I tried that once upon a time. Found that Word tries to put every Microsoft proprietary piece of web code in there, too.
I performed an experiment. Created a page with Word. The resulting html page contained 60K bytes. Then I ran this html page through Dreamweaver's ''Clean-up Word HTML'' option. The result was a 19K html page which displayed perfectly, using only standard html (no xml or other wasted code).
This is very significant for your website visitors in much quicker display of pages, not to mention the reduction in your website's bandwidth usage.
Because of this, and the other advertised features of Dreamweaver, I purchased Dreamweaver. It's worth it to me, and I find it relatively easy to use. I develop webpages professionally, so the expense appears justified. Dreamweaver can be set to either take advantage of the latest and greatest in xtml and xml, or to use a more simple, basic set of html.
When developing for my customers, I take into consideration who I'm developing for. If it's a company which already has, or expresses a desire to invest $400 or so in Dreamweaver, I use xhtml and the other expanded abilities of DW. But if developing for a small company which just wants to have a site created and then take over maintenance of it, I use the more basic commands of DW, which are more compatible with more affordable HTML editors. The more affordable, feature-rich HTML editor I've been recommending lately is CoffeeCup ($49). Does a good job, and doesn't cost an arm and a leg, which is what most small business owners like to hear. Especially if they need multiple copies of the editor for multiple web authors!
As for an ''ease of learning and use'' comparison between DW and CoffeeCup, there shouldn't be much of a difference for those who just want to create basic pages quickly. You'll need to invest some time to struggle through and learn some new things. Should take an average person maybe a week or two of spending four hours a day to become adequately proficient, but you'll always be bumping into walls and learning new things as you go forward (and that's a good thing).
One big plus I've found with DW is it's ability to properly maintain your links. Let's say you have a certain page that you want to rename or replace with a page of another name for some reason. And this page is linked to by 7 other pages in your site. While renaming the page, DW will ask you if you'd like the links in the 7 other pages to be changed to maintain the links, and will make the changes in all 7 pages immediately, behind the scenes. This is a huge timesaver!
You can also find/replace at the document, folder, or site level. Changes all instances of a given text string to another. Very handy!
So yes, there are features in DW which are worth their weight in gold... to the appropriate users. Someone with a small website with a handful of pages is probably better served by CoffeeCup or other more affordable product.
And on a related note, my customers all receive the recommendation that they avoid using FrontPage. Frontpage uses proprietary (surprise!) code - even requiring it on the webserver (they call it Frontpage extensions). If you use anything other than FrontPage to upload your pages, the FTP session can corrupt the server-side extensions and bring your site down. Or so I've read time and time again, even in Microsoft's literature. Please educate me if this is no longer true. So, purchasing one copy of Frontpage ($140?) for use in the office and 5 copies of CoffeeCup (at $49 per copy) for use at home by website contributors is just asking for trouble.
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