Print Glossary


A Sizes

Range of international paper sizes where the next size up is 1/2 that of the previous size


An abbreviation for Artwork.

A3 Paper

ISO paper size 420 x 297mm

A4 Paper

ISO paper size 210 x 148mm

A5 Paper

ISO paper size 297 x 210mm


The capacity a paper has for accepting liquids, like the inks or water used to run offset lithographic presses.


A transparent sheet placed over originals or artwork, allowing the designer to write instructions and/or indicate a second colour for placement.

Acid-free paper

Paper manufactured on a paper machine with the wet-end chemistry controlled to a neutral or slightly alkaline pH.

Acrobat 4

A computer program developed by Adobe for viewing and printing PDF files

Acrobat Distiller

A part of the Adobe Acrobat suite for generating low end PDF files for use in document transfer and web sites..

Acrobat PDF Writer

A part of the Adobe Acrobat suite for generating high end PDF files for use in the printing industry.


Supplementary material additional to the main body of a book and printed separately at the start or end of the text.

Against the Grain

At right angles to the grain direction of the paper being used, as compared to with the grain. Also called across the grain and cross grain. See also Grain Direction.


Pen-shaped tool that sprays a fine mist of ink or paint to retouch photos and create continuous-tone illustrations.


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.


Any change made by the customer after copy or artwork has been given to the service bureau, separator or printer. The change could be in copy, specifications or both. Also called AA, author alteration and customer alteration.


Information in the form of electrical "waves," from high to low, much like the pitch of your voice.

Analogue proof

A proof not made from a digital source - uses film to manually create layer of coloured powder to simulate ink

Anodised plate

An offset printing plate with a specially treated surface to reduce wear during printing.

Anti virus

A program developed specifically to locate and delete a virus from a computer system.


The point of a character where two lines meet at the top, an example of this is the point on the letter A.


In graphic arts usage, all matter other than text material e.g. illustrations and photographs.

Art paper

A smooth coated paper obtained by adding a coating of china clay compound on one or both sides of the paper. The paper has reflective quality.


All original copy, including type, photos and illustrations, intended for printing. Also called art.


Typographic term for the portion of lowercase characters that rises above the main body of the letter. The lowercase letters b, d, f, h, k, l and t have ascenders.

Author's corrections

Corrections to be made to a body of text as a result of changes by the author after typesetting has been finished.


B Sizes

Range of international paper sizes based on the A sizes but where the area is 40-50% larger to allow for odd size work.

Backing up

To print the second side of printed sheet.


Letters that slant the opposite way from italic characters.


(1) To print on the second side of a sheet already printed on one side. (2) To adjust an image on one side of a sheet so that it aligns back-to-back with an image on the other side.


A circle or bubble enclosing copy in an illustration. Used in cartoons.


A lightweight writing paper. Usually y 40gm to 60gm


A large headline or title extending across the full page width.


A set of vertical lines of varying width that when scanned using a barcode reader produces a unique number that can be allocated to a specific task or product.

Base artwork

Artwork requiring additional components such as halftones or line drawings to be added before the reproduction stage.


The line on which the bases of capital letters sit.

Basic Size

The standard size of sheets of paper used to calculate basis weight in the United States and Canada.

Basis Weight

In the United States and Canada, the weight, in pounds, of a ream (500 sheets) of paper cut to the basic size. Also called ream weight and substance weight (sub weight). In countries using ISO paper sizes, the weight, in grams, of one square meter of paper. Also called grammage and ream weight.


The base on which the forme is held when printing by Letterpress.


Usually in the book arena, but not exclusively, the joining of leafs or signatures together with either wire, glue or other means.

Binder's Creep

The cumulative extension of the edges of each inserted page beyond the edges of the one that encloses it in a saddle stitch bind.


Usually a department within a printing company responsible for collating, folding and trimming various printing projects.


The various methods used to secure loose leaves or sections in a book; e.g. saddle stitch, perfect bound.


An expression used to describe a reproduction that shows the bitmapping of an image, normally caused by use of a low resolution file instead of a high resolution file.


The breaking up of an image into pixels at scanning stage, can appear in a reproduction if the resolution selected is to low.

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.


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.

Blind Image

Image debossed, embossed or stamped, but not printed with ink or foil.

Block in

To sketch in the main areas of an image prior to the design.


Sticking together of printed sheets causing damage when the surfaces are separated.

Blow Up

A photographic or lithographic enlargement of an original to another larger size.


A description or commentary of an author or book content positioned on the book jacket.


Paper of 200gsm or more.


The main text of work not including the 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.


A sized finished writing paper usually 70gsm to 90gm. Can be used for printing upon.

Book Paper

Category of paper suitable for books, magazines, catalogues, advertising and general printing needs. Book paper is divided into uncoated paper (also called offset paper), coated paper (also called art paper, enamel paper, gloss paper and slick paper) and text paper.


The decorative design or rule surrounding matter on a page.


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.


An original term for work printed on one side of a large sheet of paper.


A photographic print created on bromide paper.


An effect produced by dusting wet ink after printing with a metallic powder.

Brunner strip

A colour control strip used by printers to monitor the performance of the press in relation to colour and image reproduction & registration. Developed by System Brunner.


Thickness of paper relative to its basic weight.


A dot or similar marking to emphasise text.

Butt Register

Register where ink colours meet precisely without overlapping or allowing space between, as compared to lap register. Also called butt fit and kiss register.


C Sizes

Range of international Envelope sizes to take internally the dimensions of the international A sizes

Calendered finish

Produced by passing paper through a series of metal rollers to give a very smooth surface.


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 Copy (CRC)

Mechanicals, photographs and art fully prepared for reproduction according to the technical requirements of the printing process being used. Also called finished art and reproduction copy.

Camera Service

Business using a process camera to make Photostats, halftones, plates and other elements for printing. Also called prep service and trade camera service.


An imaginary line across the top of capital letters. The distance from the cap line to the baseline is the cap size.


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.


The line or lines of text that refer to information identifying a picture or illustration.


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.


A general purpose paper used for printing, drawing and wrapping 100gm and above

Case bound

A hardback book made with stiff outer covers. Cases are usually covered with cloth, vinyl or leather.

Cast coated

Art paper with a exceptionally glossy coated finish, usually on one side only.

Cast off

A calculation determining how much space copy will take up when typeset.


A temporary headline for identification on the top of a galley proof.


A generic term for laminating a printed sheet.

Century Schoolbook

A popular serif typeface used in magazines and books for text setting which has a large x height and an open appearance.


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.


See forme


A metal frame in which metal type and blocks (engravings) are locked into position to make up a page.

Check Copy

(1) Production copy of a publication verified by the customer as printed, finished and bound correctly. (2) One set of gathered book signatures approved by the customer as ready for binding.


Technique of slightly reducing the size of an image to create a hairline trap or to outline. Also called shrink and skinny.


Strength of a colour as compared to how close it seems to neutral grey. Also called depth, intensity, purity and saturation.

Close up

A proof correction mark to reduce the amount of space between characters or words indicated as (').


Abbreviation for cyan, magenta, yellow and key (black), the four process colours.

Coarse Screen

Halftone screen with ruling of 65, 85 or 100 lines per inch (26, 34 or 40 lines centimetre).


Printing papers which after making have had a surface coating with clay etc, to give a smoother, more even finish with greater opacity.

Coated Paper

Paper with a coating of clay and other substances that improves reflectivity and ink holdout. Mills produce coated paper in the four major categories cast, gloss, dull and matte.

Cold type

Type produced without the use of characters cast from molten metal, such as on a VDU.


To organise printed matter in a specific order as requested.

Collating Marks

Mostly in the book arena, specific marks on the back of signatures indicating exact position in the collating stage.

Colour Control Bar

Strip of small blocks of colour on a proof or press sheet to help evaluate features such as density and dot gain. Also called colour bar, colour guide and standard offset colour bar.

Colour Correct

To adjust the relationship among the process colours to achieve desirable colours.

Colour Gamut

The colours available for reproduction with in a certain gamut or range. The RGB colour gamut is much greater than the CMYK colour gamut.

Colour Key

Brand name for an overlay colour proof. Sometimes used as a generic term for any overlay colour proof.

Colour Model

Way of categorising and describing the infinite array of colours found in nature.

Colour Separation

(1) Technique of using a camera, scanner or computer to divide continuous-tone colour images into four halftone negatives. (2) The product resulting from colour separating and subsequent four-colour process printing. Also called separation.

Colour Sequence

Order in which inks are printed. Also called laydown sequence and rotation.

Colour Shift

Change in image colour resulting from changes in register, ink densities or dot gain during four-colour process printing.

Colour Transparency

Film (transparent) used as art to perform colour separations.

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.

Commercial Printer

Printer producing a wide range of products such as announcements, brochures, posters, booklets, stationery, business forms, books and magazines. Also called job printer because each job is different.


To set copy into type.

Composite Art

Mechanical on which copy for reproduction in all colours appears on only one surface, not separated onto overlays. Composite art has a tissue overlay with instructions that indicate colour breaks.

Composite Film

Film made by combining images from two or more pieces of working film onto one film for making one plate.

Composite Proof

Proof of colour separations in position with graphics and type. Also called final proof, imposition proof and stripping proof.


(1) In typography, the assembly of typographic elements, such as words and paragraphs, into pages ready for printing. (2) In graphic design, the arrangement of type, graphics and other elements on the page.

Comprehensive Dummy

Simulation of a printed piece complete with type, graphics and colours. Also called colour comprehensive and comp.

Concertina fold

A method of folding in which each fold opens in the opposite direction to its neighbour, giving a concertina or pleated effect.


A style of typeface in which the characters have an elongated appearance.


To keep paper in the pressroom for a few hours or days before printing so that its moisture level and temperature equal that in the pressroom. Also called cure, mature and season.

Contact Platemaker

Device with lights, timing mechanism and vacuum frame used to make contact prints, duplicate film, proofs and plates. Also called platemaker and vacuum frame.

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.

Continuous-tone Copy

All photographs and those illustrations having a range of shades not made up of dots, as compared to line copy or halftones. Abbreviated contone.

Contract Proof

A proof that is correct for colour, content and position - can be analogue (Cromolin) or digital proofs (Iris)


The degree of tones in a photograph ranging from highlight to shadow.


Business that makes products such as boxes, bags, envelopes and displays.


Surface or frame on a process camera that holds copy in position to be photographed.


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.


A file supplied has an error contained in it that will not allow it to be used, mainly happens at saving stage and resaving often overcomes the problem.


Thick paper that protects a publication and advertises its title.

Cover Paper

Category of thick paper used for products such as posters, menus, folders and covers of paperback books.


Extent to which ink covers the surface of a substrate. Ink coverage is usually expressed as light, medium or heavy.


Phenomenon of middle pages of a folded signature extending slightly beyond outside pages. Also called feathering, outpush, push out and thrust. See also Shingling.


An analogue proofing system developed by DuPont that uses film to manually build up layers of coloured power to simulate ink.

Crop Marks

Lines near the edges of an image indicating portions to be reproduced. Also called cut marks, tick marks & trim marks..


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 fold

A method of folding in which 1 or more folds is at right angles to the 1st

Cross head

A heading set in the body of the text used to break it into easily readable sections.


Type or art that continues from one page of a book or magazine across the gutter to the opposite page. Also called bridge, gutter bleed and gutter jump.


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.

Cut Sizes

Paper sizes used with office machines and small presses.


A halftone where the background has been removed to produce a silhouette.

Cutting forme

Usually a custom ordered item to trim specific and unusual sized printing projects.


One of the four process colours. Also known as process blue.


Type of machine used by printers to cut desired shapes from paper and board. Also used for cutting and creasing. Typically an old converted letterpress machine.


Dagger and double dagger

Symbols used mainly as reference marks for footnotes.


A short horizontal rule used for punctuation.

Demand printing

A term being used in the digital print industry where you order only what you require today and don't hold any stock. The job is generally on demand e.g . The turnaround is within 24 hours.


Instrument used to measure ink density & ink thickness on a printed sheet


(1) Regarding ink, the relative thickness of a layer of printed ink. (2) Regarding colour, the relative ability of a colour to absorb light reflected from it or block light passing through it. (3) Regarding paper, the relative tightness or looseness of fibres.


Any part of a lower case letter that extends below the x height, as in the case of "y" and "j".

