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Adobe Wiki
Macromedia xRes
Macromedia xRes 3 box
Latest release 3.0 / 1997 (1997)
OS Mac OS, Windows
Genre Raster graphics Editor

xRes was an image editing application created by Fauve Software, later acquired by Macromedia. It allowed for faster editing and preview of very large image files. It was available for older versions of Mac OS and Windows.


The main feature promoted by Macromedia was the ability of xRes to process files much larger than could be handled in memory (called 'xRes Mode'). It accomplished this by performing user interactions on temporary copies of the original file at the resolution and region of the image that was being displayed on the user's screen at the time. This resulted in only a fraction of the memory use and faster interaction. The biggest drawback to this approach was that once all editing was done, the user's edits needed to be applied to the original high resolution file, which could take some time to process.[1]


Fauve xRes was first released by Fauve Software in 1994, incorporating some features from their previous product, Fauve Matisse, which was also the first commercial software application to use layers, preceding Adobe's own implementation in Adobe Photoshop 3.[2] In 1995, Fauve was purchased by Macromedia, who rebranded the software as Macromedia Matisse and Macromedia xRes, before combining features from both into xRes 2.[3]


xRes 3 was discontinued at the end of 1998, as Macromedia could not sustain faster development and release cycles to compete with newer versions of Adobe Photoshop. By this point, three of the main programmers had left Macromedia, which was refocusing towards web development. Macromedia suggested that users migrate to Macromedia Fireworks,[4] a new application which adopted some of the features of xRes and Matisse.[5][6]


Macromedia itself was acquired by Adobe Systems in December 2005.[7] Many of Matisse's and xRes's features continued to be used in Adobe Fireworks.[5][6]


  1. Image Editing Software by John Henshall's Chip Shop, The Photographer. 1996-09.
  2. Macromedia Matisse by Kyle S., Southwest Cyperport. 1996-10-24. Archived 2001-03-06.
  3. Macromedia launches enchanced Matisse as xRes, insists that it adds value to Adobe Photoshop, Computer Business Review. Archived 1996-02-06.
  4. xRes is no longer being offered by Macromedia as a stand alone product, Macromedia. Archived 1998-12-06.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Alumni Achievers: Richard Krueger (M.S. 1989) by Anna Rzewnicki, NC State University Computer Science. 2004-07.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Fauve Matisse by Paolo Limoncelli, Daub. 2018-05-08.
  7. Adobe Completes Acquisition of Macromedia, Adobe Systems. 2005-12-05. Archived 2005-12-07.

External links[]

Macromedia xRes
Matisse | xRes 1 · 2 (SE) · 3
Replaced by Macromedia Fireworks in 1998
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