Aldus launched PageMaker to complete the Apple Mac killer app #history

Excerpt from The PC Pioneers

On this day in 1985 Aldus launched PageMaker to complete the Apple Mac killer app – desk top publishing!

Paul Brainerd earned his publishing spurs as the editor of the University of Oregon’s newspaper.  He then co-founded Aldus Corporation to create what he was the first to call desktop publishing (DTP).


The company name was taken from a 15th century printer based in Venice – Aldus Pius Manutius the Elder.  He introduced inexpensive books that were a precursor of today’s paperbacks.  He also developed italic type and established the modern usage of the semicolon; good choice of name then for floating a DTP business.


Aldus Corporation launched its DTP package PageMaker in July 1985.  It did not have the field to itself however; it was been beaten to the market by Boston Software releasing MacPublisher during 1984.  The latter therefore can lay claim to being the first available DTP package.  Manhattan Graphics too launched a DTP package called Ready, Set, Go!  Each of these allowed users to design, review and print page layouts using both text and graphics.

But when Apple LaserWriter, Adobe Postscript and Aldus PageMaker were combined, desktop publishing became the killer application that saved the Macintosh – and Apple; initially only Apple could offer this full DTP solution.

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