Issue 5018 - autocorrect failures: em dash and smart quotes
Summary: autocorrect failures: em dash and smart quotes
Alias: None
Product: Writer
Classification: Application
Component: editing (show other issues)
Version: OOo 1.0.0
Hardware: All All
: P3 Trivial with 7 votes (vote)
Target Milestone: ---
Assignee: AOO issues mailing list
QA Contact:
Keywords: rfe_eval_ok, usability
: 13531 23156 35596 49806 53416 56499 74068 (view as issue list)
Depends on:
Reported: 2002-05-18 15:48 UTC by ingenstans
Modified: 2013-08-07 14:38 UTC (History)
5 users (show)

See Also:
Latest Confirmation in: ---
Developer Difficulty: ---


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Description ingenstans 2002-05-18 15:48:38 UTC
for some reason the autocorrect of two consecutive hyphens to an em dash only takes place if you 
type a space, a word and then another space after the hyphens. It should take place after the first 
space is typed.

secondly, if an ordinary double quote has been autocorrected to a smart 
quote, and this is followed by a punctuation mark such as a full stop, the spell checker thinks 
this is a mistake. It isn't, always or even often. 

third, and related, if the punctuation 
mark comes before the smart quote, then the autocorrect does not, as it should, recognise the 
next word as the start of a sentence, which needs to be capitalised. 

so if I write a paragraph 
of text that ends in reported speech, and is followed by another paragraph, the first sentence of 
the new paragraph is not autmatically capped up.
Comment 1 ingenstans 2002-06-11 09:22:44 UTC
Further problems with autocorrect. 

no space is printed after autocorrected em-
dashes, though one is shown on screen.

if the replacement text has formatting, 
such as italics, it will not show up at all in the dialogue box where text replacements 
are set, even though it works properly in the program. Note that in distinction to em 
dash replacement, autocorrecting from the dialog box works directly after the 
first space bar is hit: there need be no intervening word or letter. 
Comment 2 ingenstans 2002-10-16 13:40:33 UTC
workaround for the em dash autocorrect: uncheck the box in "Autocorrect while you 
type". Enter the em dash as an autocorrect for two hyphens in the normal autocorrect 
box. this is notably slower to run the first time; but works without fuss after that, 
doing the replacement as soon as the space bar is hit. 
Comment 3 eric.savary 2003-03-10 20:04:51 UTC
Target to OOo 2.0
Comment 4 stefan.baltzer 2003-06-04 14:26:52 UTC
Reassigned to Bettina.
Comment 5 bettina.haberer 2004-01-23 17:12:35 UTC
This issue is considered for OO.o later.
Comment 6 2004-09-07 15:58:28 UTC
reassigning & adding keywords according to new RFE process - Sophie
Comment 7 julianna 2006-04-20 12:09:52 UTC
I tried the workaround proposed by andrewb, and it does not seem to work in OOo
2.0.2 on WinXP.
Comment 8 stefan.baltzer 2007-07-18 16:57:30 UTC
*** Issue 74068 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 9 stefan.baltzer 2007-07-18 17:01:34 UTC
SBA: I found a nice pile of dash AutoCorrect issues (see list below). In my
opinion, all these should be consolidated (set as duplicate to this one).
the problem is not exactly new: As OS stated in (closed) issue 5838...:
"The AutoCorrection replaces the dash only when it's included in characters,
numbers and brackets. It has to be determined which other characters should be
allowed or not."

Note that this enhancement needs a specification.
This is the current list of related issues (duplicate candidates) I have found:

issue 13531: dashes and hyphens - report based on 1.1beta (os)
issue 23156: Dashes following a quote are not converted to em-dash (os)
issue 35596: Better handling of m-dash and n-dash (bh)
issue 49806: Two hyphens together not changed to an em dash when followed by a
quotation mark (fme)
issue 53416: en/em dash autocorrect fails when preceeded by a field
(i.e.footnote) (os)
issue 56499: en-dash and em-dash replacement (issues@lingucomponent)
Comment 10 stefan.baltzer 2007-07-18 17:05:02 UTC
*** Issue 13531 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 11 stefan.baltzer 2007-07-18 17:05:55 UTC
*** Issue 23156 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 12 stefan.baltzer 2007-07-18 17:06:14 UTC
*** Issue 35596 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 13 stefan.baltzer 2007-07-18 17:08:22 UTC
*** Issue 49806 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 14 stefan.baltzer 2007-07-18 17:20:16 UTC
*** Issue 53416 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 15 stefan.baltzer 2007-07-18 17:21:01 UTC
*** Issue 56499 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 16 stefan.baltzer 2007-07-18 17:35:18 UTC
SBA: Concerning "other ways to get dashes", see enhancement issue 73113.
Comment 17 cbrunet 2007-08-02 15:36:17 UTC
As said andrewb, maybe simply adding -- -> – and --- -> $mdash; in the
autocorrection words list could ease the way to insert those characters into a
Comment 18 zacloud 2010-01-27 22:21:06 UTC
It's been eight years... And this is still not fixed.

It can become quite time-consuming and annoying to have to use spaces to create
an em-dash, then go back and delete the spaces, just to get an em-dash to fit in
before closing quote-marks. This is the most common application of the em-dash
in most writing. It should be expected to work at this stage of development.

Please, someone work this into somewhat of a priority for the next release. It's
very, very long overdue for such a basic and necessary function.
Comment 19 settantta 2010-01-27 23:07:37 UTC
How is an em dash before closing quotes "... the most common application ..." in 
writing? I know of no occasion when this would be so. If one is attempting to 
show that a citation is only a part of the entire passage, then the ellipsis 
(...) should be used. 

The only real use of an em dash is to indicate a parenthetical explanation or 
comment, or to indicate a long pause.

Since the normal (and correct) usage (in English at least) is between two words 
in the middle of a sentence, and since it works fine in that situation, IMO the 
current target seems fine. 

It would appear that those having this problem are actually misusing the em 
Comment 20 zacloud 2010-01-28 01:19:35 UTC
In reply to settantta:

Scroll down to use number 5.

"Don't you think this looks wonderf--"

Interrupted speech happens a LOT in writing for effect in a story, or with
characters who interrupt a lot as a trait. That is not a misuse. Stories
necessitate this method of punctuation quite often.

Thus, the issue should be fixed.