History of Photoshop: Journey from Photoshop 1.0 to Photoshop CS5

‘Photoshop’, today is the most popular and profitable application that supports layers, filters, brushes, text, 3D objects, videos, etc. Photoshop is mainly used for bitmap image and to do image manipulation tasks effectively. At the beginning, Photoshop was known as “Display” to show grayscale images on a monochrome display.

In 1987, Thomas Knoll, a PhD student at the University of Michigan, found out that his new Mac Plus (third model of computer in Macintosh line) failed to display grayscale images on its 1-bit black and white display.

To crack this disadvantage of Mac Plus, Thomas began coding a program that could solve the problem.

Then his brother, John Knoll, who was in charge of the special effects department for Industrial Light and Magic on the 1st Star Wars movie showed interest in the project and recommended that it be developed into a full image editing program. Hence it was named ‘Display’. The Knoll brothers then renamed Display to Image-Pro. Image-Pro could be used for rack card printing too and that wasn’t the only thing it could do.

Image-Pro had many advanced features for displaying images so in the year 1988, Knoll brothers started to sell Image-Pro commercially. And for this purpose they renamed Image-Pro to “Photoshop”.

The Knoll brothers approached many companies, but none of them were ready to purchase Photoshop. In Sept. 1988, a deal was struck between the Knoll brothers and Adobe. All the wholesale rights of Photoshop were purchased by Adobe. The Knoll brothers started working on their product and released the first version Photoshop 1.0 in 1990.

So up to this, you have seen the development and Journey of “Display”-“Image-Pro” to “Photoshop.” Now you will see the development of Photoshop versions from the beginning.

VERSION HISTORY

Photoshop 1.0


Released in: February 1990

Requirements:
8 MHz, color screen and at least 2 MB RAM,
Mac System 6.0.3,
68000 processor,
Floppy drive

Features:
Color correction facility with balance, hue and saturation and Image Output Optimization was introduced also

Curves, Levels, and Clone tool were introduced in this version,

In this version they introduced rasterizer for Adobe Illustrator files.

Photoshop 2.0


Released in: June 1991.

Was named with the codeword “Fast Eddy”.

Requirements:
Mac System 6.0.7,
4 MB RAM,
68020 Processor,
32-bit QuickDraw,
Floppy drive.

Features:
Slight changes like paths in which it furnishes with creation of line based drawings and thus it becomes easier in manipulating. And for this purpose Pen Tool was introduced,
CMYK color mode support,
Masking was introduced.

Photoshop 2.5


Released in: November 1992.

Was named with the codeword “Merlin Brimstone”.

Requirements:
Supported Microsoft Windows for the first time.
Also supports IRIX, Solaris.

Features:
Slight changes like Palettes were introduced and 16 bit channel support.

Photoshop 3.0


Photoshop 3.0 that supports Macintosh was launched In September 1994 and the same version that supported Windows, IRIX and Solaris was launched in November 1994.

Was named with the codeword “Tiger Mountain”.

Requirements:
Mac system 7.0,
16MB RAMS,
68020 processor,
25MB hard drive capability,
Floppy drive.

Features:
Layers and Tabbed palettes were introduced in this version which became an easy process in manipulating images.

Photoshop 4.0


Released in: November 1996.
Was named with the codeword “Big Electric Cat”.

Requirements:
Mac System 7.1,
Mac system 7.1.2 for Power Macintosh,
16 MB RAM, 68030 processor,
25MB hard drive capability,
Color monitor with an 8-bit video card,
CD-ROM drive,
Supports Macintosh and Windows only.

Features:
Adjustment layers and macros were introduced in this version.
They designed interface as the same like other Adobe Products.

Photoshop 5.0


Released in: May 1998.
Was named with the codeword “Strange Cargo”.

Requirements:
Mac System 7.5.5,
32 MB RAM,
G3 processor,
60 MB hard drive capability,
Supports Macintosh and Windows only.

Features:
Undo command for multiple times,

Managing color and Magnetic Lasso was introduced in this version.

Photoshop 5.5


Released in: February 1999.
Was named with the codeword “Strange Cargo”.

Requirements:
Mac System 7.5.5,
32 MB RAM,
G3 processor,
60 MB hard drive capability,
Supports Macintosh and Windows only.

Features:
Supports Macintosh and Windows only.
Save Web feature was added and the extract feature was introduced in this version,
Image slicing property was first time introduced and added rollover effects.

Photoshop 6.0


Released in: September 2000.
Was named with the codeword “Venus in Furs

Requirements:
Mac OS 8.5,
64 MB RAM,
G3 processor,
125 MB hard drive capability,
Color display carrying 800 x 600 resolution and
8-bit color video card,
CD-ROM drive,
Supports Macintosh and Windows only.

