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Adobe Photoshop turns 26: chart its history from version 1.0 to CC 2015

Chris Brandrick and Michael Burns | March 1, 2016
Adobe Photoshop started life back in the late eighties when PhD student Thomas Knoll was working on his thesis - a work detailing the processing of digital images. This work evolved and in 1987 Thomas proceeded to develop an image-processing program for his Mac.

Known to the world as CS5, it also introduced 64-bit support for Mac OS X along with a range of new realistic painting tools, GPU-acceleration for HUD controls an improved masking and selection.

Version 12.1 followed in May 2011, as part of Creative Suite 5.5, which introduced new subscription pricing for the applications, as well Camera RAW improvements.

Writings on the wall - Adobe Photoshop CS6

Photoshop CS6, released in May 2012, offered a big revamp in terms of performance, as well as enhanced video editing and 3D.

Improvements to Layers, the Crop tool, stereoscopic options, Camera RAW, the properties panel and vector drawing tools jostled with new blur filters, new Content-Aware tools, and the innovative Colour Lookup adjustment layer.

Suitably for Version 13, the internal codename was Superstition and the user interface received a dark makeover. It would also spell the end for the Creative Suite and the CS moniker, as well as the ability to buy the application without subscription. Photoshop version 13.1.3 was the last to be offered with a perpetual license.

Magic number - Adobe Photoshop CC

Everything changed in June 2013 with the first Creative Cloud release of Photoshop. Henceforth all releases of Photoshop would be CC, allowing Adobe to roll out updates to the software to its Creative Cloud subscribers on a more ad hoc basis.

Version nomenclature does continue however, as do internal codenames. The inital CC release was version 14 of Photoshop, codenamed Lucky 7. Features included Smart Sharpen, Intelligent Upsampling, Editable Rounded Rectangles and Camera Shake Reduction.

Cloud integration was a big deal, taking advantage of a recent Adobe acquistion to offer Behance sharing, as well as the ability to sync preferences with the Cloud.

Feline groovy - Adobe Photoshop CC 2014

There have been four significant updates since the launch of Photoshop CC.

Features in the June 2014 release, CC 2014 (15.0) include smarter smart guides and smart objects, updatable Layer Comps, a colour picker that stays open, full Typekit integration, a searchable font menu with instant font previews on existing text, better blending with Content-Aware tools, the ability to sync more settings to Creative Cloud, and more.

There were four names featured in the splash screen for the 1990 version, while in this latest release, codenamed Single Malt Whiskey Cat, there are so many people in the credit list that you'll need to scroll through them for some time.

(To view the codenames on a Mac, hold option-command and select About Photoshop when in the application).

A Fuse good men - Adobe Photoshop CC 2015

The latest version of Photoshop sports a new launch dialog, which features a thumbnail or list view of recent files, document presets, and Library contents.


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