Whether you are creating content for CD-ROMs, DVD-ROMs, kiosks, digital signage, stand-alone Internet applications or even games, powerful multimedia authoring applications will help. Multimedia authoring programs, such as CD authoring and DVD authoring, can bring together myriad digital elements and functions — images, text, video, animation, interactivity — to create a professional, high-impact presentation. When shopping for multimedia authoring software, consider the following:1. Know your delivery method. The form in which the content reaches your consumer dictates the type of multimedia authoring software you need.2. Do you need full-featured multimedia authoring applications or out-of-the-box solutions?3. If you are producing content for the Internet, choose multimedia authoring programs designed for online content.4. What multimedia authoring software is available for corporate and educational markets. Delivery methods determine which type of multimedia authoring software you need Multimedia content reaches the end consumer in many different formats, including DVDs, Blu-Ray, CDs, the Internet, kiosks, iPods, cell phones and other portable devices. The delivery form - or forms - the content will eventually take will help you choose the best multimedia authoring programs. Full-featured multimedia authoring programs versus out-of-the box solutions Professional multimedia authoring applications like Adobe Dreamweaver and Adobe Director support the most feature- and design-rich multimedia environments. These multimedia authoring applications are magic in the hands of design professionals, but they may be overkill for many purposes. Average users may prefer out-of-the-box multimedia authoring software solutions, which often provide image and icon libraries, templates and one-click links. Multimedia authoring programs for the Internet Much of today's multimedia content is designed for the Internet. Multimedia authoring applications help you focus your energy on creativity and functionality rather than the tedious activity of writing the underlying code. Multimedia authoring software for corporate and educational markets Almost all of today's sales presentation, marketing materials and instructional programs are ultimately presented on computer screens, whether they get there from the Internet, a CD-ROM or a company server. The same is true of educational content. Several multimedia authoring applications are designed to serve these markets. Don't expect professional-level multimedia authoring programs like Dreamweaver to include an image library. For CD authoring and DVD authoring, make sure the finished product can run on all the major operating systems. If your content is intended for multiple mediums, save time by buying multimedia authoring programs that can optimize for different delivery methods and devices. Take advantage of free downloadable trial versions of multimedia authoring applications. Don't overbuy. Many multimedia authoring applications come in several versions from scaled-down basics up to full-feature packages. Buy only what you need.