Adobe Photoshop

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Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop CC icon.svg
Adobe Photoshop CC on Windows
Basic data

developer Adobe Inc.
Publishing year 1990
Current  version 21.2.2
(August 17, 2020)
operating system macOS , Windows , iPadOS
programming language C ++
category Image editing program
License proprietary
German speaking Yes

Adobe Photoshop [ əˌdoʊbi ˈfəʊtəʊʃɒp ] is an image processing program for (primarily) pixel graphics from the US software company Adobe Inc. The program is the world market leader and dominant in the field of image processing and prepress . Photoshop is part of Adobe Creative Cloud , a collection of graphics and design programs, and, like most other Adobe applications, is available for the Mac OS and Windows operating systems. It was originally created by Thomas and John Knoll in 1988 .

Importance of the program

Photoshop is generally considered to be one of the most feature-rich image editing programs out there. It has established itself as the industry standard in the image processing industry (e.g. photographers, web designers, advertising agencies) . Most of the features that are regularly used in image editing software today were originally first introduced in Photoshop. Due to the widespread use of the software, photoshopping is now used in technical jargon as a generic name synonymous with computer-aided image manipulation.

Photoshop is used by around 10 million users worldwide, around 90% of professional designers use this software. According to a survey in 2007 with only 500 participants, 58% of Photoshop users use the program as a black copy . In the same year, Photoshop was the fourth most popular black copy software.

Photoshop's price has remained nominally almost the same for the past 25 years; Due to inflation, however , the value of new versions has de facto declined over the years: Version 1 from 1990 cost $ 895 (adjusted for inflation today corresponds to $ 1,747), CS5 costs $ 699 and the "Extended" version costs $ 999. Adobe introduced cheaper end-user editions, first as Photoshop LT , then called Adobe Photoshop Elements , the features of which have been optimized for the needs of home users. Compared to the more expensive and more extensive versions of Photoshop, functions that are more likely to be used in the professional sector have been removed. As with most competing products, there is no CMYK color model mode or the ability to edit images in a color depth of 48 bits . They are intended for web design and post-processing of images from digital cameras . Functions specially designed for easier operation, such as the file browser with extended options, the red-eye tool or the instant repair brush, were initially to be found in Photoshop Elements before they were then also available in the more powerful Photoshop CS2. The Elements output is often shipped with digital cameras or scanners.

There were also 2 to 5 editions of Photoshop versions with the letters LE for Limited Edition , which, similar to the current Photoshop Elements, represented a functionally restricted variant of the program compared to Photoshop CS. These were also often delivered together with hardware as a so-called bundle or OEM version.

Development history

The development of Photoshop began in 1987, first by Thomas Knoll and a little later together with his brother John Knoll . The latter was working for Industrial Light & Magic at the time . He used the program as a VFX artist for the film The Abyss . They called the resulting program display . In the next period the brothers improved the program; the first 200 copies of version 0.87 were delivered a year later to Barneyscan XP and sold together with their scanners under the name Image Pro .

Aldus developed the photostyler at the same time . Adobe had just reached an agreement with Letraset to further develop Color Studio when Adobe's art director Russel Brown discovered Photoshop to be the better program. In 1988 the Knoll brothers and Adobe signed a pioneering contract for the software. It was not until two years later, in February 1990, that Photoshop S1.0 was published by Adobe exclusively for the Apple Macintosh. From the beginning it was intended for processing images that had been digitized by a scanner . At the time, these devices were still rare and expensive. Path tools were already included in the 1992 version. With version 2.5, a version for Windows computers appeared for the first time in the same year. Version 3 appeared in 1994 and contained layers, which for the first time allowed more complex editing. Files in Photoshop were limited to 30,000 × 30,000 pixels. In 1998, in version 5.0, editable text and the adjustable recursive version history appeared for the first time. Version 5.5, when it appeared in 1999, was specifically geared towards additional functions for the network. CS first included groupable layers and support for large files in 2003. In 2005, CS2 introduced a “red-eye function”, while in 2007 CS3 introduced algorithms for faster loading of images and the quick selection tool. In 2008 CS4 appeared with improved pan and zoom, tabulated documents and mask layers, Photoshop was now available in 22 languages.

