PageMaker was the first desktop publishing program, introduced in 1985 by Aldus Corporation, initially for the then-new Apple Macintosh but soon after also for PCs running the then-new Microsoft Windows. PageMaker was awarded an SPA Excellence in Software Award for Best New Use of a Computer in 1986.
As an application relying on a graphical user interface, PageMaker helped to popularize the Macintosh platform and the Windows environment. Early releases of the Windows version were shipped with a "runtime" copy of Windows (with no task-switching capabilities) to enable users who did not have Windows installed to run the application from MS-DOS.
Version 3.01 was available for OS/2 and took extensive advantage of multithreading for improved user responsiveness.
PageMaker relies on Adobe Systems' PostScript page description language, and in 1994 Adobe Systems acquired Aldus and PageMaker. The last version is PageMaker 7.0, released July 9, 2001, though updates have been released for the two supported platforms since.
In 2004, Adobe announced that development for Adobe PageMaker had ceased but that Adobe would continue to sell and support it. InDesign is presented as the successor product, with upgrades from PageMaker to InDesign offered.
The Macintosh version runs only in Mac OS 9 or earlier; there is no native support for Mac OS X, and it does not run at all on Intel-based Macintoshes. It does not run well under Classic, and Adobe recommends customers use an older Macintosh capable of booting into Mac OS 9. The Windows version supports Windows XP, but according to Adobe, it "does not install or run on Windows Vista." However, PageMaker 6.5 will install and run on Windows Vista.