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Smart quotes in TeXWorks

Updated on February 20, 2013

There are two types of quotes in English, the ‘single quotes' and the “double quotes". "Ambidextrous" quotation marks were introduced on typewriters to reduce the number of keys on the keyboard, and were inherited by computer keyboards and character sets.

'U+0027;straight single quote (apostrophe)

"U+0022;double quote (quotation mark).

English curved quotes are also called "book quotes" or "curly quotes."

“U+8220; double open quote

‘U+8216; single open quote

”U+8221; double close

’U+8217; single close

In TeX and early version of TeX editors, book quotes are obtained by the ` and ' for single book quote and `` and " for double book quotes.

A TeX Document with quotes normally looks like this:


This is an example of ``smart'' quotes. The quotes can be `single' or ``double''.

They can also be \emph{``emphasized''} etc., like any other text.


While you are writing, you want to give focus to some text, but these Smart Quotes keep distracting you away, make you feel that you are quite stupid and wasting time on these nuisance. TeXWorks is a simple TeX editor, but does a good job dealing with this problem.

TeXWorks has three options for you to type Quotes. In a .tex document, select one of the smart quotes system: Format / Smart Quotes / TeX Ligatures|TeX Commands|Unicode Characters.

`TeX Ligatures, single quotes.'

``TeX Ligatures, double qutoes.''

“Unicode Characters, double quotes.”

‘Unicode Characters, single quotes.’

\lq\lq{}TeX Commands, double qutoes\rq\rq{}

\lq{}TeX Commands, single quotes\rq{}

Then in your text when you want to start a quoted text, let say double quotes, type " then the text to be focused on and finish again by "; TEXworks will automatically insert the correct opening quotes `` and later the correct closing ones ''. The three options give the same result in the typeset document.

To replace a straight quote to curly quote, what I do is to replace left straight quote with a space, while the right straight without.


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    • tjml profile image

      tjml 6 years ago

      Can we use quotes when pasting some text from other website, for e.g I copy some text from other website and paste in hub, now search engine may find it copied contents. How to tell the search engine that this text is copied from that website?

    • jim.sheng profile image

      Dalriada Books Ltd 6 years ago from UK

      Do you mean \textgreater?

    • profile image 6 years ago

      I need to know how to typeset quote marks on the line, those which look like this >. Can you help?