Monday, February 21, 2005

Smart Quotes aren't so smart

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: By default, Microsoft Word automatically changes straight quotation marks ( ' or " ) to curly (smart or typographer's) quotes as you type. This is fine if you are only authoring your works for applications not relating to article marketing. When smart quotes are converted to HTML, the quotes are converted to non-standard characters which end up littering your document with question mark symbols and/or other garbage code.
When in doubt, don't allow your Ezine Articles to contain smart quotes: Most articles that are put into article marketing distribution eventually end up being sent to an email newsletter audience. Email newsletter servers have near zero-tolerance for MS Word smart quotes; they will not recognize them as valid ASCII characters (because they are not valid). They are a figment of the Microsoft ASCII imagination. In most cases they will show up as garbage code; thus making you, and your article, look like a real novice lacking proper formatting skills.
At risk are:
double dashes
3 periods in a row
In this quick article, I show you what they look like and 2 quick solutions to make sure they never make you or your articles look like a novice:


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Kim said...

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Hope you like it.