These are my Jumptags for November 4th through November 5th:

  • 20 Merry Icon Sets For Christmas – Icon sets for Christmas and holidays.
  • Elements of Design: Type – Type is a fundamental part of any design it appears in. It can be used as text to read, as a shape and as a visual element where the choice of typeface conveys an emotion or mood. Type, when used well doesn’t need a photograph or illustration to back…
  • Showcase of Big, Bold Typography – Big, bold typography can be very powerful for conveying a message or just for achieving a desired look. In this post we'll showcase more than 25 items that feature big, bold typography. To see more work from a particular artist/designer, click on the…
  • 4 Principles of Good Design for Websites – One of the areas of focus that I’ve taken into all my designs are the four major design principles. They include: contrast, repetition, alignment, and proximity.
  • 6 Ways To Take Your Webdesign From Good To Great – In a previous article I went into detail about the important roles that contrast, repetition, alignment and proximity play in webdesign. This article will piggy back on those principles as I examine 6 ways you can take your webdesign from good to gre…

These are my Jumptags for October 7th through October 8th:

These are my Jumptags for September 24th through September 29th:

These are my Jumptags for September 9th through September 16th:

These are my Jumptags for September 8th

  • The Five Design Elements Every Website Needs – Discover the five design elements that every well-built website needs. Includes tips and tricks for content and navigation design.
  • How To Jump Start The Website Design Process – Discover a simple four-step process that can help any web designer squeeze inspiration out of a competitor's website design.
  • Project2Manage – Free Project Management – Project2Manage is an Online project management system that allows you to stay up-to-date, on task and connected with your team. We’ve taken the hard work of staying organized and simplified it for you.
  • 15 Essential Web Tools for Students – It's time to head back to school and there are a number of web-based and social tools to help you get through the school year. Here are 15 essential ones.
  • Microsoft Launches Tools For Teachers – Microsoft's Education Labs launched a new project this afternoon and it's better on trees and the environment. The group just announced a new Math Worksheet Generator where teachers …
  • Kineo – Tip 27: Tear down the visual wallpaper – It is time to tear down the e-learning wallpaper and take heed of some top tips on using graphics for instructional use.
  • 30 Amazing Alphabet Recreations | Tutorial9 – The Alphabet dates back to the Egyptian era and forms the basis of our language, through the years people have experimented and created a wealth of interesting and unique alphabets. This is a collection of some of the best examples.
  • 3 Successful Small Businesses on Social Media – To help you see how social media can work no matter how big or small your business, I’ve found some great case studies of small businesses that get it and are seeing results!

These are my Jumptags for July 26th

Note:  This is the first post in an occasional series about improving typography.  The series is called “Atypical Type.”

quotations marks in a circleIt’s a little know fact that there are different types of quotation marks, apostrophes and primes (or tick marks for feet and inches or minutes and seconds).  Well, really there are just two kinds: the good kind and the bad kind.

For quotation marks, they should be curly, called smart quotes by Microsoft Word that does them by default now.  The pattern should go like this: sixty-six then ninety-nine (see image below).  The open quotes should look like the number sixty-six with the center of the six (called the counter) filled in.  Likewise, closed quotes should look like the number ninety-nine.  The pattern holds true for single quotes, too.  A single quote should open with a six and close with a nine.

Good and bad quotation marks.  Look for the 66 and the 99 pattern.

Good and bad quotation marks. Look for the 66 and the 99 pattern.

In Word, this usually happens automatically (see the Autocorrect preferences below).  However, the other day while I was using track changes, the automatic feature didn’t insert the right ones. So pay attention.  I have a sneaky suspicion this had to do with whether Word was interpreting the space before a quote or not.

Preferences in Word for "smart quotes."

Preferences in Word for "smart quotes."

On the Web, it’s a little trickier.  But here’s the list of HTML codes to produce the right quotes:
‘= opening single quote
’ = closing single quote
“ = opening double quote
” = closing double quote

WordPress does the conversion to curly quotes by default. But it isn’t to be trusted. Here’s an example from a recent post where WordPress got confused.  So, you can see why some folks would want to strip the autocorrecting brains right out of WordPress.  Other blogging platforms need a little assistance from plugins, like Smartypants.

Quotation problem in Word.

Quotation problem in Word.

In Any Application
On a Mac, you can insert the correct quotes by using key commands.  For a Mac, the commands are listed below:
option + ] = opening single quote
option + shift + ] = closing single quote
option + [ = opening double quote
option + shift + [ = closing double quote

Here are the codes for a PC in any program:
Alt+0145 = opening single quote
Alt+0146 = closing single quote
Alt+0147 = opening double quote
Alt+0148 = closing double quote

Single and Loving It
Now something that omniscient Word is not so good at is inserting a single quote or apostrophe when it’s supposed to.  If you use a single quote or apostrophe at the beginning of a sentence, Word automatically assumed it should be a “six.”  If you’re really using an opening quote that’s probably right; however, if you happen to be using a little conversational English or jargon, like below, then what you really need is a “nine.”

Incorrect Autocorrect in Word.

Incorrect Autocorrect in Word.

The other place I see this happen a lot is with years, like below.

Correct and incorrect single quote for years.

Correct and incorrect single quote for years.

So, in both of these cases, you need to insert your own apostrophe and not let the application do it for you.

Prime Time
Finally, the other instance where most folks use the marks is with feet and inches or minutes and seconds.  These are the primes, but I usually hear them called tick marks.  See the image below.

Good and bad primes (or tick marks).

Good and bad primes (or tick marks).

In these instances, you don’t want the curly quotes or the bad quotes.  What you need are the slanted tick marks.  To get these then you need to use the following key commands.  Here’s the HTML codes for primes:
’ = single prime
” = double prime

On a Mac, the key strokes are:
option + shift + e = single prime (for feet or minutes)
option + shift + g = double prime (for inches or seconds)

Acknowledgments and some other sites to check out: