Welcome to Type Tuesday.

Straight or curly? Today we are talking about the use of straight quotes or curly quotes as used in typography.

Straight quotes or dumb quotes

Straight quotes are straight and vertical. Whether used as a single or double, they often indicate feet and inches and should never appear in documents unless they refer to these measurement units. Moreover, proper typography never uses this type of quote mark, and according to Typewolf, they are left over from the age of typewriters. When the typewriter was designed, the curly shape took up too much space, so instead, the quote marks were made straight.

Curly quotes or smart quotes

Curly quotes (also known as smart quotes) are often the typographers’ preferred mark of choice and are the ideal form of quotation marks and apostrophes. They are curved and will never point straight down unless part of the typeface design. Smart quotes make the text more legible on a page, creating more space, matching the other characters better, and, in fact, traditional printing still uses these quote marks.

How to turn smart quotes on

In writing this blog, I found that my curly quotes were already turned on, but if your PC or Mac is set to straight quotes, here are some instructions to turn them on.

In Word

  1. File
  2. Options
  3. Proofing
  4. AutoCorrect Options
  5. AutoFormat As You Type – check or uncheck the box ‘Straight Quotes with Smart Quotes.’

In Mac OS Word

  1. Word
  2. Preferences
  3. AutoCorrect
  4. AutoFormat As You Type – check or uncheck the box ‘Straight Quotation Marks with Smart Quotation Marks.’

In Adobe InDesign

  1. Preferences
  2. Type
  3. Check the box – ‘Use typographers quotes.’

So, now you know what to do. Are you going to change your straight quotes to curly ones?! 

More on branding & design.

We don’t whisper your story. We Scream Blue Murder.

A design and marketing communications agency.