I just went into Word and created a file that read, to the naked eye, as follows:
Then I copy-pasted that text into a website that revealed the hidden code my document was carrying. Here’s a snippet:
<!—[if gte mso 9]><xml>
And it goes on:[…]
The whole sprawling thing runs to 16,224 characters. When I dumped it back into Word, it was an eight-page document.
Online publishing systems gag on this stuff; gremlins breed in the hidden spaces. Some publishing platforms have a built-in button especially for pasting text from Word, to clear away the worst of it, but they don’t work very well.
I have to say, since I don’t use Word very much, that I find the current Windows version bewildering. The last version I spent any time with was the 2000-ish Mac version, which was okay, though it did contain hundreds of features I had no use for. The current Windows version has an interface from another planet, and I now use about one percent of its features rather than the ten percent I might have used before.
I try to encourage my students to use TextEdit for writing, which is what I do most of the time. Doubtless, hours and hours are wasted in ICT lessons just teaching people how to use Word. Brilliant.