Difference Between ImageReady and Photoshop (With Table)

Adobe Inc., known for specializing in the software industry, is an American multinational company which deals with software and is situated in San Jose, California. It has created a lot of contents and published them, such as photography, graphics, illustration, multimedia/video, motion pictures, animation, and print. It has millions of users all over the world. Its products include Photoshop, ImageReady, Illustrator, Reader, PDF, Flash, Creative Suite, etc. 

ImageReady vs Photoshop

The difference between ImageReady and Photoshop is that ImageReady was first released separately, and then it became a part of Photoshop. After ten years, it was merged into Photoshop and was discontinued. Many features of ImageReady were already there in Photoshop. Adobe Photoshop was launched in the year 1990 by Thomas and John Knoll, whereas Adobe ImageReady was launched in the year 1998 by Adobe Systems. 

Adobe ImageReady was launched as a bitmap graphics editor who had the capability of editing and creating images. It was first incorporated with Adobe Package and was one of the functions or part of it. Then it was launched separately in 1998 by Adobe Systems. It worked on Windows, Mac OS X and Classic Mac OS from the year 1998 to 2007. After the coming of Adobe Creative Suite, it was discontinued, and the most popular feature of ImageReady was merged into Photoshop.

Adobe Photoshop was released in the year 1990 by Thomas and John Knoll. It was a raster graphics editor which could create and edit images simultaneously and save them in the formats like JPEG, PNG, GIF etc. With the coming of Photoshop, the graphics industry changed and has become a standard and a trademark. It can edit images in multiple layers and supports alpha compositing, masks, and several colour models, including CMYK, CIELAB, RGB, spot colour, and duotone.

Comparison Table Between ImageReady and Photoshop

Parameters of ComparisonImageReadyPhotoshop
ReleasedIt was released initially in the year 1998.It was released initially in the year 1990.
DeveloperIt was developed by Adobe Systems.It was developed by Adobe Inc.
Operating SystemIt runs on the systems like Classic Mac OS, Windows, and Mac OS X.It runs on systems like iPad OS 13.1 and later, Windows 10 version 1809, and later macOS 10.13 and later.
TypeIt has a bitmap graphics editor.It has a raster graphics editor.
FunctionIt has features like image slicing, image compression, animated GIF, etc.It has multiple image editing features and has a lot of tools like Shape, Pen, Selection, Clone Stamp, etc.

What is ImageReady?

ImageReady was developed by Adobe Systems. It was made for web development and also has the features of making changes in the images and effects. But it was being used for manipulating the photos. It also includes specialized features like image slicing, animated GIF creation, adding rollover effects, image compression optimization and HTML generation. ImageReady comes with an option of ‘Edit in Photoshop,’ which can directly take you to the app Adobe Photoshop.

ImageReady was very much like Photoshop if we talked about functions. Such as it has the same set of filters which is available in Photoshop. However, one feature was Image Map which was a kind of tool with the logo of the arrow. Many features are not to be found in Photoshop but only in ImageReady like Toggle Image Map Visibility and Toggle Slice Visibility tools, Preview in Default Browser tool, Export Animation Frames as Files option, Edit in Photoshop button and Preview Document tool.

Firstly, when it was released in 1998, it came with the version of ImageReady 1.0. Then Version 2.0 is launched and was packaged with Photoshop 5.5. New versions of Imagerady was included with Photoshop. In 2007 it was discontinued and was incorporated with Photoshop as one of its features with the coming of Adobe Creative Suite and Cloud.

What is Photoshop?

Photoshop was first written and developed by two brothers Thomas and John Knoll. Then they sold it to Adobe Inc for $34.5 million. It was released in 1990 for Macintosh only. With every release, Adobe Photoshop became better and better and created a revolution in digital colour editing. When Photoshop 1.0 was launched, it offered photo or digital retouching for $895 for a year which was the lowest price ever.

When Photoshop was ported into Windows by Adobe chief architect Seetharaman Narayanan, it reached the wider sections of society as Windows was quite popular at that time. Photoshop has a file extension of both PSD and PSB. It consists of layers of masks, alpha channels and spots colours, transparency, text, clipping paths, and duotone settings. Photoshop also has plugins such as filter, export, colour correction, import, selection, and automation. One of the most famous plugins is the filter plugins. 

Photoshop has multiple options for image editing, and multiple tools are also available like Shape Tool, 3D Printing Tools, Colour Replacement Tool, Clone Stamp Tool, Pen Tool, etc. Photoshop application is like a group of applications and services. Photoshop is used by professionals for image editing. Pixel manipulating, image organizing, Photo retouching are some of its features. Along with Photoshop, other Photoshop applications like Photoshop Elements, Photoshop Express, Photoshop Fix, Photoshop Lightroom, Photoshop Sketch and Photoshop Mix have been published by Adobe.

Main Differences Between ImageReady and Photoshop

  1. ImageReady was released initially in the year 1998. Photoshop was released initially in the year 1990.
  2.  ImageReady was developed by Adobe Systems. Photoshop was written by Thomas and John Knoll and then developed by Adobe Inc.
  3. ImageReady run on the systems like Classic Mac OS, Windows, and Mac OS X. Photoshop earlier worked on Macintosh only and later, it was made to run on systems like iPad OS 13.1 and Windows 10 version 1809 and later, macOS 10.13 and later.
  4. ImageReady has a bitmap graphics editor. Photoshop has a raster graphics editor, plugins and applications.
  5. ImageReady has features like image slicing, image compression, animated GIF etc. Photoshop has multiple image editing features and has a lot of tools like Shape, Pen, Selection, Clone Stamp etc.


Both Photoshop and ImageReady are part of Adobe Inc. Photoshop is considered as one of the powerful tools for editing photos and is very popular among artists as you can do anything with the images. 

ImageReady is like a subsidiary of Photoshop. It was released with a package of Adobe. One quality that makes ImageReady distinct from Photoshop was creating an animated GIF. Someone who uses Photoshop also uses ImageReady. So it was discontinued and now has become part of Photoshop CS2.


  1. https://www.ajronline.org/doi/abs/10.2214/AJR.06.1236
  2. https://search.proquest.com/openview/6615a0262753c1636a8549d3259f8d92/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=28535
2D vs 3D