Glossary of Printing Terms
A/W - an abbreviation for Artwork.
Acetate - a transparent sheet placed over artwork allowing the artist to write instructions or indicate where second color is to be placed. (See Overlay)
Addendum - supplementary material additional to the main body of a book and printed separately at the start or end of the text.
Air (US) - an amount of white space in a layout.
Airbrush - a mechanical painting tool producing an adjustable spray of paint driven by compressed air. Used in illustration design and photographic retouching.
Align - to line up typeset or other graphic material as specified, using a base or vertical line as the reference point.
Alphabet (length or width) - the measurement of a complete set of lower case alphabet characters in a given type size expressed in points or picas.
Anodized plate - an offset printing plate with a specially treated surface to reduce wear during printing.
Apex - the point of a character where two lines meet at the top, an example of this is the point on the letter A.
Apron (US) - additional white space allowed in the margins of text and illustrations when forming a foldout.
Art paper - a smooth coated paper obtained by adding a coating of china clay compound on one or both sides of the paper.
Art (US) - in graphic arts usage, all matter other than text material eg illustrations and photographs.
Ascender - any part of a lower case letter extending above the x-height. For example, the upper half of the vertical in the letters b or h.
Authors corrections - changes made to the copy by the author after typesetting but not including those made as a result of errors in keying in the copy.
Backing up - to print the second side of printed sheet.
Backslant - letters that slant the opposite way from italic characters.
Balloon - a circle or bubble enclosing copy in an illustration. Used in cartoons.
Bank - a lightweight writing paper.
Banner - a large headline or title extending across the full page width.
Base artwork - artwork requiring additional components such as halftones or line drawings to be added before the reproduction stage.
Baseline - the line on which the bases of capital letters sit.
Bed - the base on which the Forme is held when printing by Letterpress.
Binding - the various methods used to secure loose leaves or sections in a book; eg saddle-stitch, perfect bound.
Black patch - material used to mask the window area on a negative image of the artwork prior to 'stripping in' a halftone.
Blanket cylinder - the cylinder via which the inked litho plate transfers the image to the paper. The cylinder is covered with a rubber sheet which prevents wear to the litho plate coming into contact with the paper.
Bleed - layout, type or pictures that extend beyond the trim marks on a page. Illustrations that spread to the edge of the paper without margins are referred to as 'bled off'.
Blind emboss - a raised impression made without using ink or foil.
Block in - to sketch in the main areas of an image prior to the design.
Blow up - an enlargement, most frequently of a graphic image or photograph.
Blurb - a short description or commentary of a book or author on a book jacket.
Board - paper of more than 200gsm.
Body (US) - the main text of the work but not including headlines.
Body size - the height of the type measured from the top of the tallest ascender to the bottom of the lowest descender. Normally given in points, the standard unit of type size.
Bold type - type with a heavier darker appearance. Most typefaces have a bold face.
Bond - a sized finished writing paper of 50gsm or more. Can also be used for printing upon.
Border - a continuous decorative design or rule surrounding the matter on the page.
Box - a section of text marked off by rules or white space and presented separately from the main text and illustrations. Longer boxed sections in magazines are sometimes referred to as sidebars.
Bristol board - a fine board made in various qualities for drawing.
Broadside - an original term for work printed on one side of a large sheet of paper.
Bromide - a photographic print made on bromide paper.
Bronzing - an effect produced by dusting wet ink after printing with a metallic powder.
Bullet - a large dot preceding text to add emphasis.
Calendered finish - produced by passing paper through a series of metal rollers to give a very smooth surface.
Caliper - the thickness of sheet of paper or board expressed in microns (millionths of a meter). Also the name of the tool used to make the measurement.
Camera ready - artwork or pasted up material that is ready for reproduction. Cap line - an imaginary line across the top of capital letters. The distance from the cap line to the baseline is the cap size.
Caps - an abbreviation for capital letters.
Caps and small caps - a style of type that shows capital letters used in the normal way while the body copy is set in capital letters which are of a slightly smaller size.
Caption - the line or lines of text that refer to information identifying a picture or illustration.
Carbonless - paper coated with chemicals and dye which will produce copies without carbon paper. Also referred to as NCR (No Carbon Required).
Caret marks - an indication to the printer of an omission in the copy indicated as ( ) showing the insertion.
Cartridge - a thick general purpose paper used for printing, drawing and wrapping.
Case bound - a hardback book made with stiff outer covers. Cases are usually covered with cloth, vinyl or leather.
Cast off - a calculation determining how much space copy will take up when typeset.
Cast coated - art paper with a exceptionally glossy coated finish, usually on one side only.
Catchline - a temporary headline for identification on the top of a galley proof.
Century Schoolbook - a popular serif typeface used in magazines and books for text setting which has a large x-height and an open appearance.
Chalking - a powdering effect left on the surface of the paper after the ink has failed to dry satisfactorily due to a fault in printing.
Character count - the number of characters; i.e. letters, figures, signs or spaces in a piece of copy, line or paragraph used as a first stage in type calculations.
