Adobe Photoshop

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Adobe Photoshop icon

Template:Infobox Software Adobe Photoshop is a bitmap graphics editor (with some text and vector graphics capabilities) developed and published by Adobe Systems. It is the market leader for commercial bitmap image manipulation. It is usually referred to simply as "Photoshop". As with most of Adobe's other applications, Photoshop is available for Mac OS and Microsoft Windows; versions up to Photoshop 7 can also be used with operating systems such as Linux using software such as CrossOver Office. Past versions of the program were ported to the SGI IRIX platform, but official support for this port was dropped after version 3.



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Adobe Camera RAW plugin under Win XP

Although primarily designed to edit images for paper-based printing, Photoshop is used increasingly to produce images for the World Wide Web. Recent versions bundle a related application, Adobe ImageReady, to provide a more specialized set of tools for this purpose.

Photoshop also has strong links with software for media editing, animation and authoring. It works with Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Premiere, Adobe After Effects & Adobe Encore DVD to make professional standard DVDs, provide non-linear editing and special effects services such as backgrounds, textures and so on for television, film and the web. Photoshop's native file format (PSD or PDD) can be exported to and from Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Premiere, After Effects and Adobe Encore DVD. Photoshop CS broadly supports making menus and buttons for DVDs. For PSD or PDD files exported as a menu or button, it only needs to have layers, nested in layer sets with a cueing format and Adobe Encore DVD reads them as buttons or menus.

PSD or PDD is a widely accepted file format. Competing bitmap image editing programs (such as Macromedia Fireworks, Corel Photo-Paint, Discreet Combustion, Pixel32, WinImages, GIMP, etc.) can import and edit layered PSD or PDD files.

Photoshop can deal with a number of different color spaces:

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Simple composite image produced with various tools in Photoshop.

The most recent version, as of 2005, is version 9. This iteration of the program is marketed as "Photoshop CS2". "CS" reflects its integration with "Adobe's Creative Suite" and a number "2" because it is the second version released since Adobe rebranded their products under the CS umbrella. In an effort to break away with previous versions of the application and to reinforce its belonging with the new line of products, Photoshop even dropped one classic graphic feature from its packaging: the Photoshop eye, which was present in different manifestations from versions 3 to 7. Photoshop CS versions now use feathers as a form of identification.

Photoshop CS features a revolutionary command : 'Shadow/Highlight' which allow user to 'suppress' highlights and/or 'push out' shadows while maintaining most of the 'image details' (that is, the histogram would remain virtually unchanged). It also comes with Adobe Camera RAW, a plugin developed by Thomas Knoll which has the ability to read several RAW file formats from various digital cameras and import them directly into Photoshop. A preliminary version of the RAW plugin was also available for Photoshop 7.0.1 as a $99 USD optional purchase.

Photoshop is generally considered one of the best image editing programs for raster graphics, but it has the disadvantage of a high price. This has helped a number of competing graphics tools to become popular, some of which are extremely powerful. In an attempt to recapture this lost market share, Adobe introduced a much less expensive program called Photoshop Elements that consists of Photoshop minus some of the high-end output capabilities. Consequently, Elements is useful for editing photos from consumer digital cameras and for doctoring images for the web but considerably less so for professional prepress work. Photoshop Elements retails for $99 USD MSRP, compared to Photoshop's retail price of $649 USD.

Cultural impact

The term photoshopping is a neologism, meaning "editing an image", regardless of the program used. Adobe discourages use of the term [1] ( out of fear that it will undermine the company's trademark; an alternate term which leaves out the Photoshop reference is "photochop". The term photoshop is also used as a noun referring to the altered image. This is specially popular amongst members of the websites Something Awful, Fark, B3ta and Worth1000 where photoshopping is an institution, with the goal of altering an image, subtly or blatantly, to make it humorous or just clever, by appealing to both the slapstick- or intellectual-level of humor, often via the use of obscure in-jokes and pop culture references. A very recent and even more obscure variety of this, is the so called "Fake": extreme parodying of the current celebrity culture, by blending famous faces with nude or pornographic images. Photoshop competitions in all these varieties have become a favourite pastime for many professional and amateur users of the software.

