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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 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]


Early MacroMind applications published by Hayden Software

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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