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Before it was Photoshop

20 Years of Adobe Photoshop


Knoll Software screen

Knoll Software screen

© Adobe
The software we now know as Photoshop had its beginnings in 1987, when Thomas Knoll, a Ph.D. student, began to write programming code that would display grayscale images on a monochrome display. He did his work on a Macintosh Plus.

Thomas's brother John was working at Industrial Light and Magic at the time, and became interested in the image-processing tools his brother was working on. The two worked together to bring the bits of code and tools together into a unified program, which was originally called "Display." Display became "ImagePro" for a short time, before the Photoshop name we all know and love came about in March of 1988.

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