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Aldus Corporation was a software company that had developed PageMaker and marketed FreeHand.


Aldus was founded by Paul Brainerd, Jeremy Jaech, Mark Sundstrom, Mike Templeman, and Dave Walter in Seattle, Washington in February 1984.[1] In the fall of 1987, Aldus licensed a graphical program from Altsys Corporation and released it as Aldus FreeHand,[2] with Altsys retaining development rights.[3]

Mergers and acquisitions[]

Silicon Beach Software shell logo

Logo of Silicon Beach Software at the time of its acquisition by Aldus.

In February 1990, Aldus announced its intention to acquire Silicon Beach Software,[4] which was completed for US$25.5 million in stock.[5] Aldus appointed Bruce Chizen as the VP and general manager of the studio in San Diego.[6]

Aldus itself was absorbed by Adobe Systems in a merger that was completed on August 31, 1994.[7][8] Altsys sued to regain marketing rights to FreeHand, citing a non-compete clause because of Adobe's development of Adobe Illustrator.[9] Other products from the Aldus line were rebranded to Adobe in May 1995.[10] By December 2000, Bruce Chizen had become the CEO of Adobe.[11]



  1. Aldus Corp, Crunchbase. Accessed 2019-11-21.
  2. Aldus Licenses Altsys' Mac Graphics Program, InfoWorld p.65. 1987-09-21.
  3. Aldus to Add Products, Enhance Pagemaker, InfoWorld p.125. 1987-10-26.
  4. Briefs, The New York Times. 1990-02-08.
  5. Aldus Corporation History, Funding Universe. Accessed 2019-11-22.
  6. Business Leaders: Bruce R. Chizen, MarketScreener. Accessed 2020-04-20.
  7. Aldus and Adobe Lay Claim to Digital Publishing by Laurie Flynn, The New York Times. 1994-08-24.
  8. Aldus and Adobe Systems Finalize Merger, Computer History Museum. 1994-08-31.
  9. Macromedia's purchase of Altsys raises questions by Pardhu Vadlamudi, InfoWorld p.24. 1994-11-07.
  10. Adobe Systems Continues Product Line Rebranding, Adobe Systems. 1995-05-08. Archived 1996-10-22.
  11. Bruce Chizen Biography, Encyclopedia of World Biography. Accessed 2020-04-21.

External links[]


  • Expanding the Empire, Inside the Publishing Revolution: The Adobe Story by Pamela Pfiffner (PDF, 2003-03)