Updating cross references in word
Word was in fact broken by design, from the outset -- and it only got worse from there.
Over the late 1980s and early 1990s Microsoft grew into a behemoth with a near-monopoly position in the world of software.
The file format was also obfuscated, deliberately or intentionally: rather than a parseable document containing formatting and macro metadata, it was effectively a dump of the in-memory data structures used by word, with pointers to the subroutines that provided formatting or macro support.
One early and particularly effective combination was the idea of a text file, containing embedded commands or macros, that could be edited with a programmer's text editor (such as ed or teco or, later, vi or emacs) and subsequently fed to a variety of tools: offline spelling checkers, grammar checkers, and formatters like scribe, troff, and latex that produced a binary page image that could be downloaded to a printer.In the end, the decree went out: Word should implement formatting paradigms.Even though they're fundamentally incompatible and you can get into a horrible mess by applying simple character formatting to a style-driven document, or vice versa.Early versions of Word interoperated well with rivals such as Word Perfect, importing and exporting other programs' file formats.But as Word's domination became established, Microsoft changed the file format repeatedly -- with Word 95, Word 97, in 2000, and again in 2003 and more recently.