Bosshard's Printing Primer
The following text is glossary of printing and typesetting terms that Henry
Budgett (henryb@sco.COM) has compiled.
Many thanks goes to him for such a great piece of work!
This glossary of terms associated with the typesetting and printing industries
was put together as a series of articles in a newsletter called ``Desktop
Publisher'' which I wrote, edited and published between 1986 and 1989. The
material was gathered from a wide variety of sources and compiled by J K
Johnstone who deserves credit for the original effort. Terms taken from
US sources are so labelled.
I must confess that this version is now slightly dated, the requests from
the many will spur me on to update it!
The material contained in this glossary is originally the copyright of
The Desktop Publishing Company Ltd and must be acknowledged as such
if the material is re-used in any other form. However, permission for re-use
is freely granted.
Comments and other feedback are welcomed.
A/W - an abbreviation for Artwork.
Acetate - a transparent sheet placed over artwork allowing the artist to
write instructions or indicate where second colour is to be placed. (See
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
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
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
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
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
Bromide - a photographic print made on bromide paper.
Bronzing - an effect produced by dusting wet ink after printing with a metallic
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 metre). 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 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 ommission in the copy indicated
as ( ) showing the insertion.
Cartridge - a thick general purpose paper used for printing, drawing and
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
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
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; ie letters, figures, signs or
spaces in a piece of copy, line or paragraph used as a first stage in type
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.
Colour separations - the division of a multi-coloured original or line copy
into the basic (or primary) process colours 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 neighbour, giving a concertina or pleated effect.
Condensed - a style of typeface in which the characters have an elongated
Continuous tone - an image in which the subject has continuous shades of
colour 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
Copyright - The right of copyright gives protection to the originator of
material to prevent use without express permission or acknowledgement of
Corner marks - marks printed on a sheet to indicate the trim or register
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.
Die - a hardened steel engraving stamp used to print an inked image. Used
in the production of good quality letter headings.
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. Commom 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.
Display type - larger type used for headings etc. Normally about 18 point
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 is Letraset.
Dye transfer - a photographic colour print using special coated papers to
produce a full colour 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
colour with the correct display device. Standard EGA resolution is 640 by
350 dots in any 16 out of 64 colours.
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
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
Flag - the designed title of a newspaper as it appears at the top of page
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 coloured 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 colour process - printing in full colour using four colour 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 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
Gloss ink - for use in litho and letterpress printing on coated papers where
the ink will dry without pentration.
Golden ratio - the rule devised to give proportions of height to width when
laying out text and illustrations to produce the most optically pleasing
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 metre. 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
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 Organisation (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
therof. 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
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.
Letterspacing - 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
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
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
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 cheque 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.
Manilla - 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
Mask - opaque material or masking tape used to block-off an area of the
Masthead - details of publisher and editorial staff usually printed on the
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
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.
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 colours.
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.
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.
Moire pattern - the result of superimposing half-tone screens at the wrong
angle thereby giving a chequered 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 - (/)
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
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 characterised 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
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,
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.
Overlay - a transparent sheet used in the preparation of multi-colour artwork
showing the colour breakdown.
Overprinting - printing over an area already printed. Used to emphasise
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
Ozalid - a trade name to describe a method of copying page proofs from paper
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
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, more recent, products.
Pagination - the numbering of pages in a book.
Pantone - a registered name for an ink colour matching system.
Paper plate - a short run offset printing plate on which matter can be typed
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
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
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 fibres out of the
paper. Shows up as small white dots on areas of solid colour.
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 US-style 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
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
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 colours - cyan, magenta and yellow. These three colours when mixed
together with black will produce a reasonable reproduction of all other
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 - colour proofs taken at each stage of printing showing each
colour printed singly and then superimposed on the preceding colour.
Proof - a copy obtained from inked type, plate, block or screen for checking
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 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 fibres. Broken down by mechanical or chemical means.
Quadding - the addition of space to fill out a line of type using en or
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.
Eg asterisk (*), dagger, double dagger, section mark ( ), paragraph mark
Register marks - used in colour printing to position the paper correctly.
Usually crosses or circles.
Register - the correct positioning of an image especially when printing
one colour 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 more 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
Retouching - a means of altering artwork or colour 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
Runaround (see also Text wrap) - the ability within a program to run text
around a graphic image within a document, without the need to ajust each
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
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 cheques.
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
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
Small caps - a set of capital leters 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 a previously printed area
of either text or graphics.
Swash letters - italic characters with extra flourishes used at the beginning
Swatch - a colour 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, hyphernation and justification, widow
and orphan control and automatic section numbering.
Template - a standard layout usually containing basic details of the page
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
Tied letters - see Ligature.
Tint - the effect of adding white to a solid colour or of screening a solid
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
Toolbox - an on screen mouse operated facility that allows the user to choose
from a selection of 'tools' to create simple goemetric shapes- lines, boxes,
circles etc. and to add fill patterns.
Transparency - a full colour photographically produced image on transparent
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
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
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 ajust 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.
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.
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 page printers
currently use this method of printing.
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