Digital Marketing

Smart Microsoft Word Quotes and Internet Article Writers Don’t Mix

By default, Microsoft Word automatically changes straight quotes (‘or “) to smart quotes (smart or typographic) as you type. This is fine if you are only creating your jobs for applications that are not related to article marketing. When you convert smart quotes to HTML, the quotes are converted to non-standard characters that end up littering your document with question marks and / or other junk code.

When in doubt, don’t allow your Ezine articles to contain smart quotes:

Most articles that get published in article syndication eventually end up being sent to an email newsletter audience. Email newsletter servers have almost zero tolerance for MS Word smart quotes; they will not recognize them as valid ASCII characters (because they are not valid). They are figments of the imagination of Microsoft ASCII. In most cases, they will appear as junk code; therefore, you and your article look like a true newbie lacking the proper formatting skills.

At risk are: quotation marks, apostrophes, double hyphens and 3 periods in a row.

Here’s what smart quotes look like when displayed correctly:

smart quotes are not very smart

This is what STANDARD quotes look like when displayed correctly:

the “smart quotes” are not very smart …

This is what smart quotes look like when they are NOT displayed correctly:

“Smart dates” aren’t very smart …

Do you see the negative potential of leaving smart quotes on the articles you distribute? Standard citations use the lowest common denominator in the world of ASCII character standards and this ensures that your articles will look great in any HTML or TEXT format.

How to disable Microsoft Words smart quotes:

1. On the Tools menu, click AutoCorrect Options then click the AutoFormat tab as you type.

2. Under Replace as you type, select or clear the “Straight quotes” with “smart quotes” check box.

Alternatively, you can copy your entire MS Word document into a non-Microsoft text editor (EditPlus, UltraEdit, TextPad, etc.) and perform a simple search and replace. Find and replace smart quotes with standard quotes, apostrophes, hyphens, and periods, if applicable.

Caution for authors who use HTML code for their articles in MS Word:

Unless you have smart quotes disabled, it should be noted that smart quotes are not valid HTML code. So, don’t even consider using MS Word to make HTML code unless you have the smart quotes feature turned off.

Article Marketing Smart Quotes Conclusion

Smart quotes are best left for e-books, physical printed books, PDF documents, and any non-HTML-related documents. If you want to increase the portability of your EzineArticles, do the smart thing and disable Microsoft Words smart quotes or do a search / replace before uploading your next article to the web.

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