Desktop Publishing

Technique of using a personal computer to design images and pages, and assemble type and graphics, then using a laser printer or imagesetter to output the assembled pages onto paper, film or printing plate. Abbreviated DTP.


A tool made from steel and plywood used for cutting shapes from paper or board.

Die Cut

Irregular shapes cut out of paper or board using a cutting forme or die custom made in the shape of the irregular shape.

Die cutting machine

A machine that cuts stacks of paper to desired shapes. The machine can also be used in scoring or creasing. Can also be called a cylinder.

Digital Colour Proof

Colour proof made by a laser, ink jet printer or other computer-controlled device without needing to make separation films first. Abbreviated DDCP.

Digital Contract Proof

A proof that is correct for colour, content and position made from a digital source without the need for film. (e.g. Iris proof)

Digital Dot

Dot created by a computer and printed out by a laser printer or imagesetter. Digital dots are uniform in size, as compared to halftone dots that vary in size.

Digital Proofing

Page proofs produced through electronic memory transferred onto paper via laser or ink-jet.


Magnetic media used to store information also known as a floppy disk or 3 1/2" disk.

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 MSDOS, Windows, Unix MAC OS.

Display type

Larger type used for headings etc. Normally about 18 point or larger.


An envelope size to contain a 1/3 A4 item, but commonly used to express the size 210 x 99mm (1/3 A4)

Dog Ear

A letter fold at the side of one of the creases, an indentation occurs.

Dot Gain

Phenomenon of halftone dots printing larger on paper than they are on films or plates, reducing detail and lowering contrast. Also called dot growth, dot spread and press gain.

Dot matrix printer

A printer in which each character is formed from a matrix of dots. They are normally impact systems, i.e. 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.

Dot Size

Relative size of halftone dots as compared to dots of the screen ruling being used. There is no unit of measurement to express dot size. Dots are too large, too small or correct only in comparison to what the viewer finds attractive.


Measure of resolution of input devices such as scanners, display devices such as monitors, and output devices such as laser printers, imagesetters and monitors. Abbreviated DPI. Also called dot pitch.

Double Black Duotone

Duotone printed from two halftones, one shot for highlights and the other shot for midtones and shadows.

Double Burn

Exposing a plate twice to positive or negative films.

Double Density

A method of recording electronically (disk, CD, floppy) using a modified frequency to allow more data storage.

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.


Dots Per Inch. A measurement of an output devices resolution and quality. Measures the number of dots a printer can print per inch both horizontally and vertically. A 600 dpi printer can print 360,000 (600 x 600) dots on one square inch of paper.

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.

Drill hole

A hole in a printed matter.

Drop cap

A large initial letter at the start of the text that drops into the line or lines of text below.


Halftone dots or fine lines eliminated from highlights by overexposure during camera work.

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.


Simulation of the final product. Also called mock-up.


Black-and-white photograph reproduced using two halftone negatives, each shot to emphasise different tonal values in the original.


Offset press made for quick printing.

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.


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, i.e. no paper. Desktop publishing forms just one part of the electronic publishing market.

Electrostatic Printing

Printing process that uses a special paper which is charged by an electron beam. The tone sticks to the charged areas. Used in large imageplotters.


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.


To press an image into paper so it lies above the surface. Also called cameo and tool.


Relief images formed by using a recessed die.


Were ink and water used in the printing process tend to mix as a result of motion and heat.


Casting of light-sensitive chemicals on papers, films, printing plates and stencils.

Emulsion Down/Emulsion Up

Film whose emulsion side faces down (away from the viewer) or up (toward the viewer) when ready to make a plate or stencil. Abbreviated ED, EU. Also called E up/down and face down/face up.


A unit of measurement that is half as wide as an em.

En dash

A dash approximately half the width of an em dash.

Encapsulated PostScript file

Computer file containing both images and PostScript commands. Abbreviated EPS file.

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).


Printing method using a plate, also called a die, with an image cut into its surface.


Encapsulated Post Script, a known file format usually used to transfer post script information from one program to another.

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.

Equivalent Paper

Paper that is not the brand specified, but looks, prints and may cost the same. . Also called comparable stock.


A calculated price for what a job will probably cost. Also called bid, quotation and tender.


The individual performing or creating the "estimate." Etch To use chemicals to carve an image into metal, glass or film.

Exception dictionary

In word processing or desktop publishing this is a store of prehyphenated 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.


A printer control language developed by OASYS.



An abbreviation for typeface referring to a family in a given style.

Fifth Colour

Ink colour used in addition to the four needed by four-colour process.


Extra material used to complete a column or page, usually of little importance.


A negative or positive, photographic or lithographic record made on a light sensitive material.

Film Gauge

Thickness of film. The most common gauge for graphic arts film is 0.004 inch (0.1 mm).

Film Laminate

Thin sheet of plastic bonded to a printed product for protection or increased gloss.

Film ready disk

A disk that’s hold all the digital information concerning a project for printing that may be output to proof or film with no further work required.


In colour separations and photography, a coloured piece of gelatine used over or between the lens to alter the hue, colour or to correct for spectral imbalances.

Fine Papers

Papers made specifically for writing or commercial printing, as compared to coarse papers and industrial papers. Also called cultural papers and graphic papers.

Fine Screen

Screen with ruling of 150 lines per inch (80 lines per centimetre) or more.


(1) Surface characteristics of paper. (2) General term for trimming, folding, binding and all other post press operations.

Finished Size

Size of product after production is completed, as compared to flat size. Also called trimmed size.


Refers to ability of film to be registered during stripping and assembly. Good fit means that all images register to other film for the same job.

Fixed Costs

Costs that remain the same regardless of how many pieces are printed. Copyrighting, photography and design are fixed costs.


the designed title of a newspaper as it appears at the top of page one.

Flat Colour

(1) Any colour created by printing only one ink, as compared to a colour created by printing four-colour process. Also called block colour and spot colour. (2) colour that seems weak or lifeless.

Flat Size

Size of product after printing and trimming, but before folding, as compared to finished size.


Method of printing on a web press using rubber or plastic plates with raised images. Also called aniline printing because flexographic inks originally used aniline dyes. Abbreviated flexo.

