[OS X TeX] Algorithmic Quotes

Herbert Schulz herbs at wideopenwest.com
Thu Mar 16 21:36:14 EST 2006

On Mar 16, 2006, at 8:02 PM, Alex wrote:

> Please bear with me. I'm a noob who's only now installing and  
> trying to learn LaTeX.
> There's something that bugs me (other than the PTSD caused by  
> installing TeX, that is). It's a small point, but a huge annoyance  
> AFAIC -- the lack of algorithmic quotation marks.
> I understand I have to adapt my habits, and usually I have no  
> problem doing so. However, in this instance I find it extremely  
> annoying because it's so obviously wrong: two single quotes do not  
> a double quote make; an accent grave is an accent grave, and a  
> single quote is a single quote, and never the twain shall meet!
> I find it strange that, in this day and age, I have to handle such  
> typographical minutiae myself, when I'm supposed to concentrate on  
> content and structure and let LaTeX do the typesetting. (I am aware  
> of the issue of ambiguity; but that's what the silicon is supposed  
> to handle, rather than the precious few neurons I've left...)
> So far, I've found two options: either use the \lq and \rq (or  
> define my own command, because \lq\lq for " is a bit of a  
> mouthful); or use an input encoding package. Obviously, both are  
> less than satisfactory. Is there a way to have the much-vaunted  
> LaTeX do what the much-maligned Word does dexterously?


The `two left quotes', ``, are taken as a ligature, i.e., they are  
translated into an open double quote. similarly for the `two right  
quotes', '', which are translated into a closing double quote. If  
you're using TeXShop you can turn on Auto Complete and then pressing  
" will give ``'' with the selection and insertion point between the  
`` and the ''.

Good Luck,

Herb Schulz
(herbs at wideopenwest.com)

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