Understanding "Smart" Versus "Dumb" Quotes

Some questions recently came up regarding Autocat appearing not to find matches in a user’s sheet and (part of) the issue was “smart” versus "dumb" quotes. It occurred to me that this concept may be new to some folks.

Essentially, smart quotes are the fancy curly quotes that curl differently on the beginning and end of text and dumb quotes are the boring, always-vertical quotes that look computer-y.


The confusing part is that while humans read the two types of quotes as essentially the same, computers understand them as different characters— comparing to " is the same as comparing A to B. So, if your Autocat rules use one and the data coming in on your feeds use the other, your rule won’t work. :frowning_face:

The solution is simply to make sure your rule matches your feeds data.

While we’re talking about this, here is one other observation…
When you enter dumb quotes into a post in this forum, they will become smart quotes when they are displayed to other users… which seems… nice! The issue is that Google Sheets formulas expect dumb quotes, so only one of these formulas will work if you copy and paste it from the forum into a cell in your spreadsheet.

  • =“Tiller Money”
  • ="Tiller Money"

The secret is to wrap the content you want to render as unformatted text in the little apostrophe over your tab key.

Hope this helps.


Thanks, @randy! This was super helpful for me. :nerd_face:

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Thanks @randy! I figured this out on my own on the forums, but I didn’t think about how it might also affect Autocat rules.

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