Adobe Photoshop has been a fixture of the image editing business for so long that despite the best efforts of Adobe's marketing department its name has taken on the status of a household word for image editing. The first version was launched for the Apple Macintosh computer in 1990, and the program quickly became the industry standard, a position it has held ever since. New versions of Photoshop have been released every year or two since 1990. They were numbered up until the launch of the eighth version, called Photoshop CS, in 2003. CS stands for Creative Suite, since Photoshop is now part of a range of creative graphics and media programs published by Adobe.
The eleventh version of the program, Photoshop CS4, was launched in September 2008. I wrote a beta preview of it at the time, detailing some of the new features, but since then I've been using it on a daily basis and I've got to know the program pretty well, so it's finally time for a thorough in-depth review.
While the first Photoshop CS was a major upgrade from the previous version, the two subsequent versions, CS2 and CS3, were criticised by some people as being only minor updates, and many private users never bothered to update to the newer products. CS4 however is far more than a minor update of CS3. Whole chunks of the program have been re-written to make them faster, smoother and more effective, and many new features have been added.