Making Your Word Processor HTML Friendly

Update 08/2011

As a commentor was kind enough to point out below, disabling Smart Quotes or Magic Quotes in LibreOffice* changed in the 2 years since this article was written.

It is still under Tools->Autocomplete

However, it is now under the "Localized Options" tab.

To disable smart quotes in Libre Office 3.3, and probably the current 3.4.1 version:

1. Goto Tools -> Autocomplete

2. Click on the "Localized Options" tab.

3. Make sure the box labeled "Replace" under the "Double Quotes" and "Single Quotes" sections is NOT checked.

You can also, optionally, select a different type of Unicode quote, by clicking on the picture of the quote.

*Libre Office is the forked version of Oracle Open Office.

Do I really Need to Disable Smart Quotes?

Not only has the process of disabling smart quotes changed, but the necessity has as well. Depending on the situation, you may find that you do not actually need to even worry about it anymore.

For example, the following were copied directly from open office, into Hubpages, you can see what they looked like in the picture above. 2 years ago, when this article was first written, you would of had to have posted in "html" mode to avoid display errors.

“Before Unchecking Replace”

"After Unchecking Replace"

This shows one of the places you need to make a change. In total, there are two places to change in the Auto Correct Options
This shows one of the places you need to make a change. In total, there are two places to change in the Auto Correct Options

The Problem

I do a lot of writing and have found that most online editors leave something to be desired, although the Hub Pages Editor is fairly intuitive.

Instead of using a site’s built in text editor, I usually either use Microsoft Word or OpenOffice. Not only do I like the environment better because it is a lot bigger and easier to use, I also like to save what I am writing on my computer before publishing it online.

There are two settings that I usually change to make Microsoft Word and Open Office better web content creators. That is to disable Smart Quotes, which are on by default, and to change the way words with numbers in them are dealt with in the spell checker.

Both of these tasks are very easy to do.

What Are Smart Quotes?

Smart Quotes are also sometimes called curved quotes and are not very HTML friendly.

For something you are actually going to print onto regular paper, smart quotes probably do look nicer, but problems can arise when you try to use them with a web service. A smart quote curves slightly inward towards the word inside the quotes.

When you try to use them online, they will often be converted to question marks. For example, you might write: “I couldn’t get up this morning” in Microsoft Word, but when you paste it into the website and save it, you will see “I couldn?t get up this morning.”

This can be disabled in the settings of each program, so you can copy and paste straight from your favorite Word Processor into your favorite web site.

The process for changing OpenOffice is very similar.
The process for changing OpenOffice is very similar.

Disabling Smart Quotes in Microsoft Word

To turn off smart quotes in Mircosoft Word, go to:

Tools -> AutoCorrect Options

  1. Select the tab labeled "Auto Format" and deselect the box labeled "Straight Quotes with Curly Quotes." You can see the difference in quotes by looking at this setting too.
  2. Next Select the tab labeled "Auto Format as you Type" and deselect the box labeled "Straight Quotes with Curly Quotes."

Disabling Smart Quotes in Open Office

Update 2011, Please see top of page for newer versions of Open Office / Libre Office.

In OpenOffice, the settings to turn off curved quotes is in more or less the same place. Go to:

Tools -> AutoCorrect

  1. Click on the "Options" Tab. Scroll to the bottom and uncheck the box marked "Replace standard quotes with custom quotes".
  2. Click on the "Custom Quotes" tab. There are two boxes that say "Replace." If either of these boxes is checked, uncheck them.

Words with Numbers in Them

There is one other default setting that I usually change in both OpenOffice and Microsoft Word. This is how words with numbers are treated. By default, if you type mist4ke by accident, the spell checker will not mark it as wrong. This is because by default, words with numbers in them are ignored.

Generally, when I type a word with a number in it, it is because I made a mistake, so I like to disable this setting.

In Microsoft Word Go To:

Tools -> Options

  1. Click on the "Spelling & Grammar" Tab.
  2. Uncheck the box that says "Ignore words with numbers" and click OK.

In OpenOffice Go To:

Tools -> Options

  1. Double Click on "Language Settings"
  2. Click on "Writing Aids"
  3. Under the "Options" Section, check the box next to "Check Words with numbers" and click OK.

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Comments 4 comments

Bryan Eaddy profile image

Bryan Eaddy 7 years ago from Michigan

Nice hub. I also use Microsoft Word to create hubs and articles (better safe than sorry). I never thought about disabling Smart Quotes (very useful tip for someone who writes a lot). Thanks!


brad4l profile image

brad4l 7 years ago from USA Author

Bryan, thanks for stopping by. I agree that it is better to air on the safe side and like to always save a copy of my writing before posting it online. You never know when there might be an error, either on my side or on the websites side, and I would hate to loose my work.


yer a moron 5 years ago

Article is completely wrong


brad4l profile image

brad4l 5 years ago from USA Author

Thanks for your constructive criticism "yer a moron." Your name aptly works both ways, good choice ;)

As you correctly point out, this article was no longer correct.

If you look at the date from the last comment, you can see it is over 2 years old and given the nature of the computer industry, a 2 year old article not being correct isn't necessarily an indicator that the author is stupid, but I digress.

I think perhaps the most interesting change is not that this 2 year old article is a little bit off, but that Sun was bought by Oracle.

Sun, of course, is the company that used to own OpenOffice, as well as a nice portfolio of software(java.) After the takeover, Oracle promptly began "Enterprise Editioning" Sun's software portfolio, which caused OpenOffice to be forked and Libre Office to be born.

Now, realistically, I think you would be better served in these types of situations, if you use the information as a starting point and figured it out on your own. It was, after all, just one tab over and not really that different.

If you want to help others, you could have posted the solution here after you figured it out.

This will not only help you build important web skills, but also help those who come across this page in the future and want to know how to disable magic quotes in Libre Office 3.4.1.

However, I understand that you did what you could.

So, I will carry it the rest of the way and update the article.

Thanks for stopping by and letting me know the how to was incorrect, hope to talk with you again!

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