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Fixing quotation marks and apostrophes

From: Typography for Web Designers

Video: Fixing quotation marks and apostrophes

In this lesson we are going to fix quotation marks and apostrophes in our web site so they are true quotation marks and apostrophes. You need the file biblio_serif_quote. html and biblio_serif_quote.css from the exercise folder. You also need the fonts folder with the Chopin Script web font files in it. So drag your fonts folder from your desktop, make a copy of it, and put it in your exercise folder. That way Chopin Script will continue to load properly.

Fixing quotation marks and apostrophes

In this lesson we are going to fix quotation marks and apostrophes in our web site so they are true quotation marks and apostrophes. You need the file biblio_serif_quote. html and biblio_serif_quote.css from the exercise folder. You also need the fonts folder with the Chopin Script web font files in it. So drag your fonts folder from your desktop, make a copy of it, and put it in your exercise folder. That way Chopin Script will continue to load properly.

If you don't have a fonts folder and need a refresher on how to download and organize web fonts from Font Squirrel, see Chapter 1, Lesson 7, Downloading Web Fonts, from earlier in this course. Let's open our HTML file in the browser and see what we are working with. If we scroll down a bit-- I am going to also go in a bit. Scroll down. you can see that I've already changed some of the quotation marks. So they are using what we call curly quotes.

It's a punctuation mark that's been designed as part of a font. So it gracefully relates to the other characters around in. If we scroll up I'll show you some that have not been changed yet. Here the quotation mark is defaulting to the double prime. These quotation marks aren't real. They are the prime and double prime marks. They mean feet and inches. That is, little vertical hashes that stick out and they can interrupt to the flow of the text.

The problem is if you just type in a double or single quotation mark these are the default. You get the double prime and the prime marks because that's how the browsers read them. So how do we fix these? We use something called character entities. Character entities are snippets of code which help the HTML show characters that won't otherwise work. Let's open our HTML document. If I scroll down to the section Thinking with Type by Ellen Lupton, you can see that the word "rules" here is in quotation marks.

But they are no longer those quotation marks that we've typed in. I've used the character entities here. What we are going to do is we are going to copy this first one. This one means a doubled left quotation mark. I've selected it, I am copying it and we can go up to our top section, these first three references or resources, and we can just paste it wherever we see a left double quotation mark. This first one has quite a few of them because there are quite a few quotes in it.

And to the second one, the word fonts, you may have noticed and there's a final quote here in the third one. Excellent! We are going to scroll back down and find the closing quotation mark there, highlight it, copy it. We are going to go back up and paste it here after the word Bible, after the word conditions. The word subject.

After the word family and then the end here after mathematically. After the word fonts under Nice Web Type and at the end here. This seems tedious. I wanted you to do these by hand. This is how we do it. And then the variant here after the word you under Good Web Fonts, pasted that in as well. Let's save this and review it in our browser. Excellent! You can see now that we're getting these double quotation marks.

Now go ahead and zoom in even a little more for those of you working in a smaller monitor. You can see that these are curly quotes. That's great. Now we are going to look at-- I believe we have a couple of-- we do. We have an apostrophe here. An apostrophe is just a single right quotation mark. So we have to go in and fix that back in our HTML. If we scroll all the way down to I Love Typography, here is the word It's and there is the character entity. It's 8217 there.

Make sure you get the whole thing, the ampersand and the semicolon. I've selected it. I am going to copy it. Go all the way up back up at the top and there is The Typographer's Bible. I am going to paste that there. I am going to double check and see if there is any in the others. You see the word "you'll" here in Nice Web Type and the word "We're" under Good Web Fonts. So I am pasting these in.

I think I've got them all. I copy and paste as usual whenever I can especially with character entities because there are a string of numbers that don't necessarily make sense and this way I don't accidentally type in the wrong character. Let's save this and review it in our browser and excellent. We can see now that the punctuation is really good. We've got our quotation marks and our apostrophes. So there are a lot of typographic symbols that use entities, not just quotation marks.

To view a chart of them, which is helpful, I actually recommend w3schools.com. You can get these from a lot of different sites but I really like the way that they've laid this out because you can see the character that you're trying to replace here on the left. You can see you have access to the entity number, the entity name, and the description of what the character is. If we scroll down a little bit you can see that here is our quotation marks that we've been working with. This is what we've been trying to create and we've been using these numbers.

I always recommend using the numbers. They are supported by most browsers. I also wanted to just point out to you quickly that you will notice that all of them start with the ampersand and end with a semicolon and that's also true if you are using the entity name. This tells the browser that this is a character entity, that it's not just a string of characters. That's why those characters don't just pop up in your HTML text. If you want to learn more about the proper use of punctuation on the web, I recommend the trouble with EM 'n EN and Other Shady Characters.

