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MacroMind was a multimedia software company founded in Chicago, Illinois on April 16, 1984 by Marc Canter, Jay Fenton and Mark Stephen Pierce.[1][2]


MacroMind co-founders Pierce Canter Fenton 1985

MacroMind co-founders Mark Stephen Pierce, Marc Canter, and Jay Fenton in 1985.

The company was originally named Chicago Software in April 1984. Three days later, it was renamed MacroMind after a character from Fenton's hit game Gorf.[1]

MacroMind's first project was SoundVision, a combined music and graphics editor. Before the release, the audio and graphics features were split into MusicWorks and VideoWorks.[3] MacroMind's earliest projects were distributed by Hayden Software.[4]

Much of the MacroMind's early work also involved contracting for other companies. In December 1985, Fenton implemented a customized version of VideoWorks with Tiny BASIC that was licensed to Apple Computer to build training discs for their early Macintosh line.[1][5]

By March 1988, the company had grown to 22 employees and was self-publishing its products.[6] After a round of venture capital funding,[7] MacroMind moved to 410 Townsend Street in San Francisco, California in 1989.[8] In 1991, MacroMind merged with Paracomp to briefly become MacroMind-Paracomp,[9] then merged with Authorware Inc. in 1992 to form Macromedia.[10]


MacroMind boxes from Hayden Software

Early MacroMind applications published by Hayden Software

MacroMind packaging designs by Clement Mok

Packaging designs art directed by Clement Mok, designed by Sandra Koenig, and illustrated by Ron Chan.

A few products initiated by MacroMind were actually released by MacroMind-Paracomp:


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 The Birth of MacroMind by Marc Canter, p.63. Festival Ars Electronica. 2003-08. Archived 2003-09-20.
  2. MacroMind Inc., BizStanding. 1984-04-16.
  3. Marc Canter's Work and Careers by Chris Jacques, Intro. to Multimedia. Archived 2006-04-23.
  4. Peripherals; Portable screen for Apple by Peter H. Lewis, The New York Times. 1985-02-19.
  5. An Unofficial Brief History of Director by Luke Wigley, Lingo Workshop. 2017-01-27.
  6. Software Finds Home Sweet Home Here by Daniel Brogan, Chicago Tribune. 1988-03-20. Archived 2020-07-06.
  7. History by John Henry Thompson. Accessed 2019-12-29.
  8. No Flash in the Pan: Macromedia survives a decade by reinventing itself by Benny Evangelista, San Francisco Chronicle. 2002-05-05.
  9. MacroMind, Paracomp plan multimedia software merger by Eric Lai, Computer Business Review. 1991-07-15.
  10. Merger builds multimedia powerhouse by Jeanette Borzo, InfoWorld, p.9. 1992-03-09.
  11. Desktop Publishing #1 (including MacroMind ComicWorks) by Stewart Cheifet, The Computer Chronicles. 1986-11-02.
  12. MacroMind Three-D does animation and rendering by Doug and Denise Green, InfoWorld, p.73. 1991-07-15.
  13. DIRECT-L archives -- July 1999, week 3 (#73). Archived 2007-03-17.

External links[]

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