How to Fix Upside-Down Quotation Marks in Word

You’re typing along in Microsoft Word and suddenly…your quotation marks are upside down. What happened?

Microsoft Word 2016 and later versions likes to “automatically detect” what language you’re using, and change a bunch of tools to match the language you’re using–including changing your right-side-up quotation marks to upside-down ones.

However, Word doesn’t always get the “automatic detection” part correct. If you’re using foreign terms in your English-language document, then Word may “detect” that you’re using that language!

(It may not even detect the correct language!)

Here’s how to fix that:

  • Make sure your ribbon is open.
  • Go to the Review tab on your ribbon.
  • Find the Language grouping on the ribbon.
  • Click the down arrow on Language.
  • A dropdown menu will appear. Click Set Proofing Language.
  • The pop-up window Language should appear.
  • In the Mark selected text as: list, make sure the correct default language is selected (mine is English (United States).
  • Uncheck the Detect language automatically box.
  • Click OK.

If that doesn’t work, open the Language pop-up window again, click your preferred language, and click the Set As Default button, then make sure the Detect language automatically box is unchecked.

That should do it. Let me know if it doesn’t.

[Shakes fist at overly helpful software.]

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