Floating accent

An accent mark which is set separately from the main character and is then placed either over or under it.


To print a sheet completely with an ink or varnish. flooding with ink is also called painting the sheet.

Floppy disk

(see Disk)

Flush left

Copy aligned along the left margin.

Flush right

Copy aligned along the right margin.


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.

Foil Emboss

To foil stamp and emboss an image. Also called heat stamp.

Foil Stamp

Method of printing that releases foil from its backing when stamped with the heated die. Also called block print, hot foil stamp and stamp.

Fold Marks

With printed matter, markings indicating where a fold is to occur, usually located at the top edges.


A bindery machine dedicated to folding printed materials.


Gatefold sheet bound into a publication, often used for a map or chart. Also called gatefold and pullout.

Folio (page number)

The actual page number in a publication.

Font (or fount)

A complete set of characters in a typeface.

For Position Only

Refers to inexpensive copies of photos or art used on mechanical to indicate placement and scaling, but not intended for reproduction. Abbreviated FPO.

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.


Size, style, shape, layout or organisation of a layout or printed product.


Cutting, perforation and creasing rules, type and blocks assembled in a metal chase for use on a letterpress machine.


In the case book arena, the binding process which involves folding, rounding, backing, headbanding and reinforcing.

Four-colour Process Printing

Technique of printing that uses black, magenta, cyan and yellow to simulate full-colour images. Also called colour process printing, full colour printing and process printing.


A computer program developed by Macromedia for page layout, text input but also graphic & illustration work.

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.


File Transfer Protocol - a reliable method of transferring files over the Internet.

Full measure

A line set to the entire line length.

Full point

A full stop.


Galley Proof

A proof of text copy before it is formatted for the page.


The printing term for long metal trays used to hold type after it had been set and before the press run.


The combined bleed or distance between 2 trim / crop marks on a sheet with several items up together.


A printed sheet where both sides fold toward each other and meet in the centre.


Signatures assembled next to each other in the proper sequence for binding, as compared to nested. Also called stacked.


The action of placing 1 section under the previous.


The operation of inserting the printed pages, sections or signatures of a book in the correct order for binding.


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.

Ghost Halftone

Normal halftone whose density has been reduced to produce a very faint image.


(1) Phenomenon of a faint image appearing on a printed sheet where it was not intended to appear. Chemical ghosting refers to the transfer of the faint image from the front of one sheet to the back of another sheet. Mechanical ghosting refers to the faint image appearing as a repeat of an image on the same side of the sheet. (2) Phenomenon of printed image appearing too light because of ink starvation.


This acronym stands for Graphic Interchange Format, a commonly used file compression format developed by CompuServe for transferring graphics files to and from online services.


Consider the light reflecting on various objects in the printing industry (e.g., paper, ink, laminates, UV coating, varnish).

Gloss Ink

Ink used and printed on coated stock (mostly litho and letterpress) such as the ink will dry without penetration.

Gloss paper

A coated paper that has a reflective quality also see Artpaper


An abbreviation used to describe the weight of paper in grams per square metre. Also referred to as Gsm

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.


Typefaces with no serifs and broad even strokes.


General term used to distinguish between or among printing papers, but whose specific meaning depends on context. Grade can refer to the category, class, rating, finish or brand of paper.

Graduated Screen Tint

Screen tint that changes densities gradually and smoothly, not in distinct steps. Also called degrade, gradient, ramped screen and vignette.


In photography, the grain is the granular particles in photographic emulsion of an original print or negative. The printing process causes the grain to become more apparent than in the original.


Basis weight of paper in grams per square meter (GSM).

Graphic Arts

The crafts, industries and professions related to designing and printing on paper and other substrates.

Graphic Design

Arrangement of type and visual elements along with specifications for paper, ink colours and printing processes that, when combined, convey a visual message.


Visual elements that supplement type to make printed messages more clear or interesting.


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.


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.


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.

Gripper Edge

Edge of a sheet held by grippers on a sheetfed press, thus going first through the press. Also called feeding edge and leading edge.

Groundwood Paper

Newsprint and other inexpensive paper made from pulp created when wood chips are ground mechanically rather than refined chemically.


Grams per square metre. The unit of measurement for paper weight sometimes abbreviated to GM


A narrow strip of paper or linen pasted to a single leaf to allow sewing into a section for binding.


A machine for cutting stacks of paper or board in straight lines at right angles to each other.


The central blank area between left and right pages.


Hairline rule

The thinnest rule that can be printed.


The thinnest of the strokes in a typeface.

Half up

Artwork one and a half times the size which it will be reproduced.


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

Piece of film or glass containing a grid of lines that breaks light into dots. Also called contact screen and screen.

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.

Hard Dots

Web press equipped with an oven to dry ink, thus able to print coated paper.


A case bound book with a separate stiff board cover.


The margin at the top of a page.


A sans serif typeface.


Spot or imperfection in printing, most visible in areas of heavy ink coverage, caused by dirt on the plate or blanket. Also called bulls eye and fish eye.

High-fidelity Colour

Colour reproduced using six, eight or twelve separations, as compared to four-colour process.

High-key Photo

Photo whose most important details appear in the highlights.


Lightest portions of a photograph or halftone, as compared to midtones and shadows.

Hinged Cover

Perfect bound cover scored 1/8 inch (3mm) from the spine so it folds at the hinge instead of, along the edge of the spine.

Hot Spot

Printing defect caused when a piece of dirt or an air bubble caused incomplete draw-down during contact platemaking, leaving an area of weak ink coverage or visible dot gain.

House Sheet

Paper kept in stock by a printer and suitable for a variety of printing jobs. Also called floor sheet.

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.


A specific colour such as yellow or green.


ICC Colour profile

A set of internationally recognised descriptive profiles describing the colour density, range etc of an individual project so it can be accurately reproduced on a different device to that on which it was created.


Pictorial images used on screen to indicate utility functions, files, folders or applications software. The icons are generally activated by an onscreen pointer controlled by a mouse or trackball.


A computer program developed by Adobe for graphic & illustration generation

Image Area

The actual area on the printed matter that is not restricted to ink coverage.

Image Resolution

The fineness or coarseness of an image as it was digitised, measured as dots per inch (DPI).


Laser output device using photosensitive paper or film to produce imaged film to make printing plates.


