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In the Options menu for the Character panel, you will find an option called Use Smart Quotes. When it's enabled, you can simply type the inch mark on the regular keyboard and you'll get a nice curly open and closed quote, without having to use any special shortcuts. Of course every font will have a slightly different style of quotes. In Helvetica, the quotes are little more square, whereas in Baskerville, you get the classic curly quote. Now if I turn off Use Smart Quotes and use just the regular keyboard command, you will get a very simple up-and-down straight mark for both the double quote and the single quote.
These straight marks, also called tick marks, can look quite inappropriate if you have a nice elegant font, so it is a good idea to leave smart quotes enabled. When smart quotes is enabled, it automatically knows when you are at the end of a word, and it will add closing quotes-- and that also goes for the single quote. If you press the single quote at the beginning of a word, you will get an open quote. If you ever need to override this, let me show you the shortcuts. I will call that the Mac shortcuts, and along the bottom we'll add captions for Windows.
So to get an opening single quote, it's Option+the closed square bracket. For a closing single quote, Option+Shift+the closing square brackets. Opening double quote is just Option+the opening square bracket. And if I press Option+Shift+open square bracket, I will get the closing curly quote. When you are doing a title, I think you should take into account how to create the most professional-looking typesetting, and sometimes you have to think a little outside the box.
For instance, in this font here, which has Bickham Script, it's a very elegant font, and it comes with quotes that are okay, but they are not the classic curly quote. There is no reason why you couldn't use quotes from a different font. For instance, here I've used Bickham, but I have replaced the quotes with Times New Roman. I'll make sure I use smart quotes, and I will check a lot of different fonts to see what their quotes look like, and this is what the close quote looks like in Times New Roman.
It has a nice shape, but it also has too much space between the two symbols. So what I did was I used two single quotes, I backed up my cursor, and I kerned a little between them, and that got me exactly the quote I was looking for. Now, one thing to keep in mind is if you need to do a lot of technical specifications. Here I'm using Myriad Pro because the quote marks it produces look like a classic inches and foot mark, and you may think--if I turn off Use Smart Quotes for a second--that this is what an inch and a foot mark should look like.
That's actually not true. Ideally, if you are typesetting, you would want your inches and foot marks to be slightly angled, so in my opinion, Myriad Pro with smart quotes enabled produces pretty classic inch and foot marks. Now one other item you might want to consider is what the x looks like in the font that you are using. Again, Myriad Pro is a nice simple x that's evenly weighted on both sides, so it doesn't draw attention to itself. Look what happens if I instead use something like Baskerville.
Now all of my inch and foot marks are very curly, and my x is a little bit too interesting. And if I change it to Baskerville Italic, now the x looks more like an x in algebra. So, it's a good idea if you are producing technical content to stick with a simple Sans Serif font.
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