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I love smart quotes in macOS, but for those few times where I really need a straight quote (when manually typing links, for example), I can’t find a quick keyboard shortcut to insist on the straight ones.

Is this possible with a simple keyboard shortcut?

Update: The most effective way seems to be creating a custom keyboard shortcut for turning off/on Smart Quotes in individual applications (Edit > Substitutions in supported applications) for those few times I do need a straight quote.

3 Answers 3

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I added " and ' as replacements for something, then the replaced quotes were not converted to smart quotes in a few quick experiments. For example, setting "" and '' to be replaced by " and ' respectively:

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Typing ""foo"" ''bar'' resulted in "foo" 'bar' with normal quotes. As shortcuts go, just double tapping the button instead of single tapping makes for a convenient shortcut.

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  • That’s a good way to do it! For some reason, this method does not work for single quotes for me, only for the double ones. I have no idea why. But since I’m mostly only interested in the double quotes, I’m happy :)
    – Simon
    Nov 21, 2017 at 9:45
  • Update: It seems like this method produced straight quotes that breaks in at least one use case. Manually typing a link before posting it on a post on dribbble.com removes the link altogether, while turning off Smart Quotes and doing the same thing works just fine. I have no idea as to why this happens. I’ve found a new solution though, see the update in the question.
    – Simon
    Nov 21, 2017 at 12:10
  • This appears to no longer work, at least as of macOS Catalina. It also does not work on iPadOS—if you have smart quotes set, the transformation happens after the substitution.
    – Trey
    Feb 19, 2020 at 22:15
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In some Mac applications e.g. Pages, you can do this with Ctrl+quote or Ctrl+Shift+quote (for a double quote). Unfortunately this doesn't seem to work in Microsoft Word for Mac.

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If the software you're using has auto-changed your straight quote to a smart quote, you can also just use the universal Command Z 'Undo' keyboard shortcut to change the smart quote back to a straight quote.

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  • Command-Z is “Undo”, whete does it convert quotes?
    – Allan
    Jan 11, 2023 at 22:17
  • @Allan I assume what they mean is that if you've typed a straight quote and the application you're using (e.g. MS Word) changes it to a smart quote, then using the Command-Z shortcut will just undo it, and therefore return it to a straight quote. Matt, assuming this is the case, perhaps you could add that to provide some context and improve your answer.
    – Monomeeth
    Jan 11, 2023 at 22:23
  • @Monomeeth, that may be the case, but another user looking to manually change (existing) one quote type to another will be thoroughly confused by this answer.
    – Allan
    Jan 12, 2023 at 1:17
  • @Allan Yes, it really needs some extra context to be useful. I'll keep an eye on it to see if Matt returns to improve their answer. If not I'll edit it to convey what I assume they're trying to say.
    – Monomeeth
    Jan 12, 2023 at 3:31

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