Thomas Knoll (born 1959) is an American software engineer known as the creator of Adobe Photoshop. He initiated the development of image processing routines in 1988. After Knoll created the first core routines, he showed them to his brother, John Knoll, who worked at Industrial Light and Magic. John liked what he saw, suggested new features, and encouraged Tom to bundle them into a package with a graphical user interface. In 1988, John sold the distribution license for Photoshop to Adobe Systems, and later on March 31, 1995, he sold the rights to the program to Adobe for $34.5 million.
Thomas Knoll was the lead developer until version CS4 and currently contributes to work on the Camera Raw plug-in to process raw images from cameras.
Knoll was born and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and graduated from the University of Michigan.
The Adobe Photoshop version CC 2015, which was released on June 15, 2015, was dedicated to Thomas Knoll and his brother.
At the 2019 Oscars, Thomas and his brother John were awarded a Scientific and Engineering Award for the original architecture, design, and development of Photoshop.