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.


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.


The transfer of ink from the printing press to the paper during the printing process

Impression Cylinder

Cylinder, on a press, that pushes paper against the plate or blanket, thus forming the image. Also called impression roller.

Impressions per hour

The speed of a printing press is expressed a impressions per hour.


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.

Ink Balance

Relationship of the densities and dot gains of process inks to each other and to a standard density of neutral grey.

Ink Fountain

Reservoir, on a printing press, that holds ink.

Ink Holdout

Characteristic of paper that prevents it from absorbing ink, thus allowing ink to dry on the surface of the paper. Also called holdout.

Ink Jet Printing

Method of printing by spraying droplets of ink through computer-controlled nozzles. Also called jet printing.

In-Plant Printer

Department of an agency, business or association that does printing for a parent organisation. Also called captive printer and in-house printer.


An additional item positioned into a publication loose (not bound in).


The action of putting 1 section inside the previous.

Integral Proof

Colour proof of separations shown on one piece of proofing paper, as compared to an overlay proof. Also called composition proof, laminate proof, plastic proof and single-sheet proof.


The circuit, or physical connection, which controls the flow of data between a computer and its peripherals.


Printed pages loosely inserted in a publication.

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.


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.


A digital contract proofing system developed by Scitex to produce a contract proof without the need for running film first.


International Standard Book Number. A reference number given to every published work. Usually found on the back of the title page.


International Standard Digital Network - a digital telephone line that carries data a high speed between to ISDN users.

ISO 9000

Internationally recognised standard of quality.


Type with sloping letters.


A colour often used to describe a cream paper or board.

Ivory board

A smooth high white board used for business cards etc.


Job Lot Paper

Paper that didn't meet specifications when produced, has been discontinued, or for other reasons is no longer considered first quality.

Job Number

A number assigned to a specific printing project in a printing company for use in tracking and historical record keeping.

Job Ticket

Form used by service bureau's, separators and printers to specify production schedule of a job and the materials it needs. Also called docket, production order and work order.


Joint Photographic Experts Group. A highly compressed graphics format designed to handle computer images of high resolution photographs as efficiently as possible.


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.



Abbreviation for key colour (black) in four-colour process printing. Hence the 'K' in CMYK.


1024 bytes, a binary 1,000 of digital data.

Keep standing

To hold type or plates ready for reprints.


The amount of space between typeset characters, initially determined by the design of the font. Often adjusted to make it more aesthetically pleasing or readable.


(1) The screw that controls ink flow from the ink fountain of a printing press. (2) To relate loose pieces of copy to their positions on a layout or mechanical using a system of numbers or letters. (3) Alternate term for the colour black, as in 'key plate'.

Key Negative or Plate

Negative or plate that prints the most detail, thus whose image guides the register of images from other plates. Also called key printer.


An outline drawn or set on artwork showing the size and position of an illustration or halftone or position / shape for a diecut, score or perforation.


An area on a printer's spot colour overlay in which the overlapping colour is omitted so the background colour shows through.

Kraft Paper

Strong paper used for wrapping and to make grocery bags and large envelopes.


Laid paper

Paper with a watermark pattern showing the wire marks used in the paper making process. Usually used for high quality stationery.


A thin transparent plastic sheet (coating) applied to usually a thick stock (covers, post cards, etc.) providing protection against liquid and heavy use, and usually accents existing colour, providing a glossy or matt effect.


Artist style in which width is greater than height. (Portrait is opposite.)

Laser Bond

Bond paper made especially smooth and dry to run well through laser printers.

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.

Laser-imprintable Ink

Ink that will not fade or blister as the paper on which it is printed is used in a laser printer.

Lateral reversal

A positive or negative image transposed from left to right as in a mirror reflection of the original.


A sample of the original providing (showing) position of printed work (direction, instructions) needed and desired.

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.


One sheet of paper in a publication. Each side of a leaf is one page.

Ledger Paper

Strong, smooth bond paper used for keeping business records. Also called record paper.


Directions about a specific matter (illustrations) and how to use. In regard to maps and tables, an explanation of signs (symbols) used.


A proprietary name for rub down or dry transfer lettering used in preparing artwork.

Letter Fold

Two folds creating three panels that allow a sheet of letterhead to fit a business envelope. Also called barrel fold and wrap around fold.


Method of printing from raised surfaces, either metal type or plates whose surfaces have been etched away from image areas. Also called block printing.


A printing process combining offset printing with a letterpress relief printing plate.


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.


Letters which are joined together as a single unit of type such as oe and fi.


Type having finer strokes than the medium typeface. Not used as frequently as medium.

Lightweight Paper

Book paper with basis weight less than 40# (60 gsm).

Line Art

Artwork that, unlike a continuos tone image, has no gradations of tone and, therefore, does not require screening for reproduction in print.

Line block

A letterpress printing plate made up of solid areas and lines and without tones.

Line Copy

Any high-contrast image, including type, as compared to continuous-tone copy. Also called line art and line work.

Line gauge

A metal rule used by printers. Divided into Picas it is 72 picas long (11.952in).

Line Negative

Negative made from line copy.

Linen Finish

Embossed finish on text paper that simulates the pattern of linen cloth.

Linen tester

A magnifying glass designed for checking the dot image of a halftone.

Line-up 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.


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.


Method of printing using plates whose image areas attract ink and whose nonimage areas repel ink. Nonimage areas may be coated with water to repel the oily ink or may have a surface, such as silicon, that repels ink.


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 (Logotype)

A company, partnership or corporate creation (design) that denotes a unique entity. A possible combination of letters and art work to create a "sole" entity symbol of that specific unit.

Loose leaf

A method of binding which allows the insertion and removal of pages for continuous updating.

Loose Proof

Proof of a halftone or colour separation that is not assembled with other elements from a page, as compared to composite proof. Also called first proof, random proof, scatter proof and show-colour proof.


Binding method allowing insertion and removal of pages in a publication (e.g., trim-4-drill-3).

Low Key Photo

Photo whose most important details appear in the shadows.

Lower case

The small letters in a font of type.


Lines per inch - the number of vertical rows of screened dots per inch for each colour printing.


M Weight

Weight of 1,000 sheets of paper in any specific size.

