Adobe, the creator of the highly popular image editing software Photoshop (the program I use for editing my captures), has recently stated that the name Photoshop is not to be used as a verb. In fact, they have a whole section on their website detailing the company’s policy on this.

Here is a snippet from

The Photoshop trademark must never be used as a common verb or as a noun. The Photoshop trademark should always be capitalized and should never be used in possessive form, or as a slang term. It should be used as an adjective to describe the product, and should never be used in abbreviated form. The following examples illustrate these rules:

Trademarks are not verbs.

CORRECT: The image was enhanced using Adobe® Photoshop® software.

INCORRECT: The image was photoshopped.

I think it is a bit late to enforce this policy on a large scale. The word photoshop has become synonymous in the photography community and increasingly in mainstream speech with the word edit. Just this past weekend I overheard the following exchange:

person #1: “Check out this picture of a giant dog.”
person #2: “I already saw that. The dog’s not really that big, it’s photoshopped.”

To further illustrate my belief that it is too late for Adobe to prevail in this area, one only has to go as far as A quick search on the popular site for the definition of “photoshop” yielded this result:

“…to edit an image using a computer program,” 1992…”

What I suspect is really going on here is that Adobe is required to have a policy in effect to protect their trademark. Without this effort, they run the risk of losing the claim to ownership of the name Photoshop. Google had a similar problem last year since their name was increasingly being used as a generic term for search (i.e. “just google for the answer”).

I can understand why companies like Adobe and Google don’t want their trademarked names to go the way of Xerox & Kleenex and become generic terms. But in the photography community I think it is too late.

As for me, I will continue photoshopping my photos. What about you?