One of the world’s largest software manufacturers, and also a very dominant player in the field of photo editing, imaging, and video editing software. One of the key products is Photoshop, which has grown in popularity during the years, along with the digital photo revolution.
Originally, when the company was established in 1982, it developed PostScript – a printer file format that allowed for a free description of a page to be printed, also called a page description language. This developed over time into the pdf file format, which allows for pages to be viewed correctly, as a fixed format design, as compared to, for instance, HTML that is a floating format – displayed differently on different screens. This format has later been made open source, but Adobe continues to sell the Acrobat program for editing pdf files, and continues to give away the Adobe Reader for displaying pdf files. Since then, Illustrator, Pagemaker, InDesign, Photoshop and many other software products have been developed or acquired, making Adobe a dominant manufacturer of graphics, illustration, and page design software, and a bunch of web oriented products as well, not the least Flash, which has meant a lot for adding moving pictures to websites. Premiere is their main video editing tool.
Adobe has always had a focus on developing software for the Mac, but most of their products are also available for Windows.
Today, Photoshop is sold along with other products in software subscription packages. These are popular with some users and less popular with others who would prefer to buy a license for the products they want and then decide for themselves when to upgrade. The Elements editions can, however, still be obtained on a an individual product license basis. Photoshop Elements has been bundled for years with various imaging products like cameras and scanners, meaning that it has become very widespread, next to the competing Picasa.
Photoshop and Photoshop Elements, along with Photoshop Lightroom, are considered by many photographers as the only option when working with post processing of their photos. There is a certain amount of “fanboy mentality” around this. In fact, there are quite many great products out there – Photoshop is one of them, and Corel, CyberLink, Magix/Xara, etc. are delivering some that are equally good, and possibly a better choice for some users.
Photoshop allows for plugins – different types, depending on where in the program the plugin should add functionality. These plugins have become something like an industry standard, so a “Photoshop plugin” may in fact also fit other products. Some of them do, others do not, and therefore it is a good idea to check before buying. A very common type of feature in a plugin is a filter, that will do something with your photo and then deliver the altered photo back to Photoshop in its edited shape. Franzis and Akvis are two important manufacturers of such filters, but there are many more.
Check out Amazon’s selection of Adobe software, or have a look at the examples below.