In Mathematica 8, whenever I enter "hello" into a cell of style "text", the quote marks are automatically converted to special characters:


This automatic substitution does not happen in a cell of style "input" (good!).

Because I use Mathematica notebooks as a front-end to LaTeX, for me this substitution is a disaster, no matter where it occurs.

What is the preferred idiom for turning-off this smart-quote feature (and all similar automatic character substitution features) for all cells in a Notebook?

The ASCII characters that I type, are precisely the characters that I want in the notebook!

The Mathematica documentation is unhelpful ... or possibly I am not looking in the correct place.


In the Option Inspector (CtrlShift O) look for AutoQuoteCharacters and set this on empty list. I presume you could set the same in the stylefile too.

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  • $\begingroup$ Can also be set in the preferences. $\endgroup$ – John Sidles Aug 3 '12 at 12:16
  • $\begingroup$ @JohnSidles are you going to post that answer. It complements the others so you should. $\endgroup$ – Mike Honeychurch Aug 3 '12 at 22:06
 Options[EvaluationNotebook[], CommonDefaultFormatTypes]

gives the default formatting:

enter image description here

You can use Options Inspector to change the format type for Text from its default value TextForm to StandardForm:

enter image description here

To change the setting programmatically for the evaluation notebook, you can use:

SetOptions[EvaluationNotebook[], CommonDefaultFormatTypes -> {"Text" -> StandardForm}]


SetOptions[$FrontEnd, CommonDefaultFormatTypes -> {"Text" -> StandardForm}]

changes the setting for all new notebooks.

EDIT: You might want to explore related settings in the Options Inspector:

enter image description here

EDIT 2: I like Sjoerd's answer better. Here is the way to change this option setting programmatically:

SetOptions[EvaluationNotebook[], "AutoQuoteCharacters" -> {}]


SetOptions[$FrontEnd, "AutoQuoteCharacters" -> {}]
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  • $\begingroup$ For me, all cells are "TextForm" (because my notebooks are a front-end for LaTeX). Regrettably Mathematica 8 provides no documentation on this form. :( $\endgroup$ – John Sidles Aug 3 '12 at 12:17

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