Features:
Vector shapes,
Liquify Filter,
Layer styles,
Dialog box were added,
User Interface was updated.

Photoshop 7.0


Released in: March 2002.
Was named with the codeword “Liquid Sky”.

Requirements:
Mac OS 9.1 or Mac OS X 10.1.3,
128 MB RAM,
G3 processor,
320 MB hard drive capability,
Color display carrying 800 x 600 resolution and
16-bit color video card,
CD-ROM drive,
Supports Mac OS ‘Classic’/Mac OS X, Windows.

Features:
Healing Brush tool was introduced,
Designed Text in vector,
And Photoshop file browser was first time introduced.

Photoshop CS


Released in: October 2003.
Was named with the codeword “Dark Matter”.

Requirements:
Mac OS X 10.2.4,
192 MB RAM,
G3 processor,
320 MB hard drive capability,
Carrying 1024 x 768 resolution of monitor with 16-bit video card and
CD-ROM drive,
Supports Mac OS X only.

Features:
Camera RAW 2.x,
Highly modified “Slice Tool”,
Shadow/Highlight command,
Match Color command,
Lens Blur filter,
Smart Guides,
Real-Time Histogram was introduced in this version.
A feature that detects and ignores images of banknotes was added.

Photoshop CS2


Released in: April 2005.
Was named with the codeword “Space Monkey”.

Requirements:
Mac OS X 10.2.8,
320 MB RAM,
G3 processor,
750 MB available hard drive space,
Carrying1024 x 768 resolution of monitor with 16-bit video card and
CD-ROM drive,
Supports Mac OS X, Windows 2000 / XP.

Features:
Camera RAW 3.x,
Smart Objects,
Image Warp,
Spot healing brush,
Red-Eye tool,
Lens Correction filter,
Smart Sharpen,
Smart Guides,
Vanishing Point was introduced,
It furnished Memory management for 64-bit power PC G5s.

Photoshop CS3


Released in: April 2007.
Was named with the codeword “Red Pill”.

Requirements:
Mac OS X 10.4.8,
512 MB RAM,
G4 processor,
2 GB available hard drive space,
1024 x 768 monitor resolution with 16-bit video and
64 MB of VRAM, DVD-ROM drive,
Supports Mac OS X, Windows XP.

Features:
Black-and-white conversion adjustment,
Auto Align and Auto Blend,
Smart (non-destructive) Filters,
Mobile device graphic optimization was introduced in this version,
Furnishes native support for Intel base Macintosh platform and improved support for Windows Vista,
Revised user interface, alterations to Curves, Vanishing Point, Channel Mixer, Brightness and Contrast, and the Print dialog were also introduced.
Features like cloning and healing were improved.

Photoshop CS4

Released in: April 2008

Requirements:
Windows
1.8GHz or faster processor,

Microsoft Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (Service Pack 3 recommended) or Windows Adobe Photoshop CS4 Vista Home Premium, Business, Ultimate, or Enterprise with Service Pack 1 (certified for 32-bit Windows XP and 32-bit and 64-bit Windows Vista),

512Mb of RAM (1Gb recommended),

1Gb of available hard-disk space for installation; additional free space required during installation (cannot install on flash-based storage devices),

1024×768 display (1,280×800 recommended) with 16-bit video card,

Some GPU-accelerated features require graphics support for Shader Model 3.0 and OpenGL 2.0
DVD-ROM drive,

QuickTime 7.2 software required for multimedia features,

Broadband Internet connection required for online services

Mac
PowerPC G5 or multicore Intel processor,

Mac OS X v10.4.11-10.5.4,

512Mb of RAM (1Gb recommended),

2Gb of available hard-disk space for installation; additional free space required during installation (cannot install on a volume that uses a case-sensitive file system or on flash-based storage devices),

1024×768 display (1,280×800 recommended) with 16-bit video card,

Some GPU-accelerated features require graphics support for Shader Model 3.0 and OpenGL 2.0
DVD-ROM drive,

QuickTime 7.2 software required for multimedia features,
Broadband Internet connection required for online services.

Features:
New Adjustments window,
Use dodge/burn without affecting other areas,
Auto blend feature improved,
Content aware cropping,
Pixel grid for editing individual pixels,
New Adjustments panel,
New Masks panel,
Content aware scaling,
Extended depth of field ,
Fluid canvas rotation,
Smoother panning,
Smoother zooming,
Support for colour-blind,
3D object painting,
3D object/property editing,
3D animation,
2D conversions to 3D,
Volume rendering

Photoshop CS5


Released in: April 2010

Requirements:
Windows XP (Service pack 3) Vista Home, Business or Enterprise Edition, Windows 7 Mac,

Processor: Intel Pentium 4 or AMD Athlon 64 processor

Memory: 1GB RAM + 1Gb Hard-disk space

Monitor Resolution: 1024X768 (1280×800 recommended)

Windows Mac OS
OS X v10.5.7 or 10.6.3 or later,

Multicore Intel processor,

1GB RAM + 2Gb Hard-disk space

Features:
Content Aware Fill,
Intelligent selection technology,
Advanced HDR processing,
Improved raw processing,
Extended painting effects,
Localised Warp tool,
Auto lens correction,
Workspace management,
Advanced 3D options (CS5 Extended),
and 30 JDI (Just Do it) additions.

