AutoCorrect Uses Smart Apostrophes, Not Standard Apostrophes

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Article ID: 178423 - View products that this article applies to.
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Symptoms

In the versions of Microsoft Excel listed above, the AutoCorrect feature uses "smart" apostrophes when it corrects text. This may cause a problem if you expect the corrected text to contain standard apostrophes.

Cause

This problem occurs because the entries in the AutoCorrect list contain "smart" apostrophes, not standard apostrophes. The following entries are affected:
   aren't            it'll       what's
   can't             it's        where's
   can't have been   it's a      who's
   company's         it's not    who've
   couldn't          it's the    won't
   didn't            let's       wouldn't
   doesn't           she'll      you'd
   don't             shouldn't   you're
   don't know        that's      you're a
   hadn't            they'll     you're an
   hasn't            they're     you're her
   haven't           they've     you're here
   he'll             wasn't      you're his
   here's            we'd        you're my
   I'm               we'll       you're the
   I'd               we're       you're their
   I'll              we've       you're your
   isn't             weren't     you've
				
This behavior is by design of Microsoft Excel.

Workaround

If, as a result of using the AutoCorrect feature, your worksheet contains a number of "smart" apostrophes, you can replace the "smart" apostrophes with standard apostrophes. To do this, use the appropriate method for your version of Excel.

Excel 97 for Windows

  1. On the Edit menu, click Replace.
  2. Place the insertion point in the Find What box. Hold down the ALT key while you type 0146, using the number keys on the numeric keypad. Release the ALT key. This enters a "smart" apostrophe in the edit box.
  3. In the Replace With box, type an apostrophe (').
  4. Click Replace All.

    All of the "smart" apostrophes in the worksheet are replaced by standard apostrophes.

Microsoft Excel 98 Macintosh Edition

  1. On the Edit menu, click Replace.
  2. Place the insertion point in the Find What box. Press OPTION+SHIFT+] (right square bracket). This enters a "smart" apostrophe in the edit box.
  3. In the Replace With box, type an apostrophe (').
  4. Click Replace All.

    All of the "smart" apostrophes in the worksheet are replaced by standard apostrophes.

More information

The AutoCorrect feature in Microsoft Excel is designed to help correct common typing mistakes. For example, if you accidentally type "hte" instead of "the," AutoCorrect automatically changes the incorrect text to "the". To view or make changes to the AutoCorrect list, click AutoCorrect on the Tools menu.

Because the AutoCorrect list is shared between multiple programs (Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, and so on), some of the entries in the list are designed to take advantage of features in the different programs, such as "smart" quotes and apostrophes.

As a result, the entries in the list that contain apostrophes use "smart" apostrophes, not standard apostrophes. In Microsoft Excel 97 for Windows, "smart" apostrophes have a code of 146. There is a minor difference in appearance between "smart" and standard apostrophes, so you may not notice when this problem occurs. However, you can demonstrate the problem by performing the following steps:

  1. In Microsoft Excel, create a new workbook.
  2. In Sheet1, type the following:
    A1: theyve B1: =CODE(MID(A1,5,1))
    A2: they've B2: =CODE(MID(A2,5,1))
    A3: =IF(A1=A2,TRUE,FALSE)
    Do not type an apostrophe in cell A1; type a standard apostrophe in cell A2.
Note that the formula in cell A3 returns the value FALSE because the AutoCorrected contents of cell A1 are not the same as the contents of cell A2, even though they may appear identical.

Also note that the CODE formulas in cells B1 and B2 return different values since the code of a "smart" apostrophe is different than the code of a standard apostrophe.

Properties

Article ID: 178423 - Last Review: October 26, 2013 - Revision: 2.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft Excel 97 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Excel 98 for Macintosh
Keywords: 
kbnosurvey kbarchive kbprb KB178423

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