“Word isn't always ‘smart’.” You can quote me on that (since I said it in English)...

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2011/06/13 07:01 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2011/06/13/10173796.aspx

It was a bug reported to me by twitter friend Rifat Nabi (@rifat) with a simple caption fom the tweet of "Microsoft Microsoft Word Bug":

and by twitter friend Tanbin Islam Siyam (@potasiyam) in a picture with a bit more detail for those who didn't see what the problem was in the first picture:


And some text explaining it, too (and pointing to another instance):

Another bug of MS Office.
An user of avro keyboard posted this bug in omicronlab forum (http://omicronlab.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=2436&hl).
Quotation marks don't change after Dari (দাড়ি - । ), as it should be corrected to right quotation marks. But while typing in English it works.
I also tried typing in hindi with on-screen keyboard. Same result as Bangla.

(Windows xp sp3+Office 2010)

The options in Word we are talking about is the one in this form:

and are documented as:

* "Straight quotes" with “smart quotes”    Replaces straight quotation marks ( " " ) and straight apostrophes ( ' ) with curved, open- and closed-quotation marks ( ) and curved apostrophes ( ).

which really says so little about what the options are....

It is hiding a huge feature, the one described on the Wikipedia article Non-English usage of quotation marks.

Of course the feature depends a bit on the "language info via keyboard settings" stuff that so many people don't care for (Word does not retroactively change quotes if you tage text with a language after the fact).

Now every developer has had to at one time or another write their own FInQuotes function, or debug a flawed or incomplete one.

And this bug is just a simple limitation in mighty Word's work to detect open quotes versus closed quotes -- like maybe it isn't smart enough to see some scripts as text within a language, even as the text was tagged with a language due to being input with a Bangla keyboard....

I have previously talked about this feature in blogs like Dumb quotes... or maybe they are just smart-ass quotes. And that blog is cool because it provides the table with data that Word uses for this feature.

The version of the table I was given clearly doesn't have much for these languages (admittedly that was from 2007; Word 2010 may have a bigger list), but note that there may still be problems in trying to deal with characters unknown to the code Word uses to detect text in quotes....

To me, this is just another reason that I am often unhappy with some Office features (e.g. like I described in Address formats are hard, let's go shopping!) that are scenario-based and that do delight some customers, but which are ultimately incomplete.

Someone forgot that language support is a scenario-based feature, too. And did the work to finish the feature....

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referenced by

2013/04/03 “The ‘Smart Quotes’ are leaking all over the Internet!”

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