as well as apostrophes/single quotes/grave/prime/reverse-prime marks. And don’t even get me started on the more than 16 different “space” characters!

Your theory sounds quite plausible. I also run into problems with dashes. The weird thing is that the problem was not there when I first started using Scrivener in July 2015. What transpired between then and now is a mystery. Thank you though for contributing to community wisdom and, perhaps, the good folks at L&L may have some ideas on this, too.

This is to do with the syntax and conversion on import. Using the Microsoft Office converters should work better. You can set that by going to the Import/Export tab of Tools > Options and clicking “Import Converters…”, then select “DOC” from the dropdown menu on the left and choose “Microsoft Office” from the converter options on the right. Do the same for “DOCX”.

That should prevent the double-quote quirk on future Word imports.

Many thanks. I will re-import with the fix you suggest.