Chase - a metal frame in which metal type and blocks (engravings) are locked into position to make up a page.
Close up - a proof correction mark to reduce the amount of space between characters or words indicated as (').
Coated - printing papers which after making have had a surface coating with clay etc, to give a smoother, more even finish with greater opacity.
Cold type - type produced without the use of characters cast from molten metal, such as on a VDU.
Collate - to gather separate sections or leaves of a book together in the correct order for binding.
Color separations - the division of a multi-colored original or line copy into the basic (or primary) process colors of yellow, magenta, cyan and black. These should not be confused with the optical primaries; red, green and blue. Column inch - a measure of area used in newspapers and magazines to calculate the cost of display advertising. A column inch is one column wide by one inch deep.
Column rule - a light faced vertical rule used to separate columns of type.
Compose - to set copy into type.
Concertina fold - a method of folding in which each fold opens in the opposite direction to its neighbor, giving a concertina or pleated effect.
Condensed - a style of typeface in which the characters have an elongated appearance.
Continuous tone - an image in which the subject has continuous shades of color or grey without being broken up by dots. Continuous tones cannot be reproduced in that form for printing but must be screened to translate the image into dots.
Contrast - the degree of tones in a photograph ranging from highlight to shadow.
Copyright - The right of copyright gives protection to the originator of material to prevent use without express permission or acknowledgement of the originator.
Corner marks - marks printed on a sheet to indicate the trim or register marks.
Cropping - the elimination of parts of a photograph or other original that are not required to be printed. Cropping allows the remaining parts of the image to be enlarged to fill the space.
Cross head - a heading set in the body of the text used to break it into easily readable sections.
Cursive - used to describe typefaces that resemble written script.
Cut flush - a method of trimming a book after the cover has been attached to the pages.
Cutout - a halftone where the background has been removed to produce a silhouette.
Dagger and double dagger - symbols used mainly as reference marks for footnotes.
Dash - a short horizontal rule used for punctuation.
Descender - any part of a lower case letter that extends below the x-height, as in the case of "y" and "j".
Disk Operating System (DOS) - software for computer systems with disk drives which supervises and controls the running of programs. The operating system is 'booted' into the computer from disk by a small program which permanently resides in the memory. Common operating systems include MS-DOS, PC-DOS (IBM's version of MS-DOS), CP/M (an operating system for older, 8-bit computers), Unix and BOS. --And MacOS, for Macintosh computers.
Display type - larger type used for headings etc. Normally about 18 point or larger.
Dot matrix printer - a printer in which each character is formed from a matrix of dots. They are normally impact systems, ie a wire is fired at a ribbon in order to leave an inked dot on the page, but thermal and electro-erosion systems are also used.
Double density - a method of recording on floppy disks using a modified frequency modulation process that allows more data to be stored on a disk.
Double page spread - two facing pages of newspaper or magazine where the textual material on the left hand side continues across to the right hand side. Abbreviated to DPS.
Downloadable fonts - type faces which can be stored on a disk and then downloaded to the printer when required for printing. These are, by definition, bit-mapped fonts and, therefore, fixed in size and style.
DPI (Dots Per Inch) - the measurement of resolution for page printers, phototypesetting machines and graphics screens. Currently graphics screens reproduce 60 to 100dpi, most page printers work at 300dpi and typesetting systems operate at 1,000dpi and above.
Drawn on - a method of binding a paper cover to a book by drawing the cover on and gluing to the back of the book.
Drop cap - a large initial letter at the start of the text that drops into the line or lines of text below.
Dry transfer (lettering) - Characters, drawings, etc, that can be transferred to the artwork by rubbing them off the back of the transfer sheet. Best known manufacturer is Letraset.
Dye transfer - a photographic color print using special coated papers to produce a full color image. Can serve as an inexpensive proof.
EGA (Enhanced Graphics Adapter) - a graphics standard for the PC which can be added or built into a system to give sharper characters and improved color with the correct display device. Standard EGA resolution is 640 by 350 dots in any 16 out of 64 colors.
Egyptian - a term for a style of type faces having square serifs and almost uniform thickness of strokes.
Eight sheet - a poster measuring 60 x 80in (153 x 203cm) and, traditionally, made up of eight individual sheets.
Electronic Publishing - a generic term for the distribution of information which is stored, transmitted and reproduced electronically. Teletext and Videotext are two examples of this technology in its purest form, ie no paper.. Desktop publishing forms just one part of the electronic publishing market.
Em - in printing terms it is a square unit with edges equal in size to the chosen point size. It gets its name from the letter M which originally was as wide as the type size.
Em dash - a dash used in punctuation the length of one em.
Embossing - relief images formed by using a recessed die.
En dash - a dash approximately half the width of an em dash.
En - a unit of measurement that is half as wide as an em.
End papers - the four page leaves at the front and end of a book which are pasted to the insides of the front and back covers (boards).
Epson emulation - the industry standard control codes for dot matrix printers were developed by Epson and virtually all software packages and most dot matrix printers either follow or improve on these codes.
