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The Smarty Pants modifier enables a broad set of typographical improvements to your punctuation, based on John Gruber’s original work to fix typography on the web. Since Movable Type 4, Smarty Pants has been built in to Movable Type’s template tags, so that you can apply the following transformations to any text you publish:

  • Straight quotes ( " and ' ) into “curly” quote HTML entities (“” and ‘’)
  • Backticks-style quotes (``like this'') into “curly” quote HTML entities
  • Dashes (-- and ---) into en- and em-dash entities ( and )
  • Three consecutive dots (...) into an ellipsis entity ()


To enable Smarty Pants, just add the modifier to your template tag. Note: If you use Movable Type’s built-in “Markdown with SmartyPants” option while creating posts, you do not need to add this attribute to your templates.

<mt:EntryBody smarty_pants="1">

Version Compatibility

An old version of the Smarty Pants plugin (supplied with Movable Type version 3) used the modifier smartypants (instead of the current variant, smarty_pants). Templates using the old format will need to be updated to use the new format. Also note that the old version of the plugin did not support dynamic templates; the current version does.