As technical guy, I do hate the markup support in Notes.app and I would prefer to be just a smart text one.

Here is my wishlist:

  • Use a different font, like a fixed width one
  • Drop any font/color/size on text paste
  • Prevent replacing quotes with smart-quotes/curly-quotes (I like this while typing an email but not here where I copy/paste even code!)

I suspect that some of these could be obtained using some hidden preferences options. Anyway, if you know other 3rd party applications that could replace Notes, let me know. Still I do not want to lose the ability to access notes from iOS!

  • 1
    what OS? Yosemite does all that.
    – Tetsujin
    Jan 22, 2015 at 12:52

2 Answers 2



Notes.app in OS X 10.10 can do all you request:

  • Font colour, size, and family can be set through the Format menu.
  • Substitutions and smart quote behaviour are managed through the Edit > Substitutions sub-menu.

Screen shot of Notes.app in OS X 10.10

Beyond Notes: Text Wrangler

If you need more than Notes.app offers, try Text Wrangler or the capable free version of BBEdit from Bare Bones.

  • 2
    I finally find the way to stop Notes in macOS from having weird quote and double quotes by disabling the Smart Quotes in Edit -> Substitutions, thanks
    – V-SHY
    Jan 9, 2020 at 14:21
  • The only problem is when you copy and paste in text (and invariably don't remember to use "match style" or it's keyboard equivalent). I still sometimes find myself resorting to TextEdit for that reason... Mar 1, 2021 at 1:12
  • Is it possible to convert existing text in notes with substitutions back to not use any substitutions anymore?
    – asmaier
    Jun 7 at 14:11
  • @asmaier please can you ask a new question. A new question will attract more attention – and hopefully answers – than a comment. Jun 7 at 14:49
  • 1
    Oh thank god I found this!
    – Jono
    Aug 2 at 14:43

BigSur Notes Application still offers this. However a more permanent solution is to go into preferences -> keyboard -> text

On the right side you can uncheck "use smart quotes and dashes"

Now the notes application will use plain text "straight" quotes

uncheck it

  • 1
    Won't this affect other apps for which the OP may want to have the use of smart quotes and dashes? If so, this is a rather heavy-handed remedy not germane specifically to the Notes app.
    – IconDaemon
    Mar 1, 2021 at 1:29
  • If concerned about this you can also leave smart quotes on, but instead select straight quotes as the last option. Jan 24, 2022 at 13:46

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .