Celebrating 22 Years of Adobe Photoshop – Timeline

Adobe’s Photoshop has been a part of every web designer out there and I’m sure that they would agree with me on this. Adobe Photoshop has not only made a designer’s life easier with the new features and technologies that are released in new versions, but has also helped in expanding the peripheral vision of creativity, art and imagination.

For the last two decades Adobe Photoshop has been the world’s most popular image editor and today the Adobe team is celebrating the editor’s 22nd anniversary.

The story of the World’s most popular image editor began in 1987, when Thomas Knoll programmed a pixel imaging program he called Display. Primarily, the tool displayed grayscale images on a black-and-white monitor. However, Display did create a strong foundation for what has now become the world’s most popular image editing tool.

Knoll Brothers

Adobe licensed the software in 1988 and renamed it Photoshop, and shipped the very first version of Photoshop on February 19, 1990, at a price of $895.

Adobe predicted that they would sell 500 copies of Photoshop per month, but with the unique features it offered, Adobe managed to beat those projections. Today, the software is being used by over millions of people worldwide.

Here’s a timeline of how Photoshop kick started and went on to become the world’s popular image editing tool –

1987 – Thomas Knoll, a PhD student at the University of Michigan, develops a tool called Display for his Mac Plus with a capability ofAdobe Photoshop 1.0 displaying 256-share grayscale images on black and white screen.

1998 – Adobe licenses Display and renames it to Photoshop. Approximately 200 copies of the version 0.87 were shipped in bundle with the scanners.

1990 – Photoshop 1.0 is released with system requirements of an 8MHz processor and 2MB RAM. The main features of Photoshop 1.0 were color correction, image optimization for output, Curves, Levels, and the Clone tool. The software could easily fit on 3.5-inch floppy disk.

1991 – Photoshop 2.0 (codenamed Fast Eddy) is released with CMYK support, Path tool, and the rasterization of Illustrator files. Abode also released an SDK for third-party plugin developments.

1993 – Photoshop 2.5 (codenamed Merlin) is released for Windows as well as Mac. It ships with 16-bit image support, Quick Mask, Dodge and Burn Tools, and visual color-correction tool.

1994 – Adobe releases Photoshop 3.0 with key feature – Image Layers, one of the most important features ever added in Photoshop. In the same year, Alien Skin Software developers the first drop-shadow effect plugin for Photoshop.

1996 – Adobe Photoshop 4.0 (codenamed Big Electric cat) is released with key features including, adjustment layers, macros, Actions, grids, Free Transformation tool, and a new user interface.

1998 – Adobe releases Photoshop 5.5 (codenamed Strange Cargo). Includes features like the History palette, layer effects, spot colors,Adobe Photoshop 5.5 and the Magnetic Lasso tool. This is first ever version of Photoshop that supported integrated online updating.

2000 – Adobe Photoshop 6.0 (codenamed Venus in Furs) is released with feature including Layer Styles, layer-based slicing for HTML development, Liquefy filter, and a redesigned user interface.

2002 – Adobe ships Photoshop 7.0 (codenamed Liquid Sky). Photoshop 7.0 introduces new features like, Healing Brush tool, custom workspaces, and a spell checker.

2003 – The release of Adobe Photoshop CS (a.k.a Photoshop 8, codenamed Dark Matter). This version features layer groups, Lens Blur Filter, keyboard shortcuts, and JavaScript support.  This is very first version to require activation, and came with a PDF manual.

2005 – Photoshop CS2 is released (codenamed Space Monkey) with Bridge, Smart Objects Spot Healing, HDR merging, and Lens Correction filter.

2006 – Adobe released a beta version of Photoshop Lightroom, an image management tool basically created for professional photographers.

2007 – Photoshop CS3 (codenamed Red Pill) is released with Smart Filters, the ability to import and process videos, Black and White conversion tool, and a improved Clone tool.

Adobe Photoshop CS4

2008 – Adobe Photoshop goes online. Adobe creates a Flash based Photoshop Express app on Photoshop.com, offering limited image editing features. In the same year, Adobe release Photoshop Lightroom 2.0. Adobe also released Photoshop CS4 (codenamed Stonehenge) offering features like Content Aware Scaling, RAW image processing, and auto layer alignment tools. A 64-bit version for Windows Vista was also released.

2009 – Photoshop.com is available for the iPhone as a free mobile edition image editor. Adobe releases a public beta of Lightroom 3.0

2010. Adobe Photoshop turned 20 years. Releases Photoshop CS5 with better Edge Detection and Masking, Straighten and Multilayer Opacity, improved Content Aware fill, and improved Spot Healing tool.

2011 – Adobe releases Photoshop for Android and the iOS operating system. Also, Adobe Photoshop CS5.5 is released in May.

2012 – Adobe celebrates 22 years of awesomeness.

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Joel Fernandes

Joel Fernandes (G+) is a tech enthusiast and a social media blogger. During his leisure time, he enjoys taking photographs, and photography is one of his most loved hobbies. You can find some of his photos on Flickr. He does a little of web coding, and maintains a tech blog of his own - Techo Latte. Joel is currently pursuing his Masters in Computer Application from Bangalore, India. You can get in touch with him on Twitter - @joelfernandes, or visit his Facebook Profile for more information.