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An example of deletion manipulation. The original is on the left

The term is sometimes used with a derogatory intent by artists to refer to images that have been retouched instead of originally produced. A common issue amongst users of all skill levels is the ability to avoid in one's work what is referred to as "the Photoshop look" (although such an issue is intrinsic to many graphics programs).

In recent times, Photoshop has been used for altering and drawing vehicles, usually cars, in a process known as 'digi-modding','photoshopping' or 'virtual-tuning'. About twenty websites in recent years have been established. The rate of expansion of this 'new' type of art is huge. Although the websites that provide a base for people to 'showoff' their 'chops', 'Photo-manipulated' cars have been in automotive magazines for years.


The brothers Thomas Knoll and John Knoll began development on Photoshop in 1987. Version 1 was released by Adobe in 1990. The program was intended from the start as a tool for manipulating images that were digitized by a scanner, which was a rare and expensive device in those days.

Release history

Version Platform Codename Release date Significant changes
1.0 Mac OS February 1990
2.0 Mac OS Fast Eddy June 1991 Paths
2.0.1 Mac OS January 1992
2.5 Mac OS Merlin November 1992
Windows Brimstone
2.5.1 Mac OS 1993
3.0 Mac OS Tiger Mountain September 1994
  • Tabbed Palettes
  • Layers
Windows, IRIX November 1994
4.0 Mac OS, Windows Big Electric Cat November 1996
  • Adjustment Layers
  • Editable type (previously, type was rasterized as soon as it was added)
4.0.1 Mac OS, Windows August 1997
5.0 Mac OS, Windows Strange Cargo May 1998
  • Multiple Undo (History Palette)
  • Color Management
5.0.1 Mac OS, Windows 1999
5.5 Mac OS, Windows February 1999
  • Extract
  • Vector Shapes
6.0 Mac OS, Windows Venus in Furs September 2000 Introduced the "liquify" filter
6.1 Mac OS, Windows March 2001
7.0 Mac OS, Windows Liquid Sky March 2001
  • Made text fully vector
  • Healing Brush
  • New painting engine
7.0.1 Mac OS, Windows August 2002 Camera RAW 1.x (optional plugin)
CS (8.0) Mac OS, Windows Dark Matter October 2003
  • Camera RAW 2.x
  • Shadow/Highlight Command
  • Match Colour command
  • "Lens blur" filter
  • Real-Time Histogram
  • Detection and refusal to print scanned images of various banknotes
CS2 (9.0) Mac OS, Windows Space Monkey April 2005
  • Camera RAW 3.x
  • "Smart Objects"
  • Image Warp
  • Spot healing brush
  • Red-Eye tool
  • Lens Correction filter
  • Smart Sharpen
  • Vanishing Point
  • High dynamic range imaging (HDRI) support

Easter Eggs

Holding down Ctrl (in Windows) or the Command key (on Mac versions) in Photoshop while selecting Help→About or Photoshop→About Photoshop (on Mac versions) from the menu shows a different version of the "About" screen with a special graphic. This graphic is different in each version, and is based on the code name for that version (e.g., "Dark Matter" for Photoshop CS or "Big Electric Cat" for version 4). This also works in ImageReady and several other Adobe applications.

In Photoshop CS, holding down Alt while selecting "Palette Options" on the layer palette will open a window with a small picture of Merlin.


There are many other bitmap-graphics editors available, but none have come close to Photoshop's popularity among professionals. The closest competitors would be the open source GIMP and Paint.NET, and the commercial Pixel32, Macromedia Fireworks, Corel Photo-Paint, and Paint Shop Pro.

See also

Related terms

External links

Official websites

Other websites


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