Exception dictionary - in word processing or desktop publishing this is a store of pre-hyphenated words that do not conform to the usual rules contained in the hyphenation and justification program (H & J). Some programs, PageMaker for example, only use an exception dictionary.
Expanded type - a typeface with a slightly wider body giving a flatter appearance.
Express - a printer control language developed by OASYS.
Face - an abbreviation for typeface referring to a family in a given style.
Filler - extra material used to complete a column or page, usually of little importance.
Flag - the designed title of a newspaper as it appears at the top of page one.
Flexography - a rotary letterpress process printing from rubber or flexible plates and using fast drying inks. Mainly used for packaging.
Floating accent - an accent mark which is set separately from the main character and is then placed either over or under it.
Floppy disk - (see Disk)
Flush left - copy aligned along the left margin.
Flush right - copy aligned along the right margin.
Flyer - an inexpensively produced circular used for promotional distribution.
Foil blocking - a process for stamping a design on a book cover without ink by using a colored foil with pressure from a heated die or block.
Font (or fount) - a complete set of characters in a typeface.
Form letter - used in word processing to describe a repetitive letter in which the names and addresses of individuals are automatically generated from a data base or typed individually.
Forme - type and blocks assembled in pages and imposed in a metal chase ready for printing.
Four color process - printing in full color using four color separation negatives - yellow, magenta, cyan and black.
French fold - a sheet which has been printed on one side only and then folded with two right angle folds to form a four page uncut section.
Full measure - a line set to the entire line length.
Full point - a full stop.
Galley proof - proofs taken from the galleys (see following) before being made up into pages.
Galleys - the printing term for long metal trays used to hold type after it had been set and before the press run.
Gatefold - an oversize page where both sides fold into the gutter in overlapping layers. Used to accommodate maps into books.
Gathering - the operation of inserting the printed pages, sections or signatures of a book in the correct order for binding.
GEM - Digital Research's Graphics Environment Manager. A graphical interface designed both to make the operation of software simpler for the non-expert and to allow programs to communicate with one another. Two key desktop publishing packages, Ventura and DR's own GEM Desktop Publisher operate under this environment.
Gloss ink - for use in litho and letterpress printing on coated papers where the ink will dry without penetration.
Golden ratio - the rule devised to give proportions of height to width when laying out text and illustrations to produce the most optically pleasing result.
Gothic - typefaces with no serifs and broad even strokes.
Gravure - a rotary printing process where the image is etched into the metal plate attached to a cylinder. The cylinder is then rotated through a trough of printing ink after which the etched surface is wiped clean by a blade leaving the non-image area clean. The paper is then passed between two rollers and pressed against the etched cylinder drawing the ink out by absorption.
Greeking - a software device where areas of grey are used to simulate lines of text. One of desktop publishing's less clever methods of getting round the slowness of high resolution displays on the PC.
Grey scale - a range of luminance values for evaluating shading through white to black. Frequently used in discussions about scanners as a measure of their ability to capture halftone images. Basically the more levels the better but with correspondingly larger memory requirements.
Grid - A systematic division of a page into areas to enable designers to ensure consistency. The grid acts as a measuring guide and shows text, illustrations and trim sizes.
GSM - Grams per square meter. The unit of measurement for paper weight.
Guard - a narrow strip of paper or linen pasted to a single leaf to allow sewing into a section for binding.
Gutter - the central blank area between left and right pages.
Hairline rule - the thinnest rule that can be printed.
Hairlines - the thinnest of the strokes in a typeface.
Half up - artwork one and a half times the size which it will be reproduced.
Halftone - an illustration reproduced by breaking down the original tone into a pattern of dots of varying size. Light areas have small dots and darker areas or shadows have larger dots.
Halftone screen - a glass plate or film placed between the original photograph and the film to be exposed. The screen carries a network of parallel lines. The number of lines to the inch controls the coarseness of the final dot formation. The screen used depends on the printing process and the paper to be used, the higher the quality the more lines can be used.
Hanging punctuation - punctuation that is allowed to fall outside the margins instead of staying within the measure of the text.
Hard disk - a rigid disk sealed inside an airtight transport mechanism. Information stored may be accessed more rapidly than on floppy disks and far greater amounts of data may be stored. Often referred to as Winchester disks.
Hardback - a case bound book with a separate stiff board cover.
Head - the margin at the top of a page.
Helvetica - a sans serif typeface.
Hickies - a dust particle sticking to the printing plate or blanket which appears on the printed sheet as a dark spot surrounded by an halo.
Highlight - the lightest area in a photograph or illustration.
House style - The style of preferred spelling, punctuation, hyphenation and indentation used in a publishing house or by a particular publication to ensure consistent typesetting.
Icons - pictorial images used on screen to indicate utility functions, files, folders or applications software. The icons are generally activated by an on-screen pointer controlled by a mouse or trackball.
