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How to globally change straight double quotes to curly open and close?

Community Beginner ,
Jul 16, 2012 Jul 16, 2012

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I am editing with InDesign (5.5) some documents created by others. I suddenly noticed that the double quote marks were straight, not curly, in one document and Find/Change does not seem to offer and option to distiguish the open (left) double quote mark from the right (close) when starting with double straight quotes. Any suggestions?

And--unrelated--why is so hard to get to a page where you can actually post a question?

Thanks!

Jill

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Community Expert ,
Jul 16, 2012 Jul 16, 2012

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First thing, if you open the file and go to preferences (Edit > Prefernces... on Windows, InDesign > Preferences... on Mac), is the Enable Typographers Quotes  box checked in the Type section?

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 16, 2012 Jul 16, 2012

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That I did figure out from the HElp files--but (unfortunately) it won't change the quote marks already in the file. But, I learned something new!

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Community Expert ,
Mar 21, 2017 Mar 21, 2017

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Find & Replace

Find " and replace all with "

Find ' and replace all with '

It will detect opening and closing quotations automatically.

In German you would have to take care as the closing apostrophe ‘ and the missing letter sign ’ are different and therefore you have to watch all ' replacements by hand.

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Explorer ,
Jul 16, 2012 Jul 16, 2012

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Since the position of a double quotation mark determines its shape, it is easiest to use GREP with Find/Change. You can (1) find a straight quotation mark at the beginning of a word/phrase and change it to left quotation marks, and then (2) find a straight quotation mark at the end of a word/phrase and change it to right quotation marks.

(1)

Find what:

~"([\l\u\)[:punct:]])

This finds a straight quotation mark in front of any character or punctuation.

Change to:

\x{201C}$1

This puts a left quotation marks in front of what was behind the straight quotation mark.

(2)

Find what:

([\l\u\)[:punct:]])~"

This finds a straight quotation mark behind any character or punctuation.

Change to:

$1\x{201D}

This puts a left quotation mark behind what was behind the straight quotation mark.

I would find/change the first hits one at a time, and when you are confident that it works for your documents, go ahead and Change All.

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Community Expert ,
Jul 16, 2012 Jul 16, 2012

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Samar,

While your thinking is sound, the execution probably isn't. The position of close quotations relative to punctuation is hightly dependent on the language conventions as well as the type of words in use. In US English, for example, most style manuals will tell you that periods and commas are always inside the quotes unless you are quoting from a foreign source where the convention is that punctuation goes outside the quotes or you are using a term, such as in a coding manual, where placing the puctuation inside might cause confusion. Other types of puctuation, such as question marks and exclamation points, would normally fall outside the quote, and parentheses, brackets, braces, dashes, etc. might fall either in or out of the quote.

I'd be more inclined to look for whitespace preceding a quote mark, or a quote mark at the beginning of a paragagraph (I think you need two searches to do this) and repalce the quote mark with an open curly quote, then look for other straight quotes and replace with a close curly quote, but Im not sure that's foolproof either.

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 16, 2012 Jul 16, 2012

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Fortunately, I think Samar02's suggestion will work as I am using US English punctuation style. I'll post back if it doesn't work out just for future reference.

Jill

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Community Expert ,
Jul 16, 2012 Jul 16, 2012

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It is going to find the end quote mark in front of a question mark, among other things, and change it to an open quote on that first query.

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Community Expert ,
Jul 16, 2012 Jul 16, 2012

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It may be even simpler. If you change your preferences to Typographers quotes, and then to a regular change from " to ", (straight quote to straight quote) the new marks will be placed as correct typographers’ quotes. (Of course, if you have used any of these for inch and foot marks, you will have to go back a change the preference to fix them.)

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 22, 2012 Jul 22, 2012

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SRiegel;;

I didn't try that yet, but I saved the tip for future reference. Thank you.

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 16, 2012 Jul 16, 2012

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Samar02--

Perfect. I had tried using an "any character" wildcard, but that didn't work at all. I knew I needed to distinquish left and right (and possibly use GREP to do it), but I didn't know how to construct the pattern.

Thanks so much for the detailed information--I'm off to put it to the test. You guys are the best!

Jill

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Explorer ,
Jul 16, 2012 Jul 16, 2012

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This will probably be better:

(1)

Find what:

~"([\w]([[:punct:]])?)

This finds a straight quotation mark in front of any letter or digit that may be followed by a punctuation character.

Change to:

\x{201C}$1

This puts a left quotation marks in front of what was behind the straight quotation mark.

(2)

Find what:

([\w]([[:punct:]])?)~"

This finds a straight quotation mark behind any letter or digit that may be followed by a punctuation character.

Change to:

$1\x{201D}

This puts a left quotation mark behind what was behind the straight quotation mark.

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 22, 2012 Jul 22, 2012

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Samar02--I will save this, too. It is ture that when I tried the first patterns, any quote mark in front of a close parens (for example) did not want to be a close quote. So, I did do Find Next and then Change each time--still it worked pretty well and I know what to do next time. Thanks.

Sorry it took so long to respond--I was away form my computer for a few days. Thank you.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 28, 2013 Dec 28, 2013

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WAIT, I found an infintely easier solution.

With Edit/preferences/Type set to turn on typographer's quotes, using GREP, put this same string in both the find and change fields, then do a change all:

\x{22}

It works, and super-quickly.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 29, 2013 Dec 29, 2013

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That's what was suggested in above in post #8, but you've used the unicode value rather than typing the metacharacter or pasting the quote mark.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 29, 2013 Dec 29, 2013

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Yes, I used that earlier suggestion, but two things: 1. This doesn't require changing preferences (assuming one has it set to smartquotes), 2. using the unicode in GREP finds only straight quotes, not curly ones as using the literal symbols does. I'm working with a 410 page book, and doing the literal (per post #8) took about 15 seconds, as every single quote, straight and curly, was found and replaced. Using the GREP search for the unicode took under 1 second.

Incidentally, it turns out that you don't need "0022" just "22".

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Participant ,
Mar 02, 2016 Mar 02, 2016

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And now here it is 2016, and you've just saved me HOURS AND HOURS of work!! Can't thank you enough, HB.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 21, 2017 Mar 21, 2017

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Awesome tip HB. Works a charm.

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Explorer ,
Nov 15, 2022 Nov 15, 2022

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LATEST

@HBinswanger THIS worked!! Wow. GREP \x{22} in both find and replace boxes found/replaced all my straight quotes with typographers' (curly/smart) quotes and got the direction correct (magically knew if it was beginning or end quote)! It caught 32 not previously found using the one from samar02. This is by far the qickest solution.

 

*The advantage to samar02 GREP code and Replace All, you are finding the start quotes first, then the end quotes, so you can tell if you missed typing any quotation marks ...

Example: after replace all, it pops up "replaced 22" start quotes and then on the second run "replaced 25" end quotes...you know you're missing 3 start quotes. 

Great job ALL on this discussion...really helped my workflow enormously!! Thank you!

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Explorer ,
Nov 14, 2022 Nov 14, 2022

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@samar02 You just saved me at least 40 hours of work. THANK you so much for taking the time to post this. I have searched for solutions and this is the first one to work. I haven't tried @HBinswanger solution below, but THIS one was a GODsend!!! Thank you thank you thank you infinity. I did your GREP F/R for "all documents" in my 44 chapter book and not ONLY did it work perfectly, it showed me several places I'd missed an end quote!! So, all the props. 100% LIKE.

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New Here ,
Sep 03, 2020 Sep 03, 2020

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You are an angel. This was so incredibly helpful!

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