Although developed primarily for editing print-ready images, Photoshop has increasingly also been used to produce images for the World Wide Web . With version S5.5, Photoshop came out with an additional program called ImageReady , which made specialized tools available for this purpose. These functions were gradually integrated into the main application up to version CS2.

With the appearance of the Adobe Creative Suite (CS) (2003) the naming of Photoshop was changed: Since then, the foreground of the name has been the affiliation to the respective "Suite" (Photoshop CS, Photoshop CS2, Photoshop CS3 etc.); the actual version number (8, 9, 10, etc.) is only mentioned additionally.

Version 9 (CS2) was released in April 2005, Version 10 (CS3) on March 27, 2007; the English version has been in stores since April 16, 2007, the German version since May 15, 2007. The integration of ImageReady into the main program was completed and has not been available as a separate program since.

On September 23, 2008, Creative Suite 4 (CS4) was published with Photoshop 11 and has been sold in Germany since November 4, 2008. For Windows (Vista), but not for the Macintosh, a 64-bit version is now available for the first time. This version is the last to support Apple computers with PowerPC processors.

On April 12, 2010 the Creative Suite 5 (CS5) with Photoshop 12 was published, which has been sold in Germany since May 10, 2010. A 64-bit version is available for Mac OS X for the first time . In April 2011 Photoshop was slightly updated with the release of Creative Suite 5.5, which is designed to work with special tablet apps.

Creative Suite 6 (CS6) with Photoshop 13 was released on May 11, 2012. One innovation was the Mercury graphics engine, which accelerates the image build-up, the Adobe Creative Cloud function (for a fee) (available in Germany from the same date) and a revision of the design tools. Another feature of Photoshop 13 is the dark gray background of the editing window, which was previously light gray. The RAW converter "Adobe Camera RAW (ACR) 7" appeared at the same time as Photoshop 13.

On May 7, 2013, Adobe presented the version Photoshop CC, which changed the programs of the Creative Suite to Adobe Creative Cloud . By switching to the cloud solution, you can use your personal settings wherever Photoshop CC is installed. Further innovations are filters to reduce camera shake, editable rounded rectangles and a live preview. As of version CC, Photoshop is only available by subscription.

In June 2014, Photoshop CC 2014 was released; a year later, on June 15, 2015 Photoshop CC 2015.

Photoshop was first released for the iPad in November 2019.


