What Does MacPaint Mean?

MacPaint was a bitmap-based graphic creation software developed by Apple and released with the original Macintosh computer on January 4, 1984. However, it did not come as a package with the Mac, instead it was sold separately as standalone software for $195. It was considered revolutionary at the time because it allowed for any graphics created in MacPaint to be used in other applications running on the Mac, such as MacWrite documents, and any other application through the ResEdit function.


Techopedia Explains MacPaint

MacPaint was originally developed by Bill Atkinson and the interface was designed by Susan Kare; both were core members of the original Macintosh development team. It consisted of 5,804 lines of Pascal code and another 2,738 lines of Motorola 6800 processor assembly language. It was meant as a successor to LisaSketch so it was initially called MacSketch in recognition of its roots, but was later renamed to MacPaint to better solidify its connections to the Macintosh line.

Claris, Apple’s software subsidiary that was formed in 1987, took control of MacPaint and released the last version, which was MacPaint 2.0 in 1988. It was discontinued in the same year because of declining sales.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.