MacPaint is a bitmap-based image editing computer program that was produced by Apple Inc. for bundling with their Macintosh personal computer. After being "forcibly ignored" for some time due to developer backlash, Apple eventually formed Claris to market updated versions of MacPaint.
Despite a short lifespan, MacPaint was many people's first GUI-based bitmap editing experience, and as such became the seminal work by which similar efforts were measured. The original Mac bundle also included MacWrite, a similarly easy-to-use word processor, and pictures from MacPaint could be placed inside MacWrite documents in a few keystrokes. The pair literally defined user expectations of a GUI-based computer. Also part of the earlier set of applications was MacDraw.
Since the original Macintosh had only a black-and-white monitor, MacPaint only edited monochrome bitmaps with a fixed size of 576 x 720 pixels - the size of the ImageWriter's standard 8 x 10 inch sheet of paper at 72 DPI. Colour was not supported at all.
Xerox PARC researcher and Apple Fellow Alan Kay made a seminal home videotape showing his one 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.
As of 2004, MacPaint 1.5 and 2.0 is still being sold by Sun Remarketing.
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