MS Word typographical inverted commas rant/Probleme mit typographischen Anführungszeichen in MS Word

Probleme beim Übersetzen in eine andere Sprache als die der Word-Version.

I use German Windows XP Pro and German Word for Windows 2002. I get a German file marked as German language from a client. The inverted commas are German


How do I get English inverted commas? I can get them if I change them one by one, but not with search and replace.

One thing I might try: first, automatically change all inverted commas to non-typographical:

Mark the text as English language. Then set the AutoFormat options to change non-typographical inverted commas to typographical inverted commas, and to do it on the fly.

Then automatically, with search and replace, replace ” with “.

This only works in the English version of Word. In the German version, although the language has been set to English and the inverted commas stripped of their typographical quality, it seems they still remember what they once were.

I can confirm this because I tried it on an English version of Word and Windows and it worked. And a German colleague in Britain has the problem in reverse.

Someone else said there are differences in Word between the American, British and Australian versions going beyond what you would expect.

Dominik Kreuzer has some macros.
Note also his glossary of Translation and interpreting vocabulary.

5 thoughts on “MS Word typographical inverted commas rant/Probleme mit typographischen Anführungszeichen in MS Word

  1. You should be able to do search and replace using the character codes. Search for ^0147 (“) and replace with ^0132 („) and then search for ^0148 (”) and replace with ^0147 (“).

  2. Iwan, yes, that’s the one thing that would work, but when I come out of Transit, at least at the moment I have also got straight quotes there, so it’s a bit of a procedure. Still, a macro would do it – and Dominik Kreuzer’s macro did it for me (or maybe it was a slightly different version supplied by someone else):

  3. Margaret, I don’t know how TM software affects all this, but as for Word (2003 and maybe others), the smart quotes follow the language definition of the paragraph. If you have one paragraph defined as US-English and the next one as German, you get “” smart quotes in the first paragraph and „“ in the second.

  4. Michael: I have defined the whole document as English before I search and replace. As I said, the behaviour is different on English Word and German Word. Are you working into German on US Word and you don’t have this problem?

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