Ventura Publisher: A Chronicle of the Product

The following overview of the Ventura product history and the chronological table are compiled from various postings by Jim Hart and Eric Weber to the Ventura newsgroups and to Bob van Duuren's Ventura Mailinglist. There is also a German translation available.

Jim and Eric have been working in the as volunteers in Ventura tech support for years. Jim has a web site at, Eric is maintaining several useful scripts in

For further information in this area please see also the Pre-Corel History by Robert Leuze.

Jim Hart

A Few Words on Ventura’s History

Ventura Publisher was originally developed by 3-man startup called Ventura Software Inc. with an initial release in 1986. The product was initially distributed by several OEM distributors (Prometheus, Univation and a couple of others).

As with Adobe, this corporation was started by a group of Xerox employees who couldn't convince Xerox to make a commercial venture of their software. However, in the case of VSI, they maintained their ties with Xerox, and Xerox soon obtained exclusive marketing rights and assumed responsibility for tech support.

Xerox and its European partner Rank Xerox marketed the product without developmental control until 1989. when Xerox purchased the source code. The 3.0 versions were released by Xerox Desktop Software, Inc. but Xerox soon bought the Ventura name and XDS was spun off as Ventura Software Incorporated, A Xerox Company, or VSI for short.

VSI developed the product along with Ventura Database Publisher, Ventura Scan, Ventura ColorPro, Ventura AdPro, and Ventura Separator.

Corel got its start as a Ventura solutions provider. They went on to develop Draw and in Fall 1993 purchased Ventura and all related technology from VSI. With the sale of its primary product, VSI ceased operations in December 1993.

The initial release under the Corel name was Corel Ventura Publisher 4.2. Except for a few minor changes, this was just a bundling of VP 4.11, DBP and a bunch of Corel fonts and clipart in order to get the product on the shelves with the Corel name.

All versions of Ventura through 4.x were primarily coded in Assembler language. The Windows versions were Assembly code that had been wrapped in a shell to run within Windows. When Corel bought Ventura, VSI was in the process of converting the code to C++. Corel took on the task of completing this process, but some of the conversion did not go smoothly. The result was V5 which was released in November 1994.

Ventura 5 is the last version with ties to the original product other than the name. Corel decided to completely reengineer the product as a 32-bit Windows application for V6 (which was eventually released as V7). The process took considerably longer than Corel hoped, lasting about 2 years. As a result, it was released as V7 so that the version number coincided with the current version of Draw at that time.

V8 is the second generation of this code.

Jim Hart, Eric Weber

A Chronological Table of Ventura

A history of release/update dates by Jim Hart, brought up to date by Eric Weber

Version # Update Date Month of Release
1.0 1986 04
1.1 1987 02
1.1.1 1987 04
1.1.2 1987 05
2.0 1988 10
2.0 Prof & Net 1988 11
Gold 3.0 (GEM) 1990 06
Gold 3.0 (Win) 1990 08
Gold 3.01 (Win) 1990 10
Gold 3.0 (Mac) 1990 11
Gold 3.1 (Mac) ??? ???
Gold 3.2 (Mac) ??? ???
Gold 3.0 (OS/2) 1990 12
4.0 1991 10
4.01 1992 07
4.1 1992 10
4.1.1 1993 01
4.2 1993 11
4.2 EPSFix 1993 12
5.0E2 1994 10
5.0F1 1995 02
5.0F2 1995 02
5.0F5 1995 09
5.0G1 1995 10
7.1314 1996 11
7.1443 1997 05
7.1465 1997 09
8.429 1998 05
8.433 1998 11
8.559 1999 08