Not the written word, of course… just the application. At least that’s what Tom Socca is calling for in an article he posted last week on Slate called “Death to Word: It’s Time to Give up on Microsoft’s Word Processor.” While this might be a bit extreme, I have to agree with Socca on a few points.
Word’s menu bar looks like the dashboard of a commercial airliner…not a tool for processing words. And although I think I’ve finally figured out how to maneuver my way around most of its forced defaults (like the auto-formatted outlines, bulleted lists, and incorrect grammar alerts), I could certainly do without many of Word’s “helpful” options.
Throughout its many releases in the past decade, I’m afraid Word has fallen victim to “feature creep.” Its functionality has overtaken its usability; its many features actually slow people down and keep them from performing what should be a very simple task: creating a document. Sure, I guess it’s nice that Word gives me seventeen different options for cover pages. But do you know how many times I’ve used them? Not once.