Aldus Corporation

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Aldus Corporation  developed desktop publishing (DTP) software. It was founded by chairman Paul Brainerd, Jeremy Jaech, Mark Sundstrom, Mike Templeman and Dave Walter, in 1984.  The company is named after 15th-century Venetian printer Aldus Pius Manutius  (1449–1515), a Venetian pioneer in publishing, who standardised the rules of punctuation and designed typefaces, including the first italic. Aldus was based in Seattle, Washington.

Aldus PageMaker was their most successful product, released in July 1985. In later releases it became known as Adobe Pagemaker. Its success was due to its combination  with an Apple Macintosh, Adobe's PostScript  page description language (PDL) and Postscript Apple LaserWriter.

PageMaker for the PC was released in 1986, but by then the Apple Mac was the de facto DTP platform further combining  Adobe Illustrator (released in 1987) and Adobe Photoshop (released in 1990) in a powerful graphic design system.

Aldus developed the Tag Image File Format TIFF and Open Prepress Interface OPI industry standards.

In 1988, Aldus released Aldus FreeHand software licensed from Altsys (developer of Fontographer). Aldus FreeHand and Adobe Illustrator competed with each other for years as FreeHand was not included in the Adobe purchase of Aldus. Adobe eventually acquired Freehand in 2005 with its acquisition of Macromedia.

In early 1990, Aldus bought Silicon Beach Software, acquiring several software packages for the Apple Macintosh, including:  Superpaint, Digital Darkroom, SuperCard, Super3D, and Personal Press (later renamed Adobe Home Publisher). Silicon Beach was located in San Diego, California, and became the Aldus Consumer Division.

In 1990, Aldus founders Jeremy Jaech and Dave Walter left Aldus and with Ted Johnson the lead developer of Aldus PageMaker for Windows founded Visio Corporation to create the diagramming application software which later became known as Microsoft Office Visio.

On January 7, 2000, Microsoft Corporation acquired Visio in a stock swap. Microsoft gave Visio shareholders 0.45 Microsoft shares for each Visio share. Based on the value of Microsoft stock when the deal closed the trade was worth approximately US$1.5 billion. This was Microsoft's largest acquisition until they acquired aQuantive.

In 1993, Aldus bought After Hours Software and its products, TouchBase Pro and DateBook Pro, were added to the Aldus Consumer Division.

Also in 1993 Aldus acquired Company of Science and Art (CoSA) and its products were added to Aldus Interactive Publishing/CoSA (see below).

In the late 1980’s early 1990’s, Aldus and Adobe had been on a collision course as they had directly competing products, but whereas Adobe was prospering, Aldus was struggling. Aldus PageMaker was overtaken by QuarkXPress and Aldus Freehand was less popular than Adobe Illustrator, also Adobe, who had created PostScript, so vital to the working of DTP,  still did not offer its own page layout application.

In September 1994 Adobe purchased Aldus for $446 million and Aldus Pagemaker became Adobe Pagemaker which  in 2001 was superseded by Adobe InDesign, released in 1999.

At the time when Aldus was purchased these were its main products:

  • PageMaker - A desktop publishing program
  • ColorCentral - An OPI server
  • PressWise - A digital imposition program
  • PrintCentral - A print output spooler
  • TrapWise - A digital trapping program
  • FreeHand - A vector drawing program
  • Gallery Effects
  • Persuasion - A presentation program
  • PhotoStyler - A bitmap image editor
  • TextureMaker - A program for creating textures/patterns
  • SuperPaint - Painting and vector drawing program
  • Intellidraw - A powerful yet simple drawing program

Aldus Interactive Publishing/CoSA:    

  • After Effects - A digital motion graphics and compositing program
  • Hitchcock - A professional non-linear video editor, with titling and A/V transitions
  • Fetch - A multimedia database

Aldus Consumer Division: (formerly Silicon Beach Software and After Hours Software)

  • Digital Darkroom photo enhancement software
  • Personal Press consumer desktop publishing software
  • DateBook Pro - Calendar management software
  • IntelliDraw - A vector drawing program
  • Super3D - 3D modeling software
  • SuperCard multimedia authoring environment
  • TouchBase Pro - Contact management software

Not all Aldus products were continued.

Software Products

Aldus PageMaker (version 4.2)

Aldus PageMaker (version 4.2)
Aldus PageMaker is a desktop publishing package developed by Aldus Corporation for Apple Macintosh.

Manufacturer : Aldus Adobe
Type : Software

Aldus Pagemaker (version 5.0)

Aldus Pagemaker (version 5.0)
Aldus PageMaker was professional page layout software, or professional publishing program or more commonly a Desktop Publishing (DTP) software developed by Aldus Corporation for Apple Macintosh.

Manufacturer : Aldus Adobe
Type : Software

Adobe PageMaker 6.0

Adobe PageMaker 6.0
Adobe PageMaker is professional page layout software, or professional publishing program or more commonly a Desktop Publishing (DTP) software.

Manufacturer : Aldus Adobe
Type : Software

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