Imposition - refers to the arrangement of pages on a printed sheet, which when the sheet is finally printed on both sides, folded and trimmed, will place the pages in their correct order.
imPRESS - a page description language developed by Imagen and supported by over 60 software products including Crystal, TeX, Superpage and AutoCAD. Almost certainly the first commercially available PDL.
Impression cylinder - the cylinder of a printing machine which brings the paper into contact with the with the printing plate or blanket cylinder.
Imprint - the name and place of the publisher and printer required by law if a publication is to be published. Sometimes accompanied by codes indicating the quantity printed, month/year of printing and an internal control number.
Insert - an instruction to the printer for the inclusion of additional copy.
Interface - the circuit, or physical connection, which controls the flow of data between a computer and its peripherals.
International paper sizes - the International Standards Organization (ISO) system of paper sizes is based on a series of three sizes A, B and C. Series A is used for general printing and stationery, Series B for posters and Series C for envelopes.
Interpress - Xerox Corporation's page description language which was the first such product to be implemented. At present the language still has to be adopted commercially by a third party.
ISBN - International Standard Book Number. A reference number given to every published work. Usually found on the back of the title page.
Italic - type with sloping letters.
Ivory board - a smooth high white board used for business cards etc.
Justify - the alignment of text along a margin or both margins. This is achieved by adjusting the spacing between the words and characters as necessary so that each line of text finishes at the same point.
K (Kilobyte) - 1024 bytes, a binary 1,000.
Keep standing - to hold type or plates ready for reprints.
Kerning - the adjustment of spacing between certain letter pairs, A and V for example, to obtain a more pleasing appearance. Not all DTP systems can achieve this.
Keyline - an outline drawn or set on artwork showing the size and position of an illustration or halftone.
Kraft paper - a tough brown paper used for packing.
Laid - paper with a watermark pattern showing the wire marks used in the paper making process. Usually used for high quality stationery.
Laminate - a thin transparent plastic coating applied to paper or board to provide protection and give it a glossy finish.
Landscape - work in which the width used is greater than the height. Also used to indicate the orientation of tables or illustrations which are printed 'sideways'. (see Portrait).
Laser printer (see also Page printer) - a high quality image printing system using a laser beam to produce an image on a photosensitive drum. The image is transferred on to paper by a conventional xerographic printing process. Currently, most laser printers set at 300dpi with newer models operating at up to 600dpi.
Lateral reversal - a positive or negative image transposed from left to right as in a mirror reflection of the original.
Layout - a sketch of a page for printing showing the position of text and illustrations and giving general instructions.
Lead or Leading - Space added between lines of type to space out text and provide visual separation of the lines. Measured in points or fractions thereof. Named after the strips of lead which used to be inserted between lines of metal type.
Legend - the descriptive matter printed below an illustration, mostly referred to as a caption. Also an explanation of signs or symbols used in timetables or maps.
Letraset - a proprietary name for rub-down or dry transfer lettering used in preparing artwork.
Letterpress - a relief printing process in which a raised image is inked to produce an impression; the impression is then transferred by placing paper against image and applying pressure.
Letterset - a printing process combining offset printing with a letterpress relief printing plate.
Letter spacing - the addition of space between the letters of words to increase the line-length to a required width or to improve the appearance of a line.
Library picture - a picture taken from an existing library and not specially commissioned.
Ligature - letters which are joined together as a single unit of type such as oe and fi.
Lightface - type having finer strokes than the medium typeface. Not used as frequently as medium.
Line block - a letterpress printing plate made up of solid areas and lines and without tones.
Line gauge - a metal rule used by printers. Divided into Picas it is 72 picas long (11.952in).
Linen tester - a magnifying glass designed for checking the dot image of a halftone.
Lineup table - a table with an illuminated top used for preparing and checking alignment of page layouts and paste-ups.
Lining figures - numerals that align on the baseline and at the top.
Linotype - manufacturers of a range of high resolution phototypesetting machines such as the 100, 202, 300 and 500. The 100, 300 and 500 series are capable of processing PostScript files through an external RIP and typesetting desktop publishing files direct from disk at 1270dpi and beyond.
Lithography - a printing process based on the principle of the natural aversion of water to grease. The photographically prepared printing plate when being made is treated chemically so that the image will accept ink and reject water.
Logo - short for logotype. A word or combination of letters set as a single unit. Also used to denote a specially styled company name designed as part of a corporate image.
Loose leaf - a method of binding which allows the insertion and removal of pages for continuous updating.
Lower case - the small letters in a font of type.
M (Megabyte) - one million bytes.
Machine glazed (MG) - paper with a high gloss finish on one side only.
Macro - a series of instructions which would normally be issued one at a time on the keyboard to control a program. A macro facility allows them to be stored and issued automatically by a single keystroke.
Magnetic ink - a magnetized ink that can be read both by humans and by electronic machines. Used in check printing.
Make-up - the assembling of all elements, to form the printed image.
Making ready - the time spent in making ready the level of the printing surface by packing out under the forme or around the impression cylinder.
Manila - A tough brown paper used to produce stationery and wrapping paper.
Manuscript (MS) - the original written or typewritten work of an author submitted for publication.