Legend: Older version; no longer supported Older version; still supported Current version Current preliminary version Future version
version Code name platform publication Most important innovations
Older version; no longer supported: 0.63 Mac OS Classic October 1988
Older version; no longer supported: 1.0 Mac OS (up to 9) February 1990
Older version; no longer supported: 2.0 Almost Eddy Mac OS (up to 9) June 1991
Older version; no longer supported: 2.5 Merlin Mac OS (up to 9) November 1992
  • Native PowerPC support
  • First Windows version
Brimstone Windows
IRIX , Solaris November 1993
Older version; no longer supported: 3.0 Tiger Mountain Mac OS (up to 9) September 1994
Windows, IRIX, Solaris November 1994
Older version; no longer supported: 4.0 Big Electric Cat Mac OS (up to 9), Windows November 1996
  • Adjustment levels
  • Macros
Older version; no longer supported: 5.0 Strange cargo Mac OS (up to 9), Windows May 1997
  • Editable texts (previously text was rasterized immediately after it was added)
  • Undo function with history
  • Color management
  • Magnetic lasso
Older version; no longer supported: 5.5 Mac OS (up to 9), Windows 95 February 1999
Older version; no longer supported: 6.0 Venus in Furs Mac OS (up to 9), Windows September 2000
  • Vector shapes
  • New graphical user interface
  • Number of levels increased from 99 to 8000
  • "Liquefaction" filter
  • Layer styles
Older version; no longer supported: 7.0 Liquid Sky Mac OS (up to 9), Mac OS X (up to 10.4) , Win NT 4.0 , Win 98 SE , Win ME March 2002
  • Texts now completely vectorized
  • "Healing Brush"
Older version; no longer supported: 7.0.1 Mac OS (up to 9), macOS , Win NT 4.0 , Win 98 SE , Win ME August 2002
  • Camera RAW 1.x plug-in (optional)
Older version; no longer supported: CS (8.0) Dark matter Mac OS X, Windows October 2003
  • Camera RAW 2.x support
  • Heavily modified slice function
  • Drop shadow and glow functions
  • "Lens Blur" effect filter
  • Filter gallery
  • Smart guides
  • Real time histogram
  • CDS module (Counterfeit Deterrence System) - this system tries to recognize scanned banknotes and is supposed to prevent printing
  • Macrovision copy protection based on SafeCast - DRM technology
  • Scripting support for JavaScript and other programming languages
  • Hierarchical level groups
  • Layer compositions
  • New PSB (Photoshop Big) file format introduced
Older version; no longer supported: CS2 (9.0) Space monkey Mac OS X up to 10.6.8, Win 2000 , Win XP April 2005
  • Camera RAW 3.x support
  • Smart Objects
  • Editable graphical user interface
  • Adobe Bridge support
  • HDRI support (16- and 32-bit)
  • Warp
  • Vanishing Point Tool
  • Lens correction
  • Selective sharpening
  • DNG converter
  • Better memory management on 64-bit systems ( PowerPC G5 )
  • Changed level handling, first version in which several levels can be selected at the same time
Older version; no longer supported: CS3, CS3 Extended (10.0) Red pill Mac OS X
Windows XP SP2 to Windows 7 (x86 and x64)
April 16, 2007
  • Two Photoshop versions, the extended version contains additional functions for 3D, videos and animations, as well as advanced tools for image analysis
  • ImageReady will be abolished and the functions will be integrated directly into Photoshop
  • The extract filter is removed from the standard installation and must be installed as a plug-in.
  • Native support for Apple computers with Intel hardware
  • Improved Windows Vista support
  • Revised graphical user interface
  • Smart filter
  • Extension of camera RAW support
  • Lens correction (lens distortion, color errors and vignetting)
  • Modified handling of curves, vanishing points, channel mixer, brightness, contrast and the print dialog
  • Setting options have been added to the black and white function
  • Auto Tint, Auto Contrast, and Auto Color functions
  • Optimization of image files for portable devices
  • Optimization of the cloning and healing functions
  • Optimized 32-bit HDRI editing (layers, drawing, more filters and settings)
  • Start of the application has been accelerated considerably
Older version; no longer supported: CS4, CS4 Extended (11.0) Stonehenge Mac OS X
Windows XP SP2 to Windows 7 (x86 and x64)
October 30, 2008
  • GPU and OpenGL support for smooth zooming and panning
  • Native support for 64-bit Windows Vista
  • “Intelligent Scaling” enables content-dependent scaling, whereby the image is automatically recreated to scale when the size is changed, and important image components (such as people) remain unchanged
  • 3D functionalities have been greatly expanded, so it is now possible to draw directly on 3D objects (similar to ZBrush ) or to create animated 3D scenes
  • New graphical user interface
  • "Tabbed document display", the various open files are displayed as tabs above
  • It is now possible to go beyond the edge of the image even when the view is zoomed
