What Is Photoshop?

Adobe Photoshop is the most popular image-editing application available for use on Macintosh and Windows-based computers. Despite hefty competition over the years from a diverse variety of programs ranging in price from virtually free to a few thousand dollars each, Adobe once reported that Photoshop's sales account for more than 80 percent of the image-editing market, with the number still rising. This makes Photoshop four times more popular than all its competitors combined. Where professional image editing is concerned, Photoshop's not just the market leader, it's the only game in town.

Photoshop's historically lopsided sales advantage provides Adobe with a clear incentive to reinvest in Photoshop and regularly enhance — even overhaul — its capabilities. Meanwhile, other vendors have had to devote smaller resources to playing catch-up. Although competitors have historically provided some interesting and sometimes amazing capabilities, the sums of their parts have typically fallen well short of Photoshop's.

As a result, Photoshop rides a self-perpetuating wave of industry predominance. It hasn't always been the best image editor, nor was it the earliest. But its deceptively straightforward interface combined with a few terrific core functions made it a hit from the moment of its first release. More than a decade later — thanks to substantial capital injections and highly creative programming on the part of Adobe's staff and Photoshop originator Thomas Knoll — it has evolved into the most popular program of its kind.

If you're already familiar with Photoshop and you just want to scope out its new capabilities, skip to the section "Fast Track to Version 6."

In This Chapter

An introduction to Photoshop

The difference between painting and drawing programs

How Photoshop fits into the bigger design scheme

The many uses of Photoshop

Photoshop Secrets

Photoshop Secrets

Are You Frustrated Because Your Graphics Are Not Looking Professional? Have You Been Slaving Over Your Projects, But Find Yourself Not Getting What You Want From Your Generic Graphic Software? Well, youre about to learn some of the secrets and tips to enhance your images, photos and other projects that you are trying to create and make look professional.

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