Margins - the non printing areas of page.
Mark up - copy prepared for a compositor setting out in detail all the typesetting instructions.
Mask - opaque material or masking tape used to block-off an area of the artwork.
Masthead - details of publisher and editorial staff usually printed on the contents page.
Matt art - a coated printing paper with a dull surface.
Measure - denotes the width of a setting expressed in pica ems.
Mechanical binding - a method of binding which secures pre-trimmed leaves by the insertion of wire or plastic spirals through holes drilled in the binding edge.
Mechanical tint - a pre-printed sheet of dots, lines or patterns that can be laid down on artwork for reproduction.
Memory - the part of the computer which stores information for immediate access. Nowadays this consists exclusively of RAM, random access memory, which holds the applications software and data or ROM, read only memory, which holds permanent information such as the DOS bootstrap routines. Memory size is expressed in K or M (alt. "k" or "MB").
Menu-driven - programs which allow the user to request functions by choosing from a list of options.
Metallic ink - printing inks which produce an effect gold, silver, bronze or metallic colors.
MG (Machine glazed) - paper with a high gloss finish on one side only.
Mock-up - the rough visual of a publication or design.
Modem (MOdulator-DEModulator) - a device for converting digital data into audio signals and back again. Primarily used for transmitting data between computers over telephone lines.
Modern - refers to type styles introduced towards the end of the 19th century. Times roman is a good example of modern type.
Moiré pattern - the result of superimposing half-tone screens at the wrong angle thereby giving a checkered effect on the printed half-tone. Normally detected during the stage of progressive proofs.
Monospace - a font in which all characters occupy the same amount of horizontal width regardless of the character.
Montage - a single image formed from the assembling of several images.
Mounting board - a heavy board used for mounting artwork.
Mouse - a handheld pointing device using either mechanical motion or special optical techniques to convert the movement of the user's hand into movements of the cursor on the screen. Generally fitted with one, two or three buttons which can control specific software functions.
MS (Manuscript) - the original written or typewritten work of an author submitted for publication.
Mutt - a typesetting term for the em space.
Newsprint - Unsized, low quality, absorbent paper used for printing newspapers.
Nipping - a stage in book binding where after sewing the sheets are pressed to expel air.
Oblique stroke - for example: (/)
OCR (Optical Character Recognition) - a special kind of scanner which provides a means of reading printed characters on documents and converting them into digital codes that can be read into a computer as actual text rather than just a picture.
Offprint - a run-on or reprint of an article first published in a magazine or journal.
Offset lithography - (see Lithography) a printing method whereby the image is transferred from a plate onto a rubber covered cylinder from which the printing takes place.
Oldstyle (US) - a style of type characterized by stressed strokes and triangular serifs. An example of an oldstyle face is Garamond.
Onion skin - a translucent lightweight paper used in air mail stationery.
Opacity - term used to describe the degree to which paper will show print through.
Optical centre - a point above the true centre of the page which will not appear 'low' as the geometric centre does.
Optical Disks - video disks on which large amounts of information can be stored in binary form representing characters of text or images. The disks cannot be used to view the information using a modified compact disk player and TV. Mainly used for reference works such as dictionaries, encyclopedias, etc. (aka CD-ROM).
Orphan - line of type on its own at the top or bottom of a page.
Outline - a typeface in which the characters are formed with only the outline defined rather than from solid strokes.
Overprinting - printing over an area already printed. Used to emphasize changes or alterations.
Overs - additional paper required to compensate for spoilage in printing. Also used to refer to a quantity produced above the number of copies ordered.
Overstrike - a method used in word processing to produce a character not in the typeface by superimposing two separate characters, eg $ using s and l.
Ozalid - a trade name to describe a method of copying page proofs from paper or film.
Page Printer - the more general (and accurate) name used to describe non-impact printers which produce a complete page in one action. Examples include laser, LED and LCD shutter xerographic printers, ion deposition, electro-erosion and electro-photographic printers.
Page Description Language (PDL) - a special form of programming language which enables both text and graphics (object or bit-image) to be described in a series of mathematical statements. Their main benefit is that they allow the applications software to be independent of the physical printing device as opposed to the normal case where specific routines have to be written for each device. Typical PDLs include Interpress, imPress, PostScript and DDL.
Page proofs - the stage following galley proofs, in which pages are made up and paginated.
PageMaker - the software program from Aldus Corporation that everyone associates with desktop publishing due to its immense success on the Apple Macintosh. Now available on both the Macintosh and the PC it is still used as a benchmark product although certain aspects of its design are coming under attack from other software products.
Pagination - the numbering of pages in a book.
Pantone - a registered name for an ink color matching system.
Paper plate - a short run offset printing plate on which matter can be typed directly.
Paragraph mark ( ) - a type symbol used to denote the start of a paragraph. Also used as a footnote sign.
Parallel fold - a method of folding; eg two parallel folds will produce a six page sheet.
Paste up - the various elements of a layout mounted in position to form camera-ready artwork.
