Apple Releases Groundbreaking MacPaint with Macintosh

MacPaint was a bitmap-based graphics painting software program developed by Apple Computer and released with the original Macintosh personal computer on January 22, 1984.

It was sold separately for US$195 with its word processor counterpart, MacWrite. MacPaint was notable because it could generate graphics that could be used by other applications. Using the mouse, and the clipboard and QuickDraw picture language, pictures could be cut from MacPaint and pasted into MacWrite documents. Pictures could also be cut from MacPaint and pasted into the resource fork of any application via ResEdit, allowing application internationalization.

The original MacPaint was developed by Bill Atkinson, a member of Apple's original Macintosh development team. Early development versions of MacPaint were called MacSketch, still retaining part of the name of its roots, LisaSketch. It was later developed by Claris, the software subsidiary of Apple which was formed in 1987. The last version of MacPaint was version 2.0, released in 1988. It was discontinued by Claris in 1998 because of diminishing sales.

While Bill Atkinson was developing LisaGraf, the crucial, lightning fast graphics package that was the foundation of both the Lisa and Macintosh user interface (it was renamed QuickDraw for the Mac), he also worked sporadically on a simple bitmap-based drawing program for the Lisa called SketchPad. SketchPad enabled mouse-based drawing with a selection of paintbrushes and patterns, and gave Bill a quick way to test out and show off new features or improvements as they were added to LisaGraf.