Quotation Marks Not Printing Properly?


I have have readers write to me in the past because when they print their document, they notice that the quotation marks are not printing properly even though they look fine on the screen.

There could be a couple of causes of this behavior.  To better understand those causes, it can be helpful to know how Word handles the quotation marks in your documents.

When you enter quotation marks in your document, they can be any one of three different characters:

The regular quotation mark has a character code of 34.

If you have Smart Quotes turned on in Word, your quotation marks could use character codes of 147 and 148, depending on whether it is the opening or closing quotation mark.

If your quotations marks are not printing properly, it is usually because the font being used does not have symbols associated with character codes 147 and 148.


Suppose for instance, you are using the Courier font which does not have characters for these codes. When you look at your document on your screen, Word will substitute a screen font that will display the opening and closing quotation marks properly. But, when your document is printed, your printer font (Courier) does not have them, so it either omits them or substitutes a different symbol for the characters.

You can change to a different font for your document to rectify this situation, such as Courier New, which has the proper quotation mark characters, but if you do not want to do that, you can use the solution below:

Turn off Smart Quotes.

Follow the steps below to learn how:

  1. Click the Office button and Word Options to display the dialog box.
  2. Click Proofing on the left-hand side of the dialog box.
  3. Click AutoCorrect Options to display the dialog box.
  4. Be certain the AutoFormat As You Type tab is displayed.
  5. Make sure the Straight Quotes with Smart Quotes option is deselected.
  6. Click OK.
About the Author

Carol Bratt

Carol holds A+, MCP, and MOS computer certifications and is the resident DCT Office expert. She trains the staffs of small law firms in the use of Microsoft Office applications and has authored many books covering Microsoft Office as well as written articles for Infopackets, TechnoLawyer, and Digital Harbor. For more Microsoft Office tips visit Carol's Corner Office or follow Carol on FaceBook and Twitter.

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