Perfect binding - a common method of binding paperback books. After the printed sections having been collated, the spines will be ground off and the cover glued on.
Perfector - a printing press which prints both sides of the paper at one pass through the machine.
Photogravure - (see Gravure) a printing process where the image is etched into the plate cylinder. The main advantage of this method of printing is the high speed, long run capability. Used mainly for mail order and magazine work.
Pi fonts - characters not usually included in a font, but which are added specially. Examples of these are timetable symbols and mathematical signs.
Pica - a printing industry unit of measurement. There are 12 points to a pica, one pica is approximately 0.166in.
Picking - the effect of ink being too tacky and lifting fibers out of the paper. Shows up as small white dots on areas of solid color.
Pipelining - the ability of a program to flow automatically text from the end of one column or page to the beginning of the next. An extra level of sophistication can be created by allowing the flow to be re-directed to any page and not just the next available. This is ideal for USstyle magazines where everything is 'Continued on...'!
Point - the standard unit of type size of which there are 72 to the inch (one point is approximately 0.01383in). Point size is the measured from the top of the ascender to the bottom of the descender.
Portrait - an upright image or page where the height is greater than the width.
Positive - a true photographic image of the original made on paper or film.
PostScript - a page description language developed by Adobe Systems. Widely supported by both hardware and software vendors it represents the current 'standard' in the market. John Warnock and Chuck Geschke of Adobe both worked for Xerox at the Palo Alto Research Centre where PDLs were invented and set up their company to commercially exploit the concepts they had helped develop.
Preview mode - a mode where word processing or desktop publishing software which doesn't operate in WYSIWYG fashion can show a representation of the output as it will look when printed. The quality ranges from acceptable to worse than useless.
Primary colors - cyan, magenta and yellow. These three colors when mixed together with black will produce a reasonable reproduction of all other colors.
Print engine - the parts of a page printer which perform the print-imaging, fixing and paper transport. In fact, everything but the controller.
Printer Command Language - a language developed by Hewlett Packard for use with its own range of printers. Essentially a text orientated language, it has been expanded to give graphics capability.
Progressives - color proofs taken at each stage of printing showing each color printed singly and then superimposed on the preceding color.
Proof - a copy obtained from inked type, plate, block or screen for checking purposes.
Proof correction marks - a standard set of signs and symbols used in copy preparation and to indicate corrections on proofs. Marks are placed both in the text and in the margin.
Proportional spacing - a method of spacing whereby each character is spaced to accommodate the varying widths of letters or figures, so increasing readability. Books and magazines are set proportionally spaced, typewritten documents are generally monospaced.
Pull-down menus - developed from Xerox research (like just about everything else we take for granted in desktop publishing) these are a method of providing user control over software without cluttering up the screen with text. Using the mouse or cursor keys the user points to the main heading of the menu he or she wants and the menu pulls (Windows) or drops (GEM) from the heading. When the required function has been selected the menu rolls back up into the menu bar leaving the screen clear.
Pulp - the raw material used in paper making consisting mainly of wood chips, rags or other fibers. Broken down by mechanical or chemical means.
Quadding - the addition of space to fill out a line of type using en or em blocks.
Quire - 1/20th of a ream (25 sheets).
Rag paper - high quality stationery made from cotton rags.
Ragged - lines of type that do not start or end at the same position.
Ranged left/right - successive lines of type which are of unequal length and which are aligned at either the right or left hand column.
Raster Image Processor (RIP) - the hardware engine which calculates the bit-mapped image of text and graphics from a series of instructions. It may, or may not, understand a page description language but the end result should, if the device has been properly designed, be the same. Typical RIPs which aren't PDL-based include the Tall Trees JLaser, the LaserMaster and AST's TurboLaser controller. A basic page printer comes with a controller and not a RIP which goes some way to explaining the lack of control
Ream - 500 sheets of paper.
Reference marks - symbols used in text to direct the reader to a footnote. E.g. asterisk (*), dagger, double dagger, section mark ( ), paragraph mark ( ).
Register marks - used in color printing to position the paper correctly. Usually crosses or circles.
Register - the correct positioning of an image especially when printing one color on another.
Resolution - the measurement used in typesetting to express quality of output. Measured in dots per inch, the greater the number of dots, the smoother and cleaner appearance the character/image will have. Currently Page (laser) Printers print at 300, 406 and 600dpi. Typesetting machines print at 1,200 dpi or more.
Rest in Proportion (RIP) - an instruction when giving sizes to artwork or photographs that other parts of the artwork are to be enlarged or reduced in proportion.
Retouching - a means of altering artwork or color separations to correct faults or enhance the image.
Reverse out - to reproduce as a white image out of a solid background.
Revise - indicates the stages at which corrections have been incorporated from earlier proofs and new proofs submitted. Eg First revise, second revise.
Right reading - a positive or negative which reads from left to right.
Roman - type which has vertical stems as distinct from italics or oblique which are set at angles.
Rotary press - a web or reel fed printing press which uses a curved printing plate mounted on the plate cylinder.
