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MacPaint is a bitmap-based image editing computer program that was produced by Apple Computer for bundling with their Macintosh personal computer. As its capabilities have long been superseded by other programs, however, MacPaint was discontinued after several years and sold to Claris[?]. Apparently, MacPaint 2.0 is still being sold by Sun Remarketing.

Despite a short lifespan, MacPaint was most people's first GUI-based bitmap editing experience, and as such became the seminal work by which similar efforts were measured. The first real improvement was SuperPaint, and eventually Adobe Systems introduced Photoshop around the same time Apple debuted the Macintosh IIfx.

At its introduction (and courtesy of the Macintosh's GUI), MacPaint was radically easier to use than any such program before. It literally redefined expectations of what software could and ought to be. By being bundled with MacWrite[?] (Apple's companion word-processing program for the Mac), people quickly saw how the GUI approach to computer use made more sense than existing user interfaces.

Since the original Macintosh had only a black-and-white monitor, MacPaint only edited monochrome bitmaps.

Xerox PARC researcher and Apple Fellow Alan Kay made a seminal home videotape showing his five year-old daughter starting a Macintosh 128K computer, inserting a floppy disk containing MacPaint, starting the program, and proceeding to paint with it. MacPaint, in part, represented a paradigm shift where computing had become a useful (and even entertaining) part of ordinary people's lives.


MacPaint 1.0 was written by Bill Atkinson, a member of Apple's Macintosh development team. In 1988, David Ramsey made some improvements resulting in version 2.0.

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