Quote marks confused

In Word, sometimes when i type a quote mark ( " ) at the beginning or end of a word/phrase, nothing happens.
If I try again, two quote marks appear ""Jolly Roger If I then delete one, one remains. "Jolly Roger
A pretty slow way to get work done. This can happen even when i have typed a quote mark at the beginning of the phrase and go to the end of the phrase and have to go through the same ritual again.

The other weird thing: if I type the quote mark at the beginning of the word and nothing happens, then go to the end and type a quote mark, two appear at the end!
As Jolly Roger""

Computers are strange…
Any takers, please?

XP Pro word 2003

Maybe something to do with your preferences? I’ve not see this before, but sounds like something worth checking.

That’s kinda weird. Try closing the program and open it again and see if this will happen again.

Thank you
Not solved in Preferences and not fixed by opening and closing programs.
Only happens some of the time but problem still persists. :[

What did you try? I basically turn off everything in Word, as I’m happy to type in ye olde way, fixing my own mistakes as I go. Automated functions in programs tend to suck, IMHO. Like when I’m typing a text message and something I didn’t type or want replaces what I did type and want. Grrr.

It has to be some kind of setting. It has to do with accented letters, like è é ò etc.
I have them on my keyboard, but for those that don’t Word has this feature. You type single quote and a letter, and if an accented version of that letter exists, it shows. Otherwise you’ll see the single quote and the letter.

For example, ’ and e would give é
’ and s would give 's

No idea where to find that setting though

Yeah that’s when you hold down alt and type a certain number and it types for instance e with the accent.
My problem is an intermittent one that happens exactly as I described it. : o )

It’s not only when you hold down alt and type a certain number. It happens also as I described it, and as you described it too.

I googled a bit and found this: http://www.studyspanish.com/accents/typing.htm
It talks about using the alt key, and also about what is happening to you. It’s not a Word setting as I thought, but a system configuration setting. And it explains how to set your keyboard to do that. It doesn’t explain how to get rid of it I’m afraid.

To get the double quotes, you have to do this (substitute ‘single apostrophe’ with ‘double quotes’):

To type the single apostrophe now, you must strike the single apostrophe key and then strike the space bar. When you strike the spacebar, the apostrophe will appear.

Thanks a lot. What is weird - it only does it sometimes and no other keys are affected.

i still get this
it comes and goes
seems like nobody knows…

Anyone?? : o )

Does it matter what you type before you type the first doublequote? Sounds like you might be hitting a prefix key.

Do you have any program on your PC that allows you to change they keyboard or create your own application specific (Word) shortcuts?

no, it can happen at any time : o (

Install OpenOffice. It’s free. See if it happens with OpenOffice Writer.

I still get this problem sometimes after all this time…
Anyone know?

Did you try installing OpenOffice?

What have you done during the year to try to find out what is causing the problem?

Open Office is doing the same: its a keyboard matter!

My experience is the following on Windows XP, keyboard US (international)

The single quote can be used to get an accent, therefore the single quote is not immediately appearing on your screen, but gets a delay and is remembered by the Operating System. - It depends on the following key what will happen:

  1. The following key is a letter which can have a forward accent, like an e or an a. Then pressing the letter will give the accent letter: typing and after that the e will give the é
  2. The following key is a letter which cannot have a forward accent, like the r or the s. Then pressing the letter is giving back the remembered quote and the letter: typing and after than the r is giving: 'r
  3. The following key is a sign which cannot have a forward accent, like the same ’ quote mark. The pressing the second time on the ’ will give two single ’ signs: ‘’
  4. The following key is the space bar. Then pressing the spacebar is presenting only the remembered ’ (not followed by a space!).
    [INDENT][INDENT]This can be used if you want an ’ followed by a normal e without accent. Then press ', press [space], press e, result: 'e[/INDENT][/INDENT]

Note: in this way there is a difference between typing straight forward a word between single quotes and adding the single quotes afterwards!

  • If you type ‘Jolly Roger’, on screen it will be: 'Jolly Roger
  • The last ’ is still in the memory, and will appear after the following key press!
  • So if you type ‘Jolly Roger’[space]is my name, the result is: ‘Jolly Roger’ is my name

  • But if you have already Jolly Roger typed, and you want single quotes around, you must do: set the pointer before the J, press ', then press the spacebar; go with pointer after the last r, press and again the spacebar. Result: ‘Jolly Roger’
  • If you do this: set the pointer before the J, press ', go with pointer after the last r, press ', then the last ’ is triggering the first one, and the result is: Jolly Roger’’
  • And if you go by mouse/pointer to a completely other place in the document, the memory-’ will appear there after the next keypress over there!

The double quote does exactly the same, but now with a ¨ Umlaut/Diaeresis.

  • Type " then type open, result: öpen
  • Type " then press spacebar, then type open: "open
  • Also here a J cannot have a ¨, but the same procedure is followed.
  • Type “Jolly Roger” and do nothing, and there is: "Jolly Roger
  • Type “Jolly Roger”[space], and there is: “Jolly Roger” :slight_smile:


  • Type Jolly Roger, go before J, type "[space], and the double quote is inserted before the J: "Jolly Roger
  • Then go after the last r, type "[space], and the second double quote is inserted after the r; together: “Jolly Roger”
  • But if you have Jolly Roger, go before J, type ", go after the last r, type "; then it will be: Jolly Roger""

Probably the one time you are typing the quotes right when you are typing a sentence, and the other time afterwards.

Computers are strange…

I agree, but I don’t know a clever way to get the accent letters in an other way, with use of the actual keyboards.
A solution could be to add an new key, only for the accent matter, and use the quote key without the delay; but I’m afraid the keyboard manufacturers and/or Operating System builders aren’t very eager to do this. :wink:

Note: Some other keys have the same mechanism: the backwards accent `, the ~ tilde and the caret/circonflexe ^.

Francky, you are amazing. :agree:

Some 15 years ago the office where my colleagues and I where working with MS Word, changed keyboards, and I had to find out why the " key did no longer produce a ". (before that time we had strip glued above the Function keys on the keyboard with all the Alt-number combinations for the accent letters) :smiley:

I used to go for the ALTernative.

As an example for the “~”, I used to press ALT and while it was pressed, keyed “126” with the numerical keyboard. Then release ALT and… Voilà!, you could see the symbol

Now I don’t rember the numbers for those characters I used but basically were those with an accent