Rough - a preliminary sketch of a proposed design.
Royal - a size of printing paper 20in x 25in (508 x 635mm).
Ruler - rulers displayed on the sreen that show measures in inches, picas or millimeters.
Runaround (see also Text wrap) - the ability within a program to run text around a graphic image within a document, without the need to adjust each line manually.
Running head - a line of type at the top of a page which repeats a heading.
S/S (Same size) - an instruction to reproduce to the same size as the original.
Saddle stitching - a method of binding where the folded pages are stitched through the spine from the outside, using wire staples. Usually limited to 64 pages size.
Sans serif - a typeface that has no serifs (small strokes at the end of main stroke of the character).
Scale - the means within a program to reduce or enlarge the amount of space an image will occupy. Some programs maintain the aspect ratio between width and height whilst scaling, thereby avoiding distortion.
Scaling - a means of calculating the amount of enlargement or reduction necessary to accommodate a photograph within the area of a design.
Scamp - a sketch of a design showing the basic concept.
Scanner - a digitizing device using light sensitivity to translate a picture or typed text into a pattern of dots which can be understood and stored by a computer. To obtain acceptable quality when scanning photographs, at least 64 grey scales are required.
Scraperboard - a board prepared with black Indian ink over a china clay surface. Drawings are produced by scraping away the ink to expose the china clay surface.
Section mark ( ) - a character used at the beginning of a new section. Also used as a footnote symbol.
Section - a printed sheet folded to make a multiple of pages.
Security paper - paper incorporating special features (dyes, watermarks etc) for use on checks
Serif - a small cross stroke at the end of the main stroke of the letter.
Set size - the width of the type body of a given point size.
Set solid - type set without leading (line spacing) between the lines. Type is often set with extra space; eg 9 point set on 10 point.
Set off - the accidental transfer of the printed image from one sheet to the back of another.
Sheet - a single piece of paper. In poster work refers to the number of Double Crown sets in a full size poster.
Sheet fed - a printing press which prints single sheets of paper, not reels.
Sheetwise - a method of printing a section. Half the pages from a section are imposed and printed. The remaining half of the pages are then printed on the other side of the sheet.
Show-through - see opacity.
Side stabbed or stitched - the folded sections of a book are stabbed through with wire staples at the binding edge, prior to the covers being drawn on.
Side heading - a subheading set flush into the text at the left edge.
Sidebar - a vertical bar positioned usually on the right hand side of the screen.
Signature - a letter or figure printed on the first page of each section of a book and used as a guide when collating and binding.
Sixteen sheet - a poster size measuring 120in x 80in (3050mm x 2030mm).
Size - a solution based on starch or casein which is added to the paper to reduce ink absorbency.
Slurring - a smearing of the image, caused by paper slipping during the impression stage.
Small caps - a set of capital letters which are smaller than standard and are equal in size to the lower case letters for that typesize.
Snap-to (guide or rules) - a WYSIWYG program feature for accurately aligning text or graphics. The effect is exercised by various non-printing guidelines such as column guides, margin guides which automatically places the text or graphics in the correct position flush to the column guide when activated by the mouse. The feature is optional and can be turned off.
Soft back/cover - a book bound with a paper back cover.
Soft or discretionary hyphen - a specially coded hyphen which is only displayed when formatting of the hyphenated word puts it at the end of a line.
Spell check - a facility contained in certain word processing and page makeup programs to enable a spelling error check to be carried out. Dictionaries of American origin may not conform to English standards and the option should be available within the program to modify the contents. Dictionaries usually contain between 60,000-100,000 words.
Spine - the binding edge at the back of a book.
SRA - a paper size in the series of ISO international paper sizes slightly larger than the A series allowing the printer extra space to bleed.
Stat - photostat copy.
Stem - the main vertical stroke making up a type character.
Stet - used in proof correction work to cancel a previous correction. From the Latin; 'let it stand'.
Strap - a subheading used above the main headline in a newspaper article.
Strawboard - a thicker board made from straw pulp, used in bookwork and in the making of envelopes and cartons. Not suitable for printing.
Strike-through - the effect of ink soaking through the printed sheet.
Style sheet - a collection of tags specifying page layout styles, paragraph settings and type specifications which can be set up by the user and saved for use in other documents. Some page makeup programs, such as Ventura, come with a set of style sheets.
Subscript - the small characters set below the normal letters or figures.
Supercalendered paper - a smooth finished paper with a polished appearance, produced by rolling the paper between calenders. Examples of this are high gloss and art papers.
Superscript - the small characters set above the normal letters or figures.
Surprint (US) - (see Overprinting) printing over previously printed area of either text or graphics.
Swash letters - italic characters with extra flourishes used at the beginning of chapters.
Swatch - a color sample.
Tabloid - a page half the size of a broadsheet.
Tabular setting - text set in columns such as timetables.
Tagged Image File Format (TIFF) - a common format for interchanging digital information, generally associated with greyscale or bitmap data.
