Globally replacing straight quotes with smart quotes?

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joredor
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Globally replacing straight quotes with smart quotes?

Post by joredor » Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:13 pm

I frequently receive documents from writers who did not enable "smart quotes," the result being that the files arrive with straight quotes.

In MS Word, fixing this is a simple matter of entering the quote character (' or ") in the Search box and again in the Replace box, then hitting the "Replace All" button: all the indicated quotation marks will then automatically change to the desired format.

But trying the same operation in TextMaker doesn't change the straight quotation marks -- it "replaces" them with new straight quotes. Is there any way to automate this function in TextMaker? I have a manuscript that, in Word, it took me less than a minute to globally search-and-replace more than 350 straight quotes into smart quotes; whereas in TextMaker it looks like this would be a laborious chore.

I am aware that in TextMaker you can type straight quotes and have them come out on the screen as smart quotes, but this is not what I'm trying to do here: I'm trying to change straight quotes that already exist in the file. Is there any automated way to change them into smart quotes?

Thanks for any tips.

Jossi
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Re: Globally replacing straight quotes with smart quotes?

Post by Jossi » Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:22 pm

Not quite as simple as in Word, I'm afraid. There's some manual work involved. When I have to change existing straight quotes into smart ones, I proceed as follows:
1. At the beginning of the document, I type two quotes and get an opening and a closing typographical quote (supposed that "Smart Quotes" is selected in Tools > Options...).
2. I cut the opening quote (Ctrl+X), invoke Edit > Replace... and type a blank and a quote into the search field (in the Search and Replace dialogue, a quote always comes out straight, regardless of what you chose in Tools > Options...).
3. In the "Replace" field, I type a blank and paste the opening quote (Ctrl+V), then click "Replace all".
4. If there are also paragraphs starting with quotes in the document, I invoke Edit > Replace... again, exchange the blanks in the Search and Replace fields for paragraph breaks (available via the "Special" button) and repeat the "Replace all" action.
5. Finally, I cut the closing quote I typed at the beginning of the document, paste it into the Replace field (without any additional characters) and type only a quote into the Search field, then click "Replace all" again.

To get correct results from the "Replace all" actions, make sure that "Search from top" and "Search all frames" are checked in the Search and Replace dialogue box. For additonal security, you may want to set the cursor at the beginning of the document before you start "Replace all".

joredor
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Re: Globally replacing straight quotes with smart quotes?

Post by joredor » Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:14 am

Those are great tips, thank you. And they worked!

Still, as you said, the operation is not as simple as in Word. Not nearly.

Maybe the powers-that-be who read the forum will take the subject of this thread as a "feature request." :)

sven-l
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Re: Globally replacing straight quotes with smart quotes?

Post by sven-l » Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:01 am

joredor wrote:Those are great tips, thank you. And they worked!

Still, as you said, the operation is not as simple as in Word. Not nearly.

Maybe the powers-that-be who read the forum will take the subject of this thread as a "feature request." :)
I will refer this as a Feature Request to our developers.
Sven Leßmann
SoftMaker Software GmbH

joredor
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Joined: Thu May 25, 2017 1:50 am

Re: Globally replacing straight quotes with smart quotes?

Post by joredor » Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:30 pm

Wonderful, thanks! :thumbsup:

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