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Take It For a Spin: Trial and Demo Versions of Desktop Publishing Software

Find Demos and Limited or Trial Software to Download

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A page layout created in a desktop publishing or page layout application.

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Downloading trial and demo versions of desktop publishing software lets you try before you buy so that you end up buying the right software. You may be cautious about plunking down $500 to $900 or more for a single piece of software, sight unseen. And few of us can get by with just one program. A basic, but complete desktop publishing toolbox can easily run into the 1000's of dollars. Before sweating over the money you need to decide which programs are worth your serious consideration. A $100 program is no bargain if it doesn't do what you need it to do (and why spend $800 when $80 will do).

Fortunately, many desktop publishing software publishers do provide at least some means of test-driving their products before you invest heavily. While demos and trial versions may differ from the full product, they can give you an overview of the product and help you get a feel for which program will best suit your needs and your style of working.

Evaluating Software with Trial Versions

When running time-limited software, don't try to evaluate too many programs at once. Some programs may stop functioning after 10-30 days or after being accessed a specific number of times so give yourself sufficient time to look over one program before installing another one.

In addition to basic familiarity with the program interface and features, choose a simple but typical project such as a business card or a brochure and create the project from scratch in each trial version of desktop publishing software that you download. This will allow you to compare one program to another more evenly.

Be sure to check the features of the demo against a feature list for the full product. Often features are disabled or limited in the trial or demo versions. Make notes about what you like or don't like about each program. Don't rely entirely on memory, especially when evaluating several programs over time.

Choosing Desktop Publishing Software

Trying out a program is only one part of determining what software you need. Sometimes trial versions aren't available or the specific functions you have questions about are not included in the demo. You should also look at product comparisons, fact sheets, and talk to other users of the programs you are considering.

Go get the free trial and demo versions of some of the leading desktop publishing software programs.

Pick Your Path to Desktop Publishing
Get Started:Basic Guidelines and Requirements for Desktop Publishing
Choose Software:Desktop Publishing and Design Software
Tips & Tutorials:How to Do Desktop Publishing
Training, Education, Jobs:Careers in Desktop Publishing
In the Classroom: Back to School With Desktop Publishing
Make Something: Things to Make Using Desktop Publishing
Use Templates: Templates for Print and Web Publishing

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