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How to replace typewriter (straight) apostrophe with typographic (curly) apostrophe?

1832 Views 18 Replies Latest reply: Jun 3, 2012 7:35 PM by Barry RSS
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HandyMac Level 2 Level 2 (415 points)
Currently Being Moderated
May 28, 2012 6:23 PM

I have a manuscript I got off the Internet that has a bunch of isn?t's and wasn?t's and the like—due, I assume, to some miscommunication between MS Word's automatic curly quotes and the ASCII limits of ISO Latin 1. I tried doing a find-and-replace to put typographic apostrophes in place of the question marks. Pages found the question marks and put typewriter apostrophes in place of them, though I'd carefully entered a typographical apostrophe ((opt-shift-]) in the Replace field. So I tried again, to replace the typewriter apostrophes with typographical apostrophes. Pages now replaced the few typographical apostrophes I'd manually entered with typewriter apostrophes. Well, at least it's consistent. So far as Pages, Apple's flagship word-processing/page-layout app is concerned, there's apparently no such thing as a typographical apostrophe—something that was understood, as I recall, by the original MacWrite 25 years ago. So do I have to go back to doing all my editing in TextEdit (which seems to be much better at text work than Pages), or can somebody tell me how to persuade Pages to take care of this trifling little task correctly?

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.8), 2.4GHz (2010), 4GB RAM, 320GB HD
  • PeterBreis0807 Level 7 Level 7 (27,450 points)

    I have run a test on exactly the same expressions that you list.


    I replaced one copy in the text with the curly apostrophe and copied that as the replacement text in the Find and Replace and it worked perfectly.


    Try the copy and paste method as it always is exactly what you want to find and replace.


    Sometimes there can be another formatting unlying the actual text. eg Capitalised text retains its lower case original.



  • Jeff Shenk Level 4 Level 4 (2,015 points)

    I, like Peter, thought copy and paste might be more accurate than typing into the Find and Replace fields, but I got the same results you did. (I am also using 10.6.8).


    Then I reset my Preference to Use Smart Quotes (my default, but I had switched it off to create the sample text with straight apostrophes) and just typed a regular (typewriter) apostrophe into the replace field. When I ran replace, I had the curly apostrophes. Might work for you.

  • Tom Gewecke Level 9 Level 9 (70,915 points)

    HandyMac wrote:


    So far as Pages, Apple's flagship word-processing/page-layout app is concerned, there's apparently no such thing as a typographical apostrophe


    Pages > Preferences > Autocorrection > Use Smart Quotes

  • PeterBreis0807 Level 7 Level 7 (27,450 points)

    Can't see what needs fixing.



  • Jerrold Green1 Level 7 Level 7 (28,270 points)



    Allow me to condense what was suggested above.


    In Preferences, turn on Smart Quotes.


    Type an apostrophe (it will be a curly one) (You may now turn off the option if you wish.)


    Copy the curly apostrophe you just created and paste it into the Replace field.


    Now do the Find and Replace.

  • Peggy Level 8 Level 8 (38,085 points)

    Changing from straight to curly quotes or vice versa is one of the things I use Devon Technologies WordService for.



  • Barry Level 7 Level 7 (29,095 points)

    Here's another short set of steps to the result you want.


    • In Pages Preferences > Auto correction: Check the box beside Use Smart Quotes.
    • In the document: Select and Copy one instance of the double quote character.
    • Press command-F to open Find/Replace. Paste (the character will be pasted into the Find box)
    • Press tab to ove to the Replace box. TYPE a 'typewriter' double quote (not a curly quote).
    • Click Replace all.
      Result after this pass:
      Picture 14.png
    • Select one instance of the ? character. Copy.
    • Press command-F. Paste.
    • Press tab. TYPE a (typewriter) single quote (apostrophe).
    • Click replace All.

      Picture 15.png

    Results enlarged to show curly quotes. All example in the sample were successfully changed in this two pass process.




  • PeterBreis0807 Level 7 Level 7 (27,450 points)

    I'm not going to go into every possible permutation but I can replace the question mark with a curly apostrophe.


    I can replace straight ' (foot mark) with a curly quote.


    I have not altered one thing in my settings.


    It is a matter of finding the exact instances you want replaced and matching those.



  • Jeff Shenk Level 4 Level 4 (2,015 points)



    On my system it isn't quite that simple.

    As far as I can tell, if I put either a straight or a curly quote in the find field (by copy and paste, or by typing it), it finds all instances of either.

    If I put either a straight or a curly quote in the replace field, I get whichever style the preference is set to use. That is, if the preference to use smart quotes is checked, I get a curly quote, even if I entered a straight quote in the replace field, and if the preference is unchecked, I get a straight quote, even if I have a curly quote in the replace field. It does seem entirely consistent, so it is no problem to get find and replace to insert curly quotes, if that is what I want.

    In all these situations, find and replace ignores the prime ′ (or foot mark).

  • Peggy Level 8 Level 8 (38,085 points)

    That ′ is not a straight quote or foot mark. I usually only see that in text that started out in some application in Windows, usually Word.


    This may be a dumb question, but is all of the text in the same font? These characters can look very different in some fonts.



  • Jeff Shenk Level 4 Level 4 (2,015 points)

    Actually, Peggy, that is the correct typographic symbol for feet or minutes; I assumed that that was what "foot mark" meant. I did not (at least knowingly) use a different font, I just used the Character Viewer to enter a prime symbol in the default forum font. I am not aware of any key combination to type this directly.


    Robert Bringhurst, in The Elements of Typographic Style, defines the prime as "An abbreviation for feet (1′ = 12″) and for minutes of arc (60′ = 1°). Single and double primes should not be confused with apostrophes, dumb quotes or genuine quotation marks, …"


    To continue further off topic, I recommend that book as an interesting read for anyone interested in fonts and better typography.

  • Peggy Level 8 Level 8 (38,085 points)

    Well, it certainly is not a straight quote which is what I thought was the topic of this thread. I'll leave you to your "The Elements of Typographic Style" & won't bother you again.

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