# Avoid inverted exclamation and question marks, when followed by quotes

In an automated system that is generating LaTeX to render PostScript and PDF, i need to avoid an ambiguity in LaTeX:

• Two backticks () produce a closing doublequote: “
• A question/exclamation mark followed by a backtick (?) produces the inverted character: ¿
• Combined, when trying to display a question mark followed by a quote (,,what?), LaTeX produces the following output: „what¿‘

What is the best practise to avoid this? The desired output is: „what?“

• Are you using this for German? – egreg Feb 7 '14 at 13:49
• @egreg yes! does it make a difference? – Kaii Feb 7 '14 at 13:58

You can disable the ligatures using microtype:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}
\usepackage{microtype}
\DisableLigatures[?,!]{encoding=T1}

\begin{document}
,,Hier?

,,Hier!
\end{document}


Or teach the automated system to use UTF-8 and input the “real” characters:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}

\begin{document}
„Hier?“

„Hier!“
\end{document}


As cgnieder suggests, there's another possibility:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
\usepackage[ngerman]{babel}

\begin{document}
"Hier?"'

"Hier!"'
\end{document}

• More possibilities: babel shortcuts "  and "' for the quotes or using csquotes :) – cgnieder Feb 7 '14 at 14:01

I simply used curly braces:

\documentclass{article}
\begin{document}
test?{}
\end{document}


seems to work ;-)

• Sorry, it doesn't work. Typeset this example with LuaLaTeX (screenshot). – Henri Menke Oct 3 '16 at 9:58
• @HenriMenke with pdflatex I seem to get the desired ?“ (but perhaps with a larger than desired spacing after the ?) – Dai Bowen Oct 3 '16 at 10:07