Fast tech tip of the day

At some point we may start a regular tech-tip thing. For the moment — and to gauge reaction — here’s this:

When you’re referring to a decade, it’s common practice to write it like this: the ’60s, the ’80s, etc. Problem: If you use Microsoft Word (and other word processors), it automatically converts the straight quote into a “smart quote” — aka “curly quote,” “typographer’s quote.”

So instead of having an apostrophe, you end up with the quote mark facing the wrong way.

I.e., you have this:


when you should have this:



Luckily, there’s an easy way to get an apostrophe instead of a quote. Instead of just hitting the quote key, hold down Ctrl and hit the quote twice. Once you’ve done it once or twice, it’ll be easy to write about all those groovy times.

About Andrew Kantor

Andrew is VAR's editor and information manager, and -- lessee now -- a former reporter for the Roanoke Times, former technology columnist for USA Today, and a former magazine editor for a bunch of places. He hails from New York with stops in Connecticut, New Jersey, Cincinnati, Columbus, and Roanoke.
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2 Responses to Fast tech tip of the day

  1. Jim Duncan says:

    Next up – when to use apostrophes. :)

    Great tip, Andrew.

  2. I thought about mentioning when apo’strophe’s ‘should be u’sed (1980s, not 1980’s), becau’se I realize that there are a lot of people who put them before the letter S no matter what. But I figured that’s a po’st for another time. :)

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