Photoshop Is More Than an App; Its a Platform

Third-party plug-ins, actions and scripts are creating new uses and extending Photoshop into new areas.

Its no stretch to say that Adobe Systems Inc.s Photoshop has made the transition from user application to major developer platform.

Like a platform, Photoshop has a trade show, Photoshop World, featuring vendor booths displaying a diversity of third-party software created to "run on" Photoshop. You wont find a "Word User Magazine" on the newsstand, but you might see one of several publications with Photoshop in the title. Another indicator is Amazons best-seller list of computer books, which often contains more Photoshop titles than any other subject—including Windows.

(Tune into all week for continuing coverage of Photoshop World.)

The 15-year success streak of this digital imaging fixture can be partly attributed to the features of the application itself and to advances in affordable scanner and digital camera hardware. But it has never been truer that it is the third-party plug-ins, actions, and now scripts that are creating new uses for Photoshop—and therefore new Photoshop users.

"There are vertical solutions in terms of magazine, newspapers, ad agencies and other creatives," said Adobe Developer Evangelist Mark Neimann-Ross. "But it goes further. Developers are extending the boundaries of what anybody considers [to be] the uses of Photoshop."

/zimages/4/28571.gifAs digital imaging evolves, so does Photoshop. Click here to read more.

Third-party products are pushing Photoshop well past its desktop publishing and Web publishing roots—and well past the current professional photography uses. Photoshop is now picking out fingerprints from complex surfaces and conducting medical imaging.

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