PageMaker was the first desktop publishing program, introduced in 1985 by Aldus Corporation, initially for the Apple Macintosh but soonafter also for the PC. It relies on Adobe Systems' PostScript page description language. In 1994 Aldus and PageMaker were acquired by Adobe Systems. The current version is Pagemaker 7.0, released July 9, 2001.
Many of the GUI elements pioneered in the program have since migrated to the rest of the Adobe suite. Adobe has positioned PageMaker to compete more for the small business market, with Adobe InDesign aimed at the high end, professional designer. PageMaker's feature set is well suited for publications such as corporate newsletters and the straight-news sections of newspapers, but for layouts that need a more complex design, such as magazines or the feature sections of newspapers, it may take much longer to accomplish the task in PageMaker than it would in InDesign or QuarkXPress, if the desired results are possible at all.
While PageMaker is less powerful than InDesign or XPress, it is simpler to learn than those two packages and yet more powerful than Microsoft Publisher. It is not uncommon for schools that teach page layout to first teach its students PageMaker to get them comfortable with the concepts of desktop publishing, then move them on to XPress or InDesign.