  • Outsourcing or loss of important functions: contact sheet, measurement of color values ​​in setting levels, image limitation of the zoom function through palette windows, fixing of storage locations in actions and others
  • persistent errors in saving Photomerge, combining layer modes with large files, customizing workspaces and others
  • Loss of important filter functions such as "Extract" (for cropping harder edges)
Older version; no longer supported: CS5, CS5 Extended (12.0, 12.1) White rabbit Mac OS X 10.5.7 or higher (Intel-based Macs only)
Windows XP SP3 to Windows 7 (x86 and x64)
April 12, 2010
  • Native support for 64-bit Mac OS X
  • Improved and optimized selection tool
  • Content-sensitive filling
  • Content-sensitive area repair
  • Improved performance (setting the cache element size)
  • Improved HDR functions
  • Improved Camera RAW 6 (better rendering engine, improved noise reduction, lens correction, effects)
  • PuppetWarp (form grid)
  • Improved painting effects
  • Integration of Mini Bridge and CS Live
  • Improved 3D display (shadows, light effects, better material display)
  • No substitute for the numerous functions lost in version CS4
Older version; no longer supported: CS6, CS6 Extended (13.0) Superstition Mac OS X version 10.6.8 or 10.7 (Intel-based Macs only)
Windows XP SP3 (x86 and x64) or higher
May 11, 2012
  • OpenCL support for faster preview function
  • Content-based mending
  • Mercury graphics engine
  • New and revised design tools
  • New soft focus gallery
  • New crop tool
  • Intuitive creation of videos
  • Migrating and sharing presets
  • Adaptive wide angle correction
  • Save in the background
  • Automatic recovery
  • Improved autocorrection
  • Adobe Photoshop Camera Raw 7 plug-in
  • Skin tone-dependent selection and masking
  • Innovative erodible drawing tools
  • Script-based patterns
  • Content-Aware Moving
  • Support for additional cameras
  • 10-bit color depth
  • Support of 3D LUTs
  • Custom outlines and dashed lines
  • Airbrush tips
Older version; no longer supported: CC 2013 Mac OS X version 10.6.8 or 10.7 (Intel-based Macs only)
Windows 7 or higher (x86 and x64)
June 2013
  • Improvements to the innovations of CS6
  • Cloud functions
  • Improvements for web developers to replace the discontinued Fireworks
Older version; no longer supported: CC 2014 Single malt whiskey cat Mac OS X version 10.7 or higher (Intel-based Macs only)
Windows 7 or higher (x86 and x64)
June 2014
  • Creative Cloud Libraries
  • Extract elements
  • 3D image processing
  • Windows touch device support
  • Working with fonts from Typekit and searching for fonts
  • Motion effects in the blur gallery
  • New choices
  • Further improvements and bug fixes
Older version; no longer supported: CC 2015 Dedicated to Thomas and John Knoll (25th Adobe Photoshop anniversary) Mac OS X version 10.7 or higher (Intel-based Macs only)
Windows 7 or higher (x86 and x64)
June 15, 2015
  • Improved support for HiDPI / Retina displays
  • Glyphs panel
  • Improved export options
  • Adobe Stock
  • Device preview and companion app for Preview CC
  • Artboards
  • Further improvements and bug fixes
  • Camera Raw New Features
  • Soft focus gallery
  • Improvement of the Creative Cloud Libraries
Older version; no longer supported: CC 2015.1 Project Rigel Mac OS X version 10.7 or higher (Intel-based Macs only)
Windows 7 or higher (x86 and x64)
November 30, 2015
  • New features in Creative Cloud Libraries
  • More options for artboards
  • Customizable toolbar and workspaces
  • Efficient font search
  • Correct glyph - found quickly
  • Improved design area
  • Modern user interface on desktops and touch devices
  • 3D figures in 2D designs
  • Faster export with more control
  • Import of scalable vector graphics
Older version; no longer supported: CC 2015.5 Haiku Mac OS X version 10.7 or higher (Intel-based Macs only)
Windows 7 or higher (x86 and x64)
20th June 2016
  • Improved collaboration with libraries
  • Find the right font
  • Updated libraries panel
  • Sample with Capture CC
  • Improved artboards
  • Presentation of own works with Adobe Portfolio
  • Selection and masking work area
  • Content-based exemption
  • Advanced export options
  • 3D output in Microsoft 3MF format (only for Windows 10 )
Older version; no longer supported: CC 2017 Big Rig November 2, 2016
  • Simplified operation
Older version; no longer supported: CC 2018
White lion 19th October 2017
Older version; still supported: CC 2019
B Winston 15th October 2018
  • Elimination of some pre-setting options for the exemption tool - u. a .: Resolution parameters (px / cm) and "Classic Mode" (user-generated cropping frame)
  • New functions for content-based filling
Current version: 2020
4th November 2019
  • Object selection tool
  • New options for deformation
  • Redesigned panels (gradients, swatches, patterns, styles and shapes)
    • New templates
    • Folders and groups can be created
  • Improvement or revision of further functions (select motif, content-based filling, lens blur filter)

