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Adobe Photoshop is 25 years old today

by Mark Tyson on 19 February 2015, 10:34

Tags: Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE)

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Adobe launched Photoshop 1 on 19th February 1990 and today the company celebrates the program's 25th birthday. The program is now so pervasive and well known that it has become a verb, often truncated to 'shopped' by youths describing photos that seem to have been faked in some way.

Photoshop was derived from a program called 'Display' written by Thomas Knoll in 1987. This program allowed its users to showcase greyscale images on a monochrome monitor. Thomas Knoll worked upon the Display program with his brother John to improve it and incorporate digital image file editing functionality. In 1989 Adobe decided to license the software, which was released as Adobe Photoshop 1 in 1990.

"Adobe thought we'd sell about 500 copies of Photoshop a month," said Thomas Knoll, Adobe Fellow and Photoshop co-creator. "Not in my wildest dreams did we think creatives would embrace the product in the numbers and ways they have. It's inspiring to see the beautiful images our customers create, the careers Photoshop has launched and the new uses people, all over the world, find for Photoshop every day." Indeed the program is used by "millions," in a wide range of professions from web hairdressers to North Korean propagandists. It is also available on a wide range of platforms, including mobile, though it started as a Mac-exclusive.

Adobe says that the secret of Photoshop's success is the constantly evolving capabilities it has offered. It has been through 15 major versions since 1990 and now Adobe sells the full desktop version, not as a boxed piece of software, but via a cloud subscription. (For "as low as $29.99 per month").

I've been a regular Photoshop user since Photoshop 3 was the current version and back then mainly used it to correct levels and crop images to the correct size for newspapers and magazines. Now at HEXUS I use it for similar mundane but essential tasks, such as cropping the feature images used in our articles to precisely 515 x 221 pixels and article images to 600px wide but no more than 600px high for the story body. Do you use Photoshop every day? What was the first version you used?

Adobe produced the 'Dream On' video below, to celebrate Photoshop's 25th birthday.

HEXUS Forums :: 13 Comments

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Nope, didn't start using it until it was ported to windows, ver 2.5 iirc
I think I was using Deluxe Paint 2 in 1990 on my brothers Amiga. The first time I used Photoshop, was in about 1994 on the Mac at school, then moved on to the PC about a year later.
The Hand;2809
Deluxe Paint
Ah, the early days. An A500, a copy of Deluxe Paint, a printer, and a curiosity as to why the ‘cut’ command didn't cause the printer to cut out my drawings like I told it to.
The Hand;3434192
I think I was using Deluxe Paint 2 in 1990 on my brothers Amiga. The first time I used Photoshop, was in about 1994 on the Mac at school, then moved on to the PC about a year later.

DP2 was the bomb. Way ahead of its time IMO and it took a while before anything else did cut-out transparencies as well as it did.
Deluxe paint was brilliant, had DP 3 (or 4?) on my Amiga, the little Electronic Arts guy juggling on a unicycle in the animation package.

I started on Jasc Paint shop pro back when it was good, moved on to photoshop either v4 or 5. Still use CS6 today, not convinced with the CC versions.