Happy birthday Photoshop -- 25 years old today!

These days there are a lot of image editors to choose from, and they run on computers, the web, smartphones and tablets. Whatever your price range you’ll find one to suit. For me, however, there’s really only one photo editor, and that’s Photoshop. I’ve been relying on it for work and home image editing for a good 15 years (probably longer) and while I’ve used other rival packages, I always end up returning to Adobe’s powerful suite.

As an example, for the past few weeks I’ve been scanning in hundreds of old photos, slides and negatives. Removing dust, scratches and other flaws and rebuilding missing areas in all those has only been manageable thanks to brilliant time-saving Photoshop innovations like layers, the healing brush and content aware fill. Photoshop is, without question, my favorite program -- bar none.

This year Photoshop celebrates a massive milestone. First launched in 1990 (although its roots stretch back to a program called Display developed in 1987 by Thomas and John Knoll), it’s been changing our perception of the world for a quarter of a century now, being used for everything from creating logos and styling movies, to airbrushing away model and celebrity imperfections.

It is one of the most recognized software brands in the world, and like many popular products and services its name has become a verb. Just as you don’t search the web for something, you "Google it", so you don’t fix photo flaws in a picture, you "Photoshop it". People talk about "Photoshopping" photos even when they’re using Paint.NET or GIMP.

Photoshop has changed a lot over the years, as you’d expect, getting better and more powerful with each iteration, but also now powering Lightroom, and mobile apps. It’s managed to survive for 25 years, outlasting many wannabe rivals, by adapting to changing needs and technology.

"For 25 years, Photoshop has inspired artists and designers to craft images of stunning beauty and reality-bending creativity", says Shantanu Narayen, Adobe president and chief executive officer. "From desktop publishing, to fashion photography, movie production, website design, mobile app creation and now 3D Printing, Photoshop continues to redefine industries and creative possibilities. And today that Photoshop magic is available to millions of new users, thanks to Adobe Creative Cloud".

You can see the full historical timeline below.

Photoshop 25th Anniversary Timeline

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