Word meanings

The name Photoshop is now used not only as a proper name for the software, but also metonymically as a generic name for a digitally processed image (the name of the software is representative of its product). This usage is often used disparagingly to designate images that have been heavily reworked (possibly excessively).

The word photoshoppen , derived from the proper name Photoshop , is a neologism that actually means 'edit pictures with Photoshop' and in a broader sense can also be understood as 'elaborately digitally edit or change an image' (such as creating photo montages) - regardless of which program is actually used for this purpose ( deonymization ). Adobe opposes the use of the term photoshopping because it would legally undermine or lose value the company's Photoshop brand .

The terms photoshopping and Photoshop as generic names are not generally naturalized, but are common in the technical jargon of those industries that use the software professionally.


In February 2013 Adobe released the source code for Photoshop 1.0. It was posted on the Computer History Museum website and consists of 128,000 lines in 179 files. Both Pascal and assembler served as programming languages . The source text may be viewed at will, but not used commercially.

Since the beginning of 2012, Adobe has been offering an app for iOS and Android under the name Photoshop Touch . Despite the similar name, it has a limited range of functions and essentially has nothing to do with the desktop version.

See also


  • Scott Kelby: Scott Kelby's Photoshop CS5 for Digital Photography: Recipes for Success for Digital Photographers . Addison-Wesley, Munich 2010, ISBN 978-3-8273-2970-7 .
  • Maike Jarsetz: The Photoshop book for digital photography. Current to Photoshop CS4 . Galileo Press, Bonn 2009, ISBN 978-3-8362-1244-1 .
  • Sibylle Mühlke: Adobe Photoshop CS3. The practical book for learning and looking up . Galileo Press, Bonn 2007, ISBN 978-3-89842-888-0 .
  • Winfried Seimert: Adobe Photoshop CS2 - the beginners seminar . redline, Heidelberg 2005, ISBN 3-8266-7392-1 .

Web links

Commons : Adobe Photoshop  - Collection of Images
Wikibooks: Image editing with Photoshop  - learning and teaching materials

Individual evidence

  1. Photoshop desktop. Retrieved July 21, 2020 .
  2. Photoshop - system requirements (Mac and Windows). Retrieved February 5, 2020 .
  3. Photoshop on the iPad. Retrieved December 14, 2019 .
  4. ^ Bundeskartellamt 2005: Photoshop dominates the market (PDF; 73 kB), p. 20
  5. ^ Horst Sondermann: Photoshop in architectural graphics , ISBN 978-3-211-49004-4
  6. a b Development of Photoshop ( Memento from March 30, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) (English)
  7. Versions beyond Creative Suite 4 will no longer support Apple's Power PC. Adobe Systems, Inc., accessed on February 11, 2010.
  8. Adobe releases three Photoshop Touch apps for the iPad
  9. Adobe Creative Cloud: Photoshop will soon only be available as a subscription
  10. Adobe Photoshop: Graphics program for the iPad is finally here!
  11. Photoshop and CDS. Adobe Systems, Inc., accessed August 11, 2011 .
  12. Adobe Support Policies: Supported Product Versions. Adobe Systems, Inc., accessed June 24, 2009 .
  13. GPU and OpenGL features and limitations in Photoshop CS4. Adobe Systems, Inc., February 25, 2009, archived from the original on May 5, 2009 ; Retrieved June 24, 2009 .
  14. List of tested graphics display cards for Photoshop CS4 ( Memento of March 7, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  15. Photoshop CC 2014: Overview of New Features. Retrieved June 17, 2015 .
  16. Photoshop CC 2015: Overview of New Features. Retrieved June 17, 2015 .
  17. YouTube. Retrieved January 16, 2019 .
  18. Thomas: Photoshop 2020 - All new features at a glance. In: November 5, 2019, accessed on January 31, 2020 (German).
  19. Computer History Museum | @CHM: Adobe Photoshop Source Code
  20. Jörn Brien: Adobe Photoshop: Source code for very first version published. (No longer available online.) In: t3n magazine . February 15, 2013, archived from the original on February 18, 2013 ; Retrieved February 15, 2013 .
  21. Björn Greif: Adobe optimizes Photoshop Touch for iPad Mini and 7-inch tablets. In: ZDNet . November 29, 2012, accessed February 27, 2013 .