Anki Forums

Dashes get converted to hyphens, and other Unicode-to-ASCII mappings

In Anki for iOS, I’ve found that whenever I use the WYSIWYG editing mode on a note field that contains an en-dash (–) or em-dash (—), when I save my changes the relevant character will be replaced with a hyphen (-). I can avoid this by editing the HTML, replacing - with –, and saving the note without going back to the WYSIWYG editor, but this is annoying. Is this a known bug?

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AnkiMobile converts smart quotes and dashes to standard ASCII ones, as the former can make the cards hard to search for on other devices that don’t use the smart versions. It could be turned into an option in the future; I’ll keep an eye on demand for this.

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As you are waiting to see the demand on this, I would like to voice my opinion that I would prefer if the iOS version would not convert smart quotes. I go out of my way to type typographical quotes and apostrophes. Today I edited a note during my study on iPad, and I noticed it did convert my quotation marks to the straight kind. Then I had to go back on the Mac app to fix it back to the typographical quotes as I had before.

A little background: I work in publishing, and among my various responsibilities is to make sure straight quotes do not go to print, so I am accustomed to spotting these “errors” and fixing them right away.

Similarly, I also am on the lookout for the difference in the two dashes versus a simple hyphen.

I do understand the reasoning for searches (I also am the web programmer for our small organization, and I have done the very thing). At least for the moment I can achieve what I want by using the desktop app, but I do wonder that the behavior on iOS is unnecessary if the desktop app does not convert typographical quotes.

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The reason for the dichotomy is that iOS will add them automatically as you type, whereas this doesn’t happen in the computer version as it’s using a third-party GUI toolkit, making it difficult to locate words like “can’t” when switching between platforms. The type-in-the-answer functionality is not too difficult to update to handle this, but it’s more difficult to be able to accept either in searches - normalizing it on input is a lot simpler (as you’re aware)

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Thanks for the explanation. As long as the desktop app continues to allow these things, I have a reasonable way to achieve what I’m hoping. It is my preference by far to create and manage decks on desktop and study on mobile.

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I currently only use my Anki deck on iOS, and have been realizing that, whenever I edit a card with an em dash (—), the dashes turn into hyphens (-).

The difference between smart quotes and straight quotes is aesthetic, but an em dash is a different punctuation mark than a hyphen — they have entirely different meanings. For me, that Anki is changing one into the other makes about as much sense as changing periods into commas.

As silly as this may sound, this is more than an aesthetic preference — this is lessening the fundamental function of Anki.

Can anyone think of any way I can stop Anki from “correcting” my punctuation choice (while still using the iOS app)?

I don’t see any easy way to solve the issue of these characters being harder to search for on the computer version, but I will look into adding an option to disable this behaviour for users who’d like to keep the original characters.

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An option will be in the preferences of the next beta, please let me know if you’d like to try it:

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