Tags - the various formats which make up a style sheet- paragraph settings, margins and columns, page layouts, hyphenation and justification, widow and orphan control and automatic section numbering.
Template - a standard layout usually containing basic details of the page dimensions.
Text wrap - see Runaround.
Text - the written or printed material which forms the main body of a publication.
Text type - typefaces used for the main text of written material. Generally no larger than 14 point in size.
Thermography - a print finishing process producing a raised image imitating die stamping. The process takes a previously printed image which before the ink is dry is dusted with a resinous powder. The application of heat causes the ink and powder to fuse and a raised image is formed.
Thin space - the thinnest space normally used to separate words.
Thirty two sheet - a poster size measuring 120in x 160in (3048mm x 4064mm).
Threaded or Chained (US) - see Pipelining.
Thumbnails - the first ideas or sketches of a designer noted down for future reference.
Tied letters - see Ligature.
Tint - the effect of adding white to a solid color or of screening a solid area.
Tip in - the separate insertion of a single page into a book either during or after binding by pasting one edge.
Tone line process - the process of producing line art from a continuous tone original.
Toolbox - an on screen mouse operated facility that allows the user to choose from a selection of 'tools' to create simple geometric shapes- lines, boxes, circles etc. and to add fill patterns.
Transparency - a full color photographically produced image on transparent film.
Trash can (US) - the icon selected for the deleting of files or objects.
Trim - the cutting of the finished product to the correct size. Marks are incorporated on the printed sheet to show where the trimming is to be made.
Turnkey - a system designed for a specific user and to work as an integrated unit. Usually has built-in contractual responsibilities for hardware and software maintenance.
Twin wire - paper which has an identical smooth finish on both sides.
Typeface - the raised surface carrying the image of a type character cast in metal. Also used to refer to a complete set of characters forming a family in a particular design or style.
Typescript - a typed manuscript.
Typo (US) - an abbreviation for typographical error. An error in the typeset copy.
Typographer - a specialist in the design of printed matter, and in particular the art of typography.
Typography - the design and planning of printed matter using type.
U&lc - an abbreviation for UPPER and lower case.
Universal Copyright Convention (UCC) - gives protection to authors or originators of text, photographs or illustrations etc, to prevent use without permission or acknowledgment. The publication should carry the copyright mark c, the name of the originator and the year of publication.
Varnishing - a finishing process whereby a transparent varnish is applied over the printed sheet to produce a glossy finish.
Vellum - the treated skin of a calf used as a writing material. The name is also used to describe a thick creamy book paper.
Ventura Publisher - the desktop publishing package marketed by Xerox. The Ventura approach is a document-oriented one working on the basis that each page will have a similar format. The package with its lends itself to the production of manuals and directories.
Vertical justification - the ability to adjust the interline spacing (leading) and manipulation of text in fine increments to make columns and pages end at the same point on a page.
Vignette - a small illustration in a book not enclosed in a definite border.
Watermark - an impression incorporated in the paper making process showing the name of the paper and/or the company logo.
Web - a continuous roll of printing paper used on web-fed presses.
Web - abbr. for the World Wide Web, a system of linked "pages" on the internet.
Weight - the degree of boldness or thickness of a letter or font.
Wf - an abbreviation for 'wrong fount'. Used when correcting proofs to indicate where a character is in the wrong typeface.
Widow - a single word left on the last line of a paragraph which falls at the top of a page.
Windows - a software technique that allows a rectangular area of a computer screen to display output from a program. With a number of programs running at one time, several windows can appear on the screen at one time. Information can be cut and pasted from one window to another. The best known version of "windows" is that developed by Microsoft, although that is but a pale imitation of the Macintosh Operating System developed by Apple Computers.
Wire - the wire mesh used at the wet end of the paper making process. The wire determines the textures of the paper.
Wire stitching - see saddle or side stitching.
Woodfree paper - made from chemical pulp only with size added. Supplied calendered or supercalendered.
Word break - the division of a word at the end of a line.
Word wrap - in word processing, the automatic adjustment of the number of words on a line of text to match the margin settings. The carriage returns set up by this method are termed "soft", as against "hard" carriage returns resulting from the return key being pressed.
Work and turn - a method of printing where pages are imposed in one forme or assembled on one film. One side is then printed and the sheet is then turned over and printed from the other edge using the same forme. The finished sheet is then cut to produce two complete copies.
Work and tumble - a method of printing where pages are again imposed together. The sheet is then printed on one side with the sheet being turned or tumbled from front to rear to print the opposite side.
Wove - a finely textured paper without visible wire marks.
WYSIWYG What-you-see-is-what-you-get (pronounced "wizzywig") - used to describe systems that preview full pages on the screen with text and graphics. The term can however be a little misleading due to difference in the resolution of the computer screen and that of the page printer.
X-height - the height of a letter excluding the ascenders and descenders; eg 'x', which is also height of the main body.
Xerography - a photocopying/printing process in which the image is formed using the electrostatic charge principle. The toner replaces ink and can be dry or liquid. Once formed, the image is sealed by heat. Most laser printers currently use this method of printing.