Machine Glazed (MG)

Paper holding a high-gloss finish only on one side.


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.


One of the four process colours.

Magnetic ink

A magnetised ink that can be read both by humans and by electronic machines. Used in cheque printing.


(1) All activities required to prepare a press or other machine to function for a specific printing or bindery job, as compared to production run. Also called set-up. (2) Paper used in the makeready process at any stage in production. Makeready paper is part of waste or spoilage.


The assembling of all elements, to form the printed image.

Making Order

Order for paper that a mill makes to the customer's specifications, as compared to a mill order or stock order.

Male Die

Die that applies pressure during embossing or debossing. Also called force card.


A tough brown paper used to produce stationery and wrapping paper.

Manuscript (MS)

An author's original form of work (hand written, typed or on disk) submitted for publication.


The non printing areas of page.


Instructions written usually on a "dummy".


Opaque material or masking tape used to blockoff an area of the artwork.


Paper or plastic plate used on a duplicating press.


Details of publisher and editorial staff usually printed on the contents page.

Match Print

An analogue colour proofing system developed by 3M / IMATION

Matt Finish

Flat (not glossy) finish on photographic paper or coated printing paper.

Matt paper

A coated printing paper with a dull surface.


One million bytes OR 1000 kb.


Denotes the width of a setting expressed in pica em’s.


Camera-ready assembly of type, graphic and other copy complete with instructions to the printer. A hard mechanical consists of paper and/or acetate, is made using paste-up techniques, and may also be called an artboard, board or paste-up. A soft mechanical, also called an electronic mechanical, exists as a file of type and other images assembled using a computer.

Mechanical Bind

To bind using a comb, coil, ring binder, post or any other technique not requiring gluing, sewing or stitching.

Mechanical Separation

Colour breaks made on the mechanical using a separate overlay for each colour to be printed.

Mechanical Tint

Lines or patterns formed with dots creating artwork for reproduction.


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

Ink containing powdered metal or pigments that simulate metal.

Metallic Paper

Paper coated with a thin film of plastic or pigment whose colour and gloss simulate metal.

MG (Machine glazed)

Paper with a high gloss finish on one side only.


In a photograph or illustration, tones created by dots between 30 percent and 70 percent of coverage, as compared to highlights and shadows.

Mil 1/1000 Inch

The thickness of plastic films as printing substrates are expressed in mils.

Missing font

The file supplied may have a screen or printer font missing, which may cause font substitution to occur if used which will lead to differences between the original design and printed products.


Phenomenon of droplets of ink being thrown off the roller train. Also called flying ink.


A reproduction of the original printed matter and possibly containing instructions or direction.


A device that converts digital information to analogue information and analogue information to digital information when transferring data over a normal phone line. Modulate / Demodulate

Moiré pattern

The result of superimposing halftone screens at the wrong angle thereby giving a chequered effect on the printed halftone. Normally detected during the stage of progressive proofs.


Paper size (7' x 10') and envelope shape often used for personal stationery.


A font in which all characters occupy the same amount of horizontal width regardless of the character.


A single image formed from the assembling of several images.

Mounting board

A heavy board used for mounting artwork.

Mouse (Rodent)

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.


A generic term used to describe a machine that or the action of saddle stitching a booklet or magazine.

Multicolour Printing

Printing in more than one ink colour (but not four-colour process). Also called polychrome printing.


A typesetting term for the em space


Natural Colour

Very light brown colour of paper. May also be called antique, cream, ivory, off-white or mellow white.


In photography, film containing an image in which values of the original are reversed so that the dark areas appear light and vice versa. In lithography a film containing type or halftones in which the values are reversed, whites are black and blacks are clear film.


Signatures assembled inside one another in the proper sequence for binding, as compared to gathered. Also called inset.

Neutral Gray

Gray with no hue or cast.


Unsized, low quality, absorbent paper used for printing newspapers.


In the book binding process, a stage where air is expelled from it's contents at the sewing stage.


Oblique stroke

For example: (/)

OCR (Optical Character Recognition)

The use of a flatbed scanner and special software to digitise typed or printed text into a document as a text file not a graphic ( normal result of scanning ).

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.

Offset Printing

Printing technique that transfers ink from a plate to a blanket to paper instead of directly from plate to paper.


a style of type characterised by stressed strokes and triangular serifs. An example of an oldstyle face is Garamond.

One sided board

A sheet of paper board that is coated only on 1 side, commonly used for postcards.

Onion skin

A translucent lightweight paper used in air mail stationery.


term used to describe the degree to which paper will show print through.


(1) Not transparent. (2) To cover flaws in negative with tape or opaquing paint. Also called block out and spot.

Open Prepress Interface

Hardware and software that link desktop publishing systems with colour electronic prepress systems.

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, encyclopaedias, etc. (aka CD


The items or originals that are supplied from the client to the printer to work with to print the job. Origination could consist of Film, disk, copy, CRC, Trannies etc.


Line of type on its own at the top or bottom of a page.

Outer Form

Form (side of a press sheet) containing images for the first and last pages of the folded signature (its outside pages) as compared to inner form.


A typeface in which the characters are formed with only the outline defined rather than from solid strokes.

Outline Halftone

Halftone in which background has been removed or replaced to isolate or silhouette the main image. Also called knockout halftone and silhouette halftone.

Over Run

Extra printed copies left over and above the required quantity


Layer of material taped to a mechanical, photo or proof. Acetate overlays are used to separate colours by having some type or art on them instead of on the mounting board. Tissue overlays are used to carry instructions about the underlying copy and to protect the base art.

Overlay Proof

Colour proof consisting of polyester sheets laid on top of each other with their image in register, as compared to integral proof. Each sheet represents the image to be printed in one colour. Also called celluloid proof and layered proof.


To print a colour ( usually black ) onto a previously printed sheet ( usually 4 colour process ). A method used to save money where a job consists of the same base images but may have text or language changes.


See overprint


Additional paper required to compensate for spoilage in printing. Also used to refer to a quantity produced above the number of copies ordered.


A method used in word processing to produce a character not in the typeface by superimposing two separate characters, e.g. $ using s and l.


A trade name to describe a method of copying page proofs from paper or film.



One side of a leaf in a publication.

Page Count

Total number of pages that a publication has. Also called extent.

