As far as I know Switzerland uses French quotes but without whitespace. So instead of

« citation »

it goes like this


(to make it more confusing, in Germany they have the alternative use of »citation«)

I am going quite well with the double quotes because on one side I do find them on my Swiss keyboard (AltGr+y/x) and there is also a nice way on English or German keyboards which then gets rendered


So the first question actually is if it is fine to just use the French quotes without spaces. Typographically there is quite some difference. Do I completely mess it up by just miss-using this stuff for Swiss citation?

I also do have a problem with the single quotes.

‹ french › and ‹swiss›

I don't find them on my keyboard and simply use of English keys like <cite> does not work either. What I do for now is just copy and paste the original letters which I copied from wikipedia. Of course I can also use \flq and \frq (or \frqq and \flqq for double quotes) but this does still not answer the above question.

So again:

  • Any ideas and hints for simplifying single quotes?
  • Is the approach of turned French quotes the right solution at all for Swiss style?

Or in general terms: What would be a recommended ideal setup for Swiss quotations?

  • 5
    Check out the csquotes package. This can do everything you want, I should think.
    – Alan Munn
    Dec 4, 2012 at 9:19
  • 3
    I wanted to look your hint up and create an answer myself, but the answers came so fast I had not even a chance to do so! As I just found the solution it already was to late. Stackexchange is to awesome to actually have a chance to write your own solution down. If you put some effort into your question it gets fixed in more then a short coffee break :-) So: Thanks for your answer, it also gave me the solution on a parallel way ;-) Dec 4, 2012 at 9:45
  • 1
    It seems that you somehow got confused about French usage. French used (double only) quotes like this : « quoted text », with unbreakable spaces between quotes and quoted text. This is taken care of by babel and the frenchb option which provides \og and and \fg commands to open and close quote marks. If other quote marks are needed (e.g. for quote within quote), the british curly quotes would be used. See for instance en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guillemet.
    – M. Toya
    Dec 4, 2012 at 15:26
  • @BorisDäppen On an unrelated note: Within the wider context of Mico's upcoming package selnolig, I'm looking for official/good resources on Swiss (and Austrian) spelling conventions. (I'm aware of the Swiss abandonment of 'ß', but that's about all I know.) Do you happen to be able to point me to anything on this topic? (We can set up a room in TeX - LaTeX Chat if we're going to go into more detail.)
    – doncherry
    Dec 4, 2012 at 22:28
  • @doncherry - I am Swiss citizen, but I'm not much an expert in such things. I don't think I can give any valid information. If you have a specific question you may ask me in a private message and I can see if find something about it. Dec 5, 2012 at 10:33

2 Answers 2


You could use the csquotes package. Together with the babel package it should take care of the quotes automatically (cf. example below).

    \enquote{Text \enquote{Quote in quote} more text}

This renders as:

enter image description here

As pointed out in the comments, adding \usepackage[T1]{fontenc} improves the rendering of the quotes:

    \enquote{Text \enquote{Quote in quote} more text}

enter image description here

Additionally to the context sensitive way, single quotes can also be set explicitly (if needed on first level):

\enquote*{Enforced single quotes}
  • 11
    The quotes look awfull. Add \usepackage[T1]{fontenc}. Dec 4, 2012 at 9:55
  • I'm not sure if this should be included into the "minimal example" of the answer. But for sure this comment must be up-voted, because it is helpful in that context! I also used the setting before asking my question. Dec 4, 2012 at 10:45
  • 2
    @BorisDäppen I'd definitely add T1 to the minimal answer. In the OT1 encoding the guillemets are simply awful.
    – egreg
    Dec 4, 2012 at 11:57
  • 1
    I decided to do some diplomatic way... Additional to the first really minimal example I put another one that shows the improvement that fontenc does. Dec 4, 2012 at 12:57
  • @BenediktBauer We generally agree to do "improvements" in the answers. The answer needn't be minimal, so since it's obviously better to use T1, it's good to do so in the answer as well ;)
    – yo'
    Dec 5, 2012 at 10:47

You could use the csquotes-package. This would be a MWE:

\enquote{Dies ist ein Zitat}

For more options check the documentation of csquotes.

  • 3
    Sorry for accepting the other one. You actually where first :-( Well, maybe the picture he mentioned helps others to understand the example more easily. Thanks a lot for your help! Dec 4, 2012 at 9:41

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