If you want to try any of the Adobe software programs on your computer, you can either download the fully-functional 30-day trial from the Adobe Downloads website or, if you don’t have the necessary bandwidth (Adobe software are generally huge - Photoshop CS4 installer alone weighs more than 1 GB), you can request Adobe to ship you trial DVDs of the entire Adobe Creative Suite 4 by snail mail for a fee.
There’s however another option now that would neither require you to download software installer from the web nor would have you have to wait for the trial DVDs to arrive in your mailbox - all you need is a browser and an Internet connection with some decent speed to test-drive some of the popular Adobe software titles.
Adobe now provides an online demo of all software components that are part of the Adobe Technical Communications suite. These working demos are exactly similar to the actual desktop software but here you get to try the software directly in a web browser without having to install anything on your machine.
The various Adobe programs that you may test within the browser include Photoshop CS4, Adobe Captive (for screencasting and elearning), Adobe Presenter with PowerPoint, RoboHelp (for help systems), Acrobat (for PDF) and Adobe FrameMaker 9 (for technical documentation).
Obviously, there are limitations. For instance, you can create new projects using any of these online Adobe software but you can’t save them out of the virtual environment. Similarly, it is not possible to import existing files from the local disk into the online test environment.