Word Processing: Still in the Dark Ages

By | July 16, 2008


I’m amazed by how word processing is still in the dark ages, considering it’s what we spend most of our day doing. Case in point is Microsoft Word 2007, which throws all sorts of weirdness—artefacts, I guess we’d call them—in text. Try scrolling through a longish document—anything over 5,000 words—and you get this kind of thing (see above) where three lines repeat themselves. And it’s not just a brief, trick of the eye type thing. It sits there like a dumb duck until you fiddle with it and it goes away.

I’m very surprised that this kind of thing happens, and that it happens on such a regular basis. These are not complicated files that contain big tables or fancy graphics, or imported ones. They’re normal Word files.

It tends to confirm my suspicion that software developers rarely concentrate honing the functions that we actually spend most time in. There’s a tendency to add features, or change interfaces, or in some ways to count value, not in terms of making sure the basics work well, but in the stuff around it. (And no, sadly OpenOffice.org isn’t a whole lot better.

I guess what I’d like to see is someone come up with a real word processor: something that really processes words properly. So far I don’t think we’re there.

One thought on “Word Processing: Still in the Dark Ages

  1. mattbg

    I’ve seen this before, but only on some machines yet with the same version of Word. I see it on XP on my Thinkpad. On Vista on my Thinkpad and desktop, I don’t see it.

    I wonder if it’s a graphic driver issue more than a Word issue….?


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