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 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 Proof

Proof of type and graphics as they will look on the finished page complete with elements such as headings, rules and folios.

Page proofs

The stage following galley proofs, in which pages are made up and paginated.


A computer program developed by Adobe for pagelayout and text input.


The numbering of pages in a book.

Painted Sheet

Sheet printed with ink edge to edge, as compared to spot colour. The painted sheet refers to the final product, not the press sheet, and means that 100 percent coverage results from bleeds off all four sides.


The collection of colours, shades, or patterns that can be selected and displayed on a video screen with the aid of a computer and a graphics program.


One page of a brochure, such as one panel of a rack brochure. One panel is on one side of the paper. A letter-folded sheet has six panels, not three.

Pantone (PMS)

A registered name for an ink colour matching system.

Paper Plate

A printing plate made of strong and durable paper in the short run offset arena (cost effective with short runs).

Paragraph mark ( )

A type symbol used to denote the start of a paragraph. Also used as a footnote sign.

Parallel Fold

Method of folding. Two parallel folds to a sheet will produce 6 panels.


Chipboard with another paper pasted to it.


To paste copy to mounting boards and, if necessary, to overlays so it is assembled into a camera-ready mechanical. The mechanical produced is often called a paste-up.


Portable document format - A file developed by Adobe systems that enables people using Acrobat 4 to open documents that have been created using an application or version of an application that you do not have or ona system that is not compatible with yours. The originator prints the file to "PDF writer" for low res files ( web ) or to "distiller" for high res files for printing.

Perf Marks

On a "dummy" marking where the perforation is to occur.

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.

Perfecting Press

Press capable of printing both sides of the paper during a single pass. Also called duplex press and perfector.


A printing press which prints both sides of the paper at one pass through the machine.


Taking place on a press or a binder machine, creating a line of small dotted wholes for the purpose of tearing-off a part of a printed matter (usually straight lines, vertical or horizontal).


(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.


A computer program developed by Adobe for image manipulation.


Brand name for a diffusion transfer process used to make positive paper prints of line copy and halftones. Often used as alternate term for PMT.

Pi fonts

Characters not usually included in a font, but which are added specially. Examples of these are timetable symbols and mathematical signs.


A printing industry unit of measurement. There are 12 points to a pica, one pica is approximately 0.166in.


Phenomenon of tacky ink pulling bits of coating or fibre away from the surface of paper as it travels through the press, thus leaving unprinted spots in the image area.


Small holes (unwanted) in printed areas because of a variety of reasons.


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...'!


Short for picture element, a dot made by a computer, scanner or other digital device. Also called pel.

Planographic Printing

Printing method whose image carriers are level surfaces with inked areas separated from non inked areas by chemical means. Planographic printing includes lithography, offset lithography and spirit duplicating.


Piece of paper, metal, plastic or rubber carrying an image to be reproduced using a printing press.


(1) In quick printing, a process camera that makes plates automatically from mechanicals. (2) In commercial lithography, a machine with a vacuum frame used to expose plates through film.

Plate-ready Film

Stripped negatives or positives fully prepared for platemaking.


Obsolete reference to Pantone Matching System. The correct trade name of the colours in the Pantone Matching System is Pantone colours, not PMS Colours.


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.


An art design in which the height is greater than the width. (Opposite of Landscape.)


A true photographic image of the original made on paper or film.

Positive Film

Film that prevents light from passing through images, as compared to negative film that allows light to pass through. Also called knockout film.


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.

PostScript 3

The latest level of the Postscript printer description language. The language now supports PDF files.


Abbreviation for page.


The preparation work required to turn "camera ready" artwork into the printing plates needed for mass production, i.e., making negatives, "stripping" or placing the negatives in place, and etching the plates.

Prepress Proof

Any colour proof made using ink jet, toner, dyes or overlays, as compared to a press proof printed using ink. Also called dry proof and off-press proof.


To print portions of sheets that will be used for later imprinting.

Press Proof

Proof made on press using the plates, ink and paper specified for the job. Also called strike off and trial proof.

Press Time

(1) Amount of time that one printing job spends on press, including time required for makeready. (2) Time of day at which a printing job goes on press.

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.

Price Break

Quantity at which unit cost of paper or printing drops.

Primary colours

Red, Green and Blue, a mixture of these colours makes up all other colours.

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.

Printer font

A font required to print that particular font on a laser printer or other output device.

Printer Pairs

Usually in the book arena, consecutive pages as they appear on a flat or signature.

Printer Spreads

Mechanicals made so they are imposed for printing, as compared to reader spreads.

Printers pairs

The arrangement of pages in the order the printer requires, so they print in the correct order when finished from printed sections


Any process that transfers to paper or another substrate an image from an original such as a film negative or positive, electronic memory, stencil, die or plate.

Printing Plate

Surface carrying an image to be printed. Can be made of metal, paper or plastic.

Printing Unit

Assembly of fountain, rollers and cylinders that will print one ink colour. Also called colour station, deck, ink station, printer, station and tower.

Process Camera

Camera used to photograph mechanicals and other camera-ready copy. Also called copy, camera and graphic arts camera. A small, simple process camera may be called a stat camera.

Process Colour (Inks)

The colours used for four-colour process printing: yellow, magenta, cyan and black.

Production Run

Press run intended to manufacture products as specified, as compared to makeready.


Colour proofs taken at each stage of printing showing each colour printed singly and then superimposed on the preceding colour.


Test sheet made to reveal errors or flaws, predict results on press and record how a printing job is intended to appear when finished.

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.

Proofreader Marks

Standard symbols and abbreviations used to mark up manuscripts and proofs. Also called correction marks.

Proportion Scale

Round device used to calculate percent that an original image must by reduced or enlarged to yield a specific reproduction size. Also called percentage wheel, proportion dial, proportion wheel and scaling wheel.

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.

Publishing Paper

Paper made in weights, colours and surfaces suited to books, magazines, catalogues and free-standing inserts.

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


The raw material used in paper making consisting mainly of wood chips, rags or other fibres. Broken down by mechanical or chemical means.



The addition of space to fill out a line of type using en or em blocks.


A black and white image reproduced through the four colour process in which black is simulated by levels of grey to bring out detail and provide dimension.


