The problem for how most people use technology is that they accept the defaults, then laboriously, manually, at each necessary point, alter things by hand so as to achieve the desired effect.
Understanding how to set up:
- style sheets (even in a basic word processor)
- macros (yep, word processors have these too)
- piping commands at the command line
- semantic tagging
will go a long way towards making them more productive (and me much happier when I get book manuscripts which are properly set up).
Hint, if you find it necessary to turn off the viewing of special characters 'cause of the visual noise, you're doing it wrong.