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In Latex Suite the back quote (`) is mapped to provide a host of symbols (see here). Problem is that I use the backquote-forwardquote duo as my opening and closing quotes. So now if I want to quote someone I have to write it down, then later come and prepend the backquote to it.

In the above link it does describe one way to get around this

Smart Quotes. Pressing " (English double quote) will insert `` or '' by making an intelligent guess about whether we intended to open or close a quote.

But I don't like double quotes, I much prefer single quotes. About the only thing I can think of write now is to use the above work around, then when down go through and change all double back or forward quotes to single quote.

Can anyone suggest an easier way to get around this?

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You can use \lq and \rq for the left and right quote, respectively. It may be quicker than deleting one of keyboard quote signs, indeed. Probably a quicker solution is a definition for both quotes, e.q.

\def\bsq#1{%both single quotes
\lq{#1}\rq}

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