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Adobe Photoshop (PS), first launched in 1988, is the industry standard for graphics editing.  Thomas and John Knoll sold the license to distribute the program to Adobe Systems.

The word “photoshop” has become a moniker used to describe post-processing, as in “to Photoshop an image”.  Photoshop’s use and influence goes far beyond just the photography landscape.  Photoshop is the graphics editing tool chosen by most professionals outside of photography that do any type of design, graphic and image creation or manipulation. Photoshop’s reputation was cemented long before the digital photography market was born.  It is much more robust than Lightroom, but they each have their advantages.  Read more about Photoshop vs Lightroom.

Timeline for Photoshop Versions & Release Dates

This release timeline does not include every single new feature released throughout Photoshop’s history.  We’ve included the major features and you can find links to more exhaustive lists at the bottom of the page.  

Photoshop Versions 1.0, 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, 4.0, 5.0, 5.5 6.0, 7.0

The First Version of 1.0.1 Shipped in 1990, of the older Photoshop versions.  The older versions ran to 7.0 and laid the foundation of all the tools you see today.

Photoshop CS Release (Version 8.0) – October 2003

  • Photoshop CS was released in October 2003 upon switch to the ‘Creative Suite’ new branding. It was the 8th major version of PS.  Some of the major improvements include:
    • Camera Raw 2.0 new addition
    • Hierarchical Layer Groups
    • Increased user control
    • Match Color Command
    • Real-Time Histogram Palette
    • Reworked file browser
    • Shadow/Highlight Command
    • Smart Guides
    • Sorting & sharing capabilities

Photoshop CS2 Release (Version 9.0) – May 2005

  • CS2 was released in May 2005
    • Camera Raw 3.0 new addition
    • Custom presets
    • File browser upgrade to Adobe Bridge
    • Image Warping Tool
    • Lens correction filter
    • Non-destructive editing
    • Smart objects
    • Streamlined interface
    • Upgrade spot healing brush
    • Vanishing Point Tool

Photoshop CS3 Release (Version 10.0) – April 2007

  • CS3 was released in April 2007
    • Better management with Adobe Bridge
    • Black and White conversion enhancement
    • Brightness Adjustment enhancement
    • Clone source palette introduced
    • Contrast Adjustment enhancement
    • Dust busting tool
    • Fill light tool
    • Further streamlining of the interface
    • Improved support for Camera Raw
    • Improved image stitching
    • Mobile optimization
    • More control over print options
    • Nondestructive smart filters
    • Quick selection tool
    • Refine edge tool
    • Vanishing point module tool enhancement

Photoshop CS4 Release (Version 11.0) – October 2008

  • CS4 was released in October 2008
    • Adjustments panel
    • Adobe Bridge improvements to file management and workspaces
    • Content-aware scaling
    • Improvements in Lightroom workflow
    • Masks panel
    • New 3d engine
    • Simplified Tab-based interface
    • Smoother panning and zooming

Photoshop CS5 Release (Version 12.0) – April 2010

  • CS5 was released in April 2010
    • 64 Bit support
    • Adobe Mini Bridge
    • Auto image straightening
    • Bristle Tips
    • Color pickup
    • Content-aware Fill
    • Mixer Brush
    • Refine Edge
    • Rule of thirds cropping tool
    • Puppet Warp
    • Saving 16-bit image as jpg

Photoshop CS6 Release (Version 13.0) – May 2012

  • CS6 was released in May 2012
    • Auto-save
    • Background saving
    • Camera raw 7
    • Content-Aware Patch
    • Content-Aware Move
    • Redesigned user-interface
    • Revised vector tools
    • Video tools, including layers, color & exposure adjustments

Photoshop CC Release (Version 14.0) – June 2013

  • CC was released in June 2013
    • All-new smart sharpen
    • Camera Raw 8.3
    • Camera Raw as a filter
    • Camera shake reduction
    • Edited rounded rectangles
    • Intelligent unsampling
    • Linked smart objects
    • Share on Behance
    • Sync preferences with cloud

Photoshop CC 2014 Release (Version 15.0) – June 2014

  • CC 2014 was released in June 2014
    • Content-aware tool improvements
    • Focus mask
    • Several task speed increases
    • Smart Object improvements
    • Two new blur tools (spin and path)

Photoshop CC 2015 Release (Version 16.0) – June 2015

  • CC 2015 was released in June 2015
    • Ability for more than one layer style
    • Added Export As
    • Adobe Stock
    • Camera Raw 9.1
    • Design Space for previews
    • Enhanced export options
    • New library capabilities and file linking
    • Updated User Interface

Photoshop CC 2015.5 Release (Version 17.0) – June 2016

  • CC 2015.5 was released in June 2016
    • Adobe Portfolio
    • Content-aware tool cropping
    • Export improvements and capabilities
    • Selection and masking space
    • Updated libraries panel functionality and integration
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