Thank you for reading this article. Let me know which version of Photoshop you started your career on?

KMahesh is pursuing animation & film-making and with detailed knowledge in Photoshop Software he is conducting absolutely Free Course at his niche website howtouse-photoshop.com for those people who want to learn to present their creativity digitally. Follow him on Twitter.

17 Comments
  1. Reply Suthan S. September 12, 2011 at 11:08 AM

    Wow, very nice article. This actually brings me back memories, I remember the days when I couldnt make some objects in PS so I did it in Paint then transfered it to PS magic wand it and so on… Kind of embarassing to talk about it. Haha!

    I think everything started with PS 7.0 for me in my career. I sure have came a long way! Yet I am still not upgrading to CS5 been stuck with CS4 since its been released. :)

  2. Reply Mark Hesketh September 12, 2011 at 6:19 PM

    I can’t decide whether or not its a good or bad thing that the UI from v1.0 isn’t really that dissimilar to the current offering..!

    I suppose it means thats one less thing to learn when the latest version appears.

    As Suthan did, I discovered Photoshop around v 7.0.

  3. Reply Bryan September 12, 2011 at 11:56 PM

    Started with 7.0 and used it for several years. Am currently on CS3 but I think I need to update. :|

  4. Reply David Garcia September 13, 2011 at 1:41 AM

    Remember 5.0, working on Quark, making a drop shadow in PS and importing it, placing it on the back of a crisp lettering in Quark. Those where the days. HAHAHA!! Great article, brings back some memories about how work was done. Thanks!

  5. Reply Adriana September 13, 2011 at 10:42 AM

    Great article! I guess Photoshop has really come a long way since the ’90. In my country, we didn’t even have computers in 1990 :)

  6. Reply @aditia_ap September 13, 2011 at 2:09 PM

    wow…I miss photoshop 7.0..it was the first I ever used, then moved to cs2 and finally change into GIMP until now :)

  7. Reply Jocelyn_josy_ April 2, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    wow its pretty cool to learn about history

  8. Reply Nirmal September 9, 2012 at 8:35 PM

    Nice Article I think Photoshop and Myself born in Same year but Photoshop is elder than me in Months. After 2.5th Version John Knoll name was not there in intro Wat happen to him????

  9. Reply Joel Kevin Balch December 21, 2012 at 9:48 PM

    My Dad has had Photoshop 6.0 for a long time. I wasn’t even aware of the CS versions until being exposed to it at school, although I love being able to use it there.

  10. Reply xxTTcc January 23, 2013 at 12:28 PM

    I guess Photoshop 5.5 light up the fire in me, and 7.0 was the first that i get deeper into it :). Thanks for the wonderful article :)

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  12. Reply Onlyduh June 16, 2016 at 8:43 AM

    Gulp. My first photoshop was 2.5

  13. Reply M. RAMA MOHAN REDDY September 18, 2016 at 12:11 AM

    nice article for history of photo shop versions. now am learning phtoshop

  14. Reply Hugo Heredia September 27, 2016 at 10:06 AM

    Was going to school for commercial art and design in 1987. We were creating 3D images with these large IDM Targa systems with 16 mb of ram and a 50 meg hard drive and when we wer introduced to photoshop 1.0 on the Mac creating desktop publishing. I have always been in love with Photoshop and its power. Best invention for designers ever Aldus Pagemaker and Illustrator were born. Great article. I remember all of the splash screens.

  15. Reply Hafiz Mehmood December 2, 2016 at 11:53 AM

    very historical, informative and nice article.Thanks for this great
    knowledge sharing

  16. Reply Brian Collins February 11, 2017 at 7:52 AM

    Interesting article.
    I started with Photoshop 2.4 which, I think, had to loaded from 10 floppy discs.
    I am now on Photoshop CC

  17. Reply Ingrid Smith-Johnsen February 11, 2017 at 8:43 AM

    Guess I’m an oldtimer. Started with Photoshop 1.0 in 1990 and am now working with photoshop CC 2017.01. Washington State to California and back to Washington….stops along the way…Arizona, Oregon, Utah and now , finally settled in Florida….oh and two years in Norway. Still doing photography, composites, photoshop art..without it I don’t know what would have lit my fire.

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