Subjective term relating to expectations by the customer, printer and other professionals associated with a printing job and whether the job meets those expectations.

Quark Express

A computer program developed by Quark for pagelayout and text input.

Quick Printing

Printing using small sheetfed presses, called duplicators, using cut sizes of bond and offset paper.


1/20th of a ream (25 sheets).


Price offered by a printer to produce a specific job.


RA Sizes

Range of international paper based on the A sizes but with extra room to allow for printers grip and trimmarks and alos bleed and colour control bars.

Rag Paper

Stationery or other forms of stock having a strong percentage content of "cotton rags".


Lines of type that do not start or end at the same position.

Rainbow Fountain

Technique of putting ink colours next to each other in the same ink fountain and oscillating the ink rollers to make the colours merge where they touch, producing a rainbow effect.

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

Device that translates page description commands into bitmapped information for an output device such as a laser printer or imagesetter.

Reader Spread

Mechanicals made in two page spreads as readers would see the pages, as compared to printer spread.

Readers pairs

The order in which pages fall when numbered numerically.


500 sheets of paper.

Recycled Paper

New paper made entirely or in part from old paper.

Reference marks

Symbols used in text to direct the reader to a footnote. E.g. asterisk (*), dagger, double dagger, section mark ( ), paragraph mark ( ).

Reflection Copy

In lithography, an illustration copy or photograph that is viewed and must be reproduced by reflecting light from the surface of such an original.

Reflection densitometer

Reflection densitometers measure light reflected from paper and other surfaces


To place printing properly with regard to the edges of paper and other printing on the same sheet. Such printing is said to be in register.

Register Marks

Cross-hair lines on mechanicals and film that help keep flats, plates, and printing in register. Also called crossmarks and position marks.

Relief Printing

Printing method whose image carriers are surfaces with two levels having inked areas higher than non inked areas. Relief printing includes block printing, flexography and letter press.


Ability of a device, such as an imagesetter, to produce film or plates that yield images in register.


General term for xerography, diazo and other methods of copying used by designers, engineers, architects or for general office use.


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.

Resolution Target

An image, such as the GATF Star Target, that permits evaluation of resolution on film, proofs or plates.

Rest in Proportion

An instruction when giving sizes to artwork or photographs that other parts of the artwork are to be enlarged or reduced in proportion.


A means of altering artwork or colour separations to correct faults or enhance the image.


Type, graphic or illustration reproduced by printing ink around its outline, thus allowing the underlying colour or paper to show through and form the image. The image 'reverses out' of the ink colour. Also called knockout and liftout.


Indicates the stages at which corrections have been incorporated from earlier proofs and new proofs submitted. E.g. First revise, second revise.


Abbreviation for red, green, blue, the additive colour primaries.

Right Reading

Copy that reads correctly in the language in which it is written. Also describes a photo whose orientation looks like the original scene, as compared to a flopped image.

Roll fold

Folds that fold parallel and inside the next panel.


Type which has vertical stems as distinct from italics or oblique which are set at angles.

Rotary Press

Printing press which passes the substrate between two rotating cylinders when making an impression.


A preliminary sketch of a proposed design.

Round Back Bind

To casebind with a rounded (convex) spine, as compared to flat back bind.


A size of printing paper 20in x 25in (508 x 635mm).

Ruby Window

Mask on a mechanical, made with rubylith, that creates a window on film shot from the mechanical.


Line used as a graphic element to separate or organise copy.


Rulers displayed on the screen that show measures in inches, picas or millimetres.


Map or drawing given by a printer to a stripper showing how a printing job must be imposed using a specific press and sheet size. Also called press layout, printer's layout and ruleout.

Run around (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.


The paper properties that affect the ability of the paper to run on the press. These properties also affect how the inks make contact to the paper, the rate of the absorbency, the trap and the hold out of the ink on paper combination.

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 Stitch

To bind by stapling sheets together where they fold at the spine, as compared to side stitch. Also called pamphlet stitch, saddle wire and stitch bind.

Sans serif

A typeface that has no serifs (small strokes at the end of main stroke of the character).

Satin Finish

Alternate term for dull finish on coated paper.


In colour, the nature of colours in terms of density. A colour with heavy saturation will have a higher densitometric values when compared to a colour having less saturation and lower densitometric values. In photography, a saturated colour original would show colours at their maximum reproduction density without reproduction as a shadow.


To identify the percent by which photographs or art should be enlarged or reduced to achieve, the correct size for printing.


A sketch of a design showing the basic concept.


Electronic device used to scan an image.


To compress paper along a straight line so it folds more easily and accurately. Also called crease.


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.

Screen Angles

Angles at which screens intersect with the horizontal line of the press sheet. The common screen angles for separations are black 45 degree, magenta 75 degree, yellow 90 degree and cyan 105 degree.

Screen Density

Refers to the percentage of ink coverage that a screen tint allows to print. Also called screen percentage.

Screen font

A font required to view that particular font on a computer screen

Screen Printing

Method of printing by using a squeegee to force ink through an assembly of mesh fabric and a stencil.

Screen Ruling

Number of rows or lines of dots per inch or centimetre in a screen for making a screen tint or halftone. Also called line count, ruling, screen frequency, screen size and screen value.

Screen Tint

Colour created by dots instead of solid ink coverage. Also called Benday, fill pattern, screen tone, shading, tint and tone.


Unwanted ink appearing on the printed sheet as a result of a normally wet area on a plate becoming dry.


See varnishing


A printed sheet folded to make a multiple of pages.

Section mark ( )

A character used at the beginning of a new section. Also used as a footnote symbol.

Security paper

Paper incorporating special features (dyes, watermarks etc) for use on cheques.

Selective Binding

Placing signatures or inserts in magazines or catalogues according to demographic or geographic guidelines.

Self Cover

Usually in the book arena, a publication not having a cover stock. A publication only using text stock throughout.

Self Mailer

A printed item independent of an envelope. A printed item capable of travel in the mailing arena independently.

Separated Art

Art with elements that print in the base colour on one surface and elements that print in other colours on other surfaces. Also called pre-separated art.


Usually in the four-colour process arena, separate film holding images of one specific colour per piece of film. Black, Cyan, Magenta and Yellow. Can also separate specific PMS colours through film.


