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Automatic replacement of straight apostrophes and quotation marks

Is it possible to implement automatic replacement of straight apostrophe ' and quotation marks " in accordance with the user's preferences and language specifics?

That's how it's implemented in Memsource, for instance:


This way, one can easily switch back and forth to quickly insert another type of quote or apostrophe, if they are part of code, for instance.

It's not very handy to keep many types of quotation marks and apostrophes in the keyboard layout or run "find and replace" at the end.

Demoing Make next word bold.


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I've managed to dictate in Ukrainian into the internal microphone. But when I switch to Andrea MA USB + Speechware DEC, it won't start.

Googled a bit, and it seems that some interfaces don't play well with the VC: (comments section)

However, even when the feature works (with the internal microphone), it's not quite usable: it misses a lot of things that I say, I need to repeat a lot — similar to your first video, but much worse.

There are other quirks that I think indicate at some internal issues with the VC on my machine: the macro above only works on the first time I trigger it, the microphone icon has a different form:


Besides, even if I manage to fix VC, for any other language than the US English the engine is old and won't be as accurate as Keyboard Dictation. The latter uses Siri and also learns from you little by little. So I'll wait to see if they improve VC in Big Sur.

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Here’s a nice demo of VC on iOS

Yeah, on iOS this feature is US English only with no other options. There was no Enhanced Dictation on iOS, so there was no way to add other languages on mobile devices.

It's also characteristic that all those reviewers only use US English in their videos. No British, no German.

Just yesterday, I watched the comparison of Dragon and VC on the same channel:

And here is the comparison of Siri vs Dragon:

BTW, Dragon still works on Catalina for me despite it's discontinued, probably because I also use a small tool Talon Voice that "patches" it. Only testing it, but it looks promising (no dictation in my languages though, I only plan to use it for controlling the computer). 

Also, Dragon supports Dutch, so you might still have a chance to find a copy in your language somewhere on eBay if they are not sold out, if interested.

Despite some bugs, Dragon still feels more reliable that VC (US English) or Siri (Keyboard) dictation.

The biggest drawback of all those Apple dictation features is the lack of custom dictionaries. VC in US English is the only one where users can add their custom Vocabulary. Lacking that, dictation in other languages in not very viable with complicated texts. I really hope the development does not stop here, and we'll get more quality (Siri) and functional (commands) dictation in other languages as well.

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I've double-checked the "Replace punctuation characters" on "Auto-assembling" pane, and it does not do what I want: nothing is replaced in the editor as I type.


Sorry, I hadn't understood that your question was about inserting the quotes while typing.

CafeTran Espresso doesn't have a solution for that, as you have noticed. I think that it would be useful to add a solution, a quote type setting that is stored in the Project Templates too, since the conversion will be language-dependent.

I'm not sure on what OS you are, but if you're on Windows, you can easily use AutoHotkey to set the quote type/pop up a small menu. E.g.:’-”/

For development, here is a nice table showing many language-dependent quote characters:ührungszeichen#Andere_Sprachen

I'm on Mac, so it might be worth finally starting to learn Keyboard Maestro :)

Hopefully, curly apostrophes and different types of quotes are implemented at some point. That's the behavior I expect from experience with Word, memoQ, Memsource etc. Even macOS itself has smart quotes, but this setting is not respected in CafeTran.

Replacement of apostrophes would be especially useful, as Mac dictation (for some obscure reason) only knows straight apostrophes, and thus I still need to find and replace them all after I've done translating.

This is a demo.

(5.29 MB)

My last post vanished into thin air ...

Okay, let me type it again :(

Use Voice Control instead of Dictation:

Add commands to insert smart quotes via keyboard shortcuts:


Note this: 


Note that you can define any short nonsense word for opening and closing quotes :)

I find it strange that Apple has split the functionality between Voice Control and Dictation!

Sorry for the telegram style.

I even don't know whether the speech recognition engines behind Dictation and VC are the same. Can you notice any differences in recognition quality?

Anyway, you can define your own commands like 'Next segment', 'Next tag', etc.

I can see from the video that you dictate with the on-device recognition. Is it Catalina?

Did you to make Voice Control in Catalina to work? For me, it does not work in any language other than US English. Many others experience the same trouble:

Things start working only after switching to US English, so the only solution is Keyboard Dictation, and it only has "plain text" dictation without any commands.

Yes, I used Catalina's Voice Control. It acts weird indeed: sometimes I have to try several times to get in started (in Dutch).


I just discovered that when I speak the command to insert the ‘ first, this also triggers VC.

So the problem to activate VC is probably in waking it up.

You write: on-device recognition. I guess you mean VC?

Note that I have to insert a space before I say 'Aanhaling openen', because the ‘ eats the previous space. Since you can assign your own Workflow to a spoken command, you can probably define a workflow that inserts a space plus an opening quote.


My Samson Meteor microphone surely isn't the best one for dictation ... Besides that, my office window is open and a lot of traffic is passing by.

Nevertheless, VC works, more or less, and I can insert quotes by speaking the assigned commands.

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