United States Patent Application: 0050177789 is Microsoft’s filing for ” Method and apparatus for visually emphasizing numerical data contained within an electronic document”…which would be “highlighting the numbers, whether in their alpha or numeric forms, in a word processing document.”
Asspatent, asspatent, asspatent.
Though it does point to an interesting omission (as far as I’ve seen, at least) in word processing and presentation software: the damn things do spelling and grammar checks, why not basic math checks? I can think of several occasions in recent months where I’ve seen Word docs or Powerpoint presentations that had arithmetical typos (misplaced decimal points and the like).
I suppose that this is a sort of half step in that direction, highlighting the numbers so that you can check them, but why not go all the way and have the computing device try to identify and validate your computations?