“Smart quotes,” the correct quotation marks and apostrophes, are curly or sloped. "Dumb quotes," or straight quotes, are a vestigial constraint from typewriters when using one key for two different marks helped save space on a keyboard. Unfortunately, many improper marks make their way onto websites because of dumb defaults in applications and CMSs. Luckily, using correct quotation marks and apostrophes today is easier than you think. The simplest method is to use charset
utf-8 on your webpages and just type or copy and paste the actual punctuation marks.
|Mac||Windows on number pad||Entities When not using charset
|‘ Single opening||Mac: ⌥ Opt + ]||Windows: Alt + 0 1 4 5||Entities:
|’ Single closing & apostrophe||Mac: ⌥ Opt + ⇧ Shift + ]||Windows: Alt + 0 1 4 6||Entities:
|“ Double opening||Mac: ⌥ Opt + [||Windows: Alt + 0 1 4 7||Entities:
|” Double closing||Mac: ⌥ Opt + ⇧ Shift + [||Windows: Alt + 0 1 4 8||Entities:
Some typefaces have quotation marks that look more blocky or sloped* rather than curly, and that’s OK too. The look of punctuation marks is a stylistic choice made by a typeface’s designer.
*mirrored sloped quotes are also known as “signpainters’ quotes.”
Feet and inches“He was 6′4″ and full of muscle”
Latitude and longitude40° 44′ 54.3588″ N, 73° 59′ 8.3616″ W
What you want are called “primes.” Primes are punctuation used to express things like coordinates on a map, time, and measurements in feet and inches. They look like slanted straight quotes and come in single (′), double (″), or triple (‴) variations.
When dealing with code, straight quotes are often required. Otherwise, straight quotes should never appear in your design work and professional writing, unless you are making a site about proper punctuation.
Disclaimer: The above punctuation marks and shortcuts are used for the English language. Other languages may use different marks and shortcuts, or use these marks differently.