When giving input to Xic, single and double quotes can be used to ``hide'' characters, such as space characters, that Xic would otherwise interpret incorrectly. Xic will generally strip the outermost quotes before processing, so inner-level quotes will be retained (quote marks of different types nest). A quote mark which is preceded by a backslash will be treated as an ordinary character.
As an example, consider the prompt of the Open command. The command prompt expects one or two tokens. The first token is the name of a file to open. The second token, if given, is the name of the cell to edit if the first token names a multi-cell file such as a GDSII file. Suppose that the file is in a directory named ``Xic Files''. Without the quoting mechanism, there is an obvious problem. To edit the file, one enters, for example (each of these would work),
The double quotes make each of these strings appear to Xic as a single word.