Re: Entering quotation marks (derives from Re: proposal for a "Standard-Exit" or "Namespace" character)

From: William_J_G Overington (
Date: Wed Apr 15 2009 - 04:07:33 CDT

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    On Tuesday 14 April 2009, Jukka K. Korpela <> wrote:

    > William_J_G Overington wrote:
    > > One simply does a copy from the pdf to the clipboard
    > of the character
    > > that it is desired to use and then a paste to the
    > document that is
    > > being prepared and then one formats to the desired
    > font and point
    > > size.
    > Using copy and paste is OK for casual needs of entering
    > characters, but why would you do such clumsy methods for
    > something as common as normal punctuation?

    Suppose that someone is wishing to enter the following text, which includes eleven punctuation characters, into Microsoft WordPad.

    “I saw Jane at the supermarket, in the fruit section: she said ‘Is John still researching?’ and bought a punnet of reddish-orange apricots; then she bought some dates!” said Edith.

    What would be the best way to do that?

    Suppose that one is posting in a forum and wishes to enter the above text into the forum. What would be the best way to do that?

    > I have
    > (half-seriously) coined a law on entering Unicode
    > characters: There Is Always A Simpler Way.

    Does it hold in the above situations?

    > If you need
    > something very often, you should take some trouble in making
    > it easy. That is, invest some time to save time in the
    > future.

    Well, the typecase_ pdf arose as follows.

    The software used to produce the pdf was installed on the computer during August 2008. It is called Serif PagePlus X2. Previously I had used Serif PagePlus 11, which is the version before it. PagePlus X2 is not the latest version, the latest version in PagePlus X3. However a major improvement of PagePlus X2 from PagePlus 11 is that characters are embedded as characters in pdfs. Previously glyphs above U+00FF were converted to curves. So the pdfs would not have worked as typecases had they been produced using PagePlus 11. So I was trying the producing of something using the new-to-me facility.

    I produced various typecase_ pdfs, including the following for regular Unicode characters.

    There are also some for various Private Use Area characters in various fonts, of which the following is one example.

    > For example, you could define (or ask someone define for
    > you) a keyboard settings where the key with the "
    > character produces “ when used as such and ” when used
    > with AltGr key. Or something like that. Similarly, you could
    > replace the underline _ (which is rarely needed in normal
    > prose) by the en dash –. When you write computer code
    > where the Ascii " is needed, you simply switch to
    > “normal” keyboard settings (e.g., Ctrl+something).

    Can one do that using Microsoft WordPad?

    Is there some underlying operating system facility that will handle it or something that one can install?

    I know that one can use the Alt key in WordPad though the facility is provided by the operating system rather than the WordPad program. For example Alt 130 and Alt 142 can be used to produce the accented characters in the following.

    Edith is sipping peppermint tea at the Café Äpfel.

    > Alternatively, use a text processing program that
    > automatically converts " on keyboard input into
    > language-specific quotation marks.

    Well, WordPad is supplied with Windows on a PC. A text processing program that automatically converts " on keyboard input into smart quotes is an extra, which might be expensive, though Open Office is free.

    William Overington

    15 April 2009

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