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Word 2003: Language changes to Arab every time I type a single quote
Thread poster: Tony M

Tony M  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:33
French to English
+ ...
May 18, 2008


I'm using Word 2003 under XP Professional, and for some unknown reason, just today, it has started inserting a wide space after each single quote (‘ or ’) that I type, and at that point changing the language to Arab.

The original document is in FR, but I have globally changed the language to EN, and the document uses styles from a NL source that do not contain 'Arab' as their language.

I have 'detect language automatically' turned off.

I have the 'smart quotes' option turned on.

Presumably this is some auto-correct-type feature, but it has never done this on me before, and I'm at a bit of a loss to know where to look for this very unhelpful feature so that I can turn it off.

Has anyone experienced a similar problem, or got a suggestion as to how to put it right? I have found a temporary work-around (turn off smart quotes and change them globally afterwards, or else enter opening and closing quotes manually using 'insert special characters' or the ASCII codes), but this is time-wasting, and I'd just like to get back to my dear old Word working like it always used to before!

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Local time: 21:33
Spanish to English
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Ideas... May 18, 2008

Hi Tony!

I don't have Word 2003 or XP Pro, but that probably makes no difference...

You say it changes the language - but are you sure that it's not actually changing the current 'style' to a style that has Arabic as its language? To check that, make sure you have the Styles button (actually, a drop-down) on the toolbar.

Styles can be changed on the fly with short-cuts (as you type your single quotes, for example) - they can be seen/changed in "Format --> Style --> Select the format --> Modify --> Shortcut Key".

If that's what's causing the problem the easy solution is to change (or remove) the shortcut in the "Arabic" style.


PS: When looking for an offending style, select "All Styles" in the Style dialogue - the problem may come from a style that is embedded in the doc. but not actually used. A style with the Arabic language may be a 'carry-over' from some other document processed previously by the NL author, which ends up in the client's normal (or whatever) template.

[Edited at 2008-05-18 12:49]

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Word 2003: Language changes to Arab every time I type a single quote

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