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I thought I understood quotation marks. Have searched, can't find any explanation for this. I want left quotation marks to show like "66" and right marks to show like "99". However, left quotation marks are displaying as right quotation marks, that is leaning to the right. And yet, if I search my PDF for a correct left quotation mark, they are correctly found. I might be losing my mind.

That is, at the beginning the following quote I put two grave marks, the character to the left of the "1" on the keyboard, and two quote marks at the end of the quote.

 In the words of Woody Guthrie ``I steal from everybody''.  

This compiles as follows:

 In the words of Woody Guthrie “I steal from everybody”.

Now, on my screen and when I print the PDF, the left quotation mark shows as a right quotation mark, i.e. leaning right, as in the following screen capture:

Wrong left quotation mark

However, if I take a correct left quotation mark from another document and search for it in my PDF, it does find the above left quotation mark. If it really is a correct left quotation mark, why is is displaying as a right quotation mark leaning right?

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  • 6
    That looks like 66..99 to me. The exact look is a decision of the font designer. Commented Nov 25, 2023 at 14:06
  • 4
    It appears that in this font, 66 is a little bit thicker at the bottom, and 99 is a little bit thicker at the top.
    – Teepeemm
    Commented Nov 25, 2023 at 14:12

1 Answer 1

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If it really is a correct left quotation mark, why is [it] displaying as a right quotation mark leaning right?

Simple answer: Because that's how the designer of the Palatino font -- the late Hermann Zapf -- designed the quotation marks for this particular font.

Moral of the story? It's entirely ok for an opening (single of double) quotation mark to lean right. If you simply can't stand this design choice, feel free not to use Palatino.

enter image description here

\documentclass[10pt]{article}
\usepackage{iftex}
\ifpdftex
  \usepackage[T1]{fontenc}
  \usepackage{newpxtext} % Palatino clone
\else % either LuaLaTeX or XeLaTeX is in use
  \usepackage{fontspec}
  \setmainfont{Palatino Linotype} % or: \setmainfont{Palatino}
\fi

\begin{document}
\fontsize{50}{60}\selectfont  `` ''\quad ` '
\end{document}
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    Ha. That explains it perfectly. Many thanks. I am using a template for scientific articles I found here: latextemplates.com/template/journal-article I will now try to find another font that has the same advantages, but different quotation marks. Commented Nov 25, 2023 at 16:26
  • @LivingInternet - Your template employs a document class called LTJournalArticle which, in turn, contains the instruction \usepackage[sc]{mathpazo}. mathpazo is an older package which provides Palatino text and math fonts. If you otherwise like the appearance generated by the LTJournalArticle class, you may want to create a copy of the class file and either delete the instruction \usepackage[sc]{mathpazo} (and also delete \linespread{1.05}) to use Computer Modern fonts, or replace it with \usepackage{newtxtext,newtxtextmath} to use Times Roman fonts. It's your call.
    – Mico
    Commented Nov 25, 2023 at 17:39
  • Thanks @Mico. I tried just deleting the instruction \usepackage[sc]{mathpazo} but got an error that expansion only worked with scalable fonts. I think this is in reference to the class using microtype, which I like. So I tried adding \usepackage{newtxtext,newtxtextmath} but get an error File `newtxtextmath.sty' not found. I'm using MikTeX and it usually adds anything needed, but is not working in this case. I tried with \usepackage{newtxtext,newtxmath}, is that workable? Also, if I may ask, if I want to try with Verdana, a favorite, can this be done with all the rest of these items? Commented Nov 25, 2023 at 19:18
  • 1
    @LivingInternet - sorry, that was a typo. Indeed, \usepackage{newtxtext,newtxmath} is what I should have written. Verdana would be a possibility if you're willing and able to compile your document with LuaLaTeX or XeLaTeX. May I suggest you ask a new query about how to get a new text and math font included?
    – Mico
    Commented Nov 25, 2023 at 19:42

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