It's an article by Peter Sheerin on alistapart.com. So take the time to make sure you're using the correct punctuation marks. They are meaningful and beautiful. You've work hard to create your typographic layout. Don't let the prime and double prime marks bring it down.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Typography for Web Designers
Typography for Web Designers

74 video lessons · 13740 viewers

Laura Franz
Author

 
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  1. 6m 18s
    1. Welcome
      1m 9s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 57s
    3. Things to consider before starting this course
      3m 12s
  2. 41m 3s
    1. Understanding how good typography promotes reading
      2m 9s
    2. Understanding legibility
      4m 41s
    3. Understanding how fonts convey meaning
      5m 19s
    4. Choosing web-safe fonts to convey meaning
      6m 13s
    5. Using font size, case, style, letter spacing, weight, and color to convey meaning
      6m 22s
    6. Choosing web fonts to convey meaning
      6m 23s
    7. Downloading web fonts
      4m 9s
    8. Applying web fonts in CSS with @font-face
      5m 47s
  3. 38m 0s
    1. Choosing a web-safe font for use in text
      4m 13s
    2. Applying the web-safe font to the text and the heading
      3m 4s
    3. Setting a class for the resource titles in the text
      3m 45s
    4. Choosing a second web-safe font for the heading
      2m 42s
    5. Applying the second font to the heading
      2m 16s
    6. Choosing a web font from the Google Font API for use in text
      5m 44s
    7. Adding and applying the Google Font API syntax
      4m 29s
    8. Choosing a second web font from the Google Font API for the heading
      2m 56s
    9. Adding and applying the second font to the heading
      4m 52s
    10. Analyzing the fonts on some professional sites
      3m 59s
  4. 55m 31s
    1. Understanding how we read
      4m 34s
    2. Finding and applying a good font size and line height
      4m 50s
    3. Finding and applying a good line length
      8m 6s
    4. Understanding ems
      6m 17s
    5. Using ems to set font size
      6m 9s
    6. Using ems to set line length
      3m 40s
    7. Understanding how color affects readability
      3m 58s
    8. Improving a color palette by improving contrast
      5m 39s
    9. Improving a color palette by reducing optical vibration
      4m 59s
    10. Analyzing text readability on the professional sites
      7m 19s
  5. 1h 11m
    1. Understanding how we "chunk" visual elements
      3m 59s
    2. Developing a system of hierarchy
      2m 17s
    3. Applying hierarchy in HTML and CSS
      7m 16s
    4. Developing a system to help chunk text for readers
      6m 1s
    5. Applying the system in the CSS
      4m 19s
    6. Changing an element by creating and applying a class
      5m 0s
    7. Using multiple columns to create hierarchy
      4m 12s
    8. Building a two-column system in HTML and CSS
      10m 56s
    9. Refining the horizontal space in a two-column layout
      6m 1s
    10. Adding rule lines to improve chunking
      5m 50s
    11. Adding emphasis within a heading
      4m 36s
    12. Analyzing the chunking on the professional sites
      11m 18s
  6. 17m 57s
    1. Understanding classic and modernist typographic pages
      7m 3s
    2. Understanding how to create rhythm and tension
      6m 0s
    3. Applying typography skills when making design decisions
      4m 54s
  7. 55m 47s
    1. Designing typographic links for the traditional page
      5m 54s
    2. Adding a list of links to the traditional page
      8m 44s
    3. Describing the link states in CSS
      6m 30s
    4. Returning links to their original "unvisited" style
      2m 38s
    5. Using different CSS for different kinds of links
      7m 28s
    6. Using CSS notation to organize syntax
      5m 34s
    7. Choosing a background color or image
      4m 0s
    8. Applying a repeating background image
      2m 58s
    9. Shaping the traditional page layout
      6m 38s
    10. Analyzing the traditional typographic elements on the professional sites
      5m 23s
  8. 43m 0s
    1. Designing typographic links for the modernist page
      6m 47s
    2. Making a list of links run across the page
      2m 14s
    3. Adding and removing space between the navigation links
      6m 50s
    4. Styling the inline links on the modernist page
      5m 33s
    5. Choosing a background color or image for the modernist bibliography
      4m 4s
    6. Applying a no-repeat background image
      4m 13s
    7. Shaping the modernist page layout
      6m 58s
    8. Analyzing the modernist typographic elements on the professional sites
      6m 21s
  9. 52m 53s
    1. Fixing quotation marks and apostrophes
      6m 59s
    2. Fixing dashes
      6m 33s
    3. Working with lining figures (numbers) and acronyms
      9m 28s
    4. Fixing characters that don't look right
      8m 19s
    5. Hanging punctuation
      2m 54s
    6. Applying typographic accents
      2m 36s
    7. Vertically centering text
      5m 18s
    8. Creating drop caps
      5m 59s
    9. Analyzing the typographic details on the professional sites
      4m 47s
  10. 3m 9s
    1. Additional resources
      3m 9s

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