How to turn off smart quotes in Libre Office Writer

To turn off smart quotes in Libre Office Writer, so that the double quote character is shown in the document as ” — exactly as you typed it — and doesn’t get converted into something curly:

  • Go to Tools > Autocorrect Options
  • Select the Localized Options tab
  • Click the button under Start Quote. If you’re using the Basic Latin character set, scroll all the way to the top of the character set display and click the ” box (third box from the top left row, next to the !). If you are using some other character set try searching near the top of the set for the ” character.
  • Click OK
  • Click the button under End Quote. Scroll all the way to the top of the character set display and click the ” box (third box from the top left row, next to the !)
  • Click OK
  • Click OK

Smart quotes are now off for the document that you’re working on. They will also be off for any new documents that you create, including spreadsheets and files created by other Libre Office applications.

To get rid of smart quotes already in a document:

  • Highlight any start smart quote and copy it (Ctrl-C or File > Copy)
  • Select Edit > Find & Replace
  • Paste the smart quote into the Search for box
  • Type ” in the Replace with box
  • Click the Replace All button
  • Click Close
  • Repeat these steps using a copy of the end smart quote
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11 thoughts on “How to turn off smart quotes in Libre Office Writer

  1. Thanks for these instructions. My problem is that I followed it and it replaced all of the “ ” quotes in my documents with ” ” quotes, which I suppose is the idea. What I’d like to do is keep the “ ” quotes, but get rid of the space that autocorrect just started adding behind the startquote and behind the endquote for inexplicable reasons. I’ve unchecked the two boxes that say “add non breaking space before specific punctuation marks in French text”, but that didn’t help. Do you have any advice?

  2. When I work with a given style but start a paragraph in quotes, the font size changes and I want to punch a hole in my computer screen.

    These word processors are always doing something automatically for you.

    The world needs a WYSIWYG word processor, probably impossible.

  3. In your article straight quotes has been converted to closing curly quotes… Seems this is a problem it is hard to escape from.

  4. While it works for me, it messes up quotations in the French language which are unique to the language. I’m working on the preparation dual language eBooks where basically the first paragraph is in French, and it is immediate followed by the English translation. I would like to get rid of the smart quotes only in English.

  5. A huge THANKS. The curly, directional quotes have been a source of great irritation for me for a long time, to where I considered ditching LibreOffice Writer altogether, not only because i do not like the look of the curly quotes but also because they do not transfer to such essential platforms as Microsoft Notepad and web-based e-mail compose pages.– only the raw code does, or an “unknown character” symbol appears, either of which I then have to go and replace with regular, normal quotes, throughout the document.

  6. I have the same problem, only more broadly. *Every* application is taking the input “don’t” and turning it into “don´t” — even the Bourne shell. I went into .XCompose and fixed a lot of stupid errors, like typing “Kim’s” and getting “Kimś”, while keeping “fiancée”, the common English word, from typing “fianc’ee”, and “Española” a local town here in the US, from typing “Espa~nola”. Iḿ (see?) using the US international with dead keys keyboard, what i’ve been using for years, and only in this new Linux installation do I have this problem (kubuntu 22 LastStabileRelease). Someone built smart quoting into the system and that is an abomination for people, like me, who write source code in ASCII. Please, I just want Kate and LibreOffice and Chromium and Emacs and especially Bash to work again. The change was implemented by someone at a time, by a person who coded it. If I knew how they coded it, I could uncode it, or comment the offending lines out, or override them with a dot file in my home dir. But I keep digging in the /usr/share/X11 and not finding where they put it. People as early as version 18 were saying this was a bug and the answer was to go back to the standard US keyboard, without the dead keys, but that would mean giving up all the French and Spanish words I use, and here in New Mexico, the native language is called Spanglish, and you need your eñes and your accents, eg, José, and your common French English words like café, blasé/blasée, fiancé/fiancée, résumé, naïf/naïve. More importantly, you have to be able to type fluently, and not be searching for unicode numbers, but just type it in, 10-finger style, at 60+ words/min.

    • That sounds very frustrating. I haven’t worked with dead keys or key-mapping much, so I don’t have anything helpful to suggest other than to file a bug report with Kubuntu. Perhaps someone there can connect you with the person who made the change that screwed up your keyboard and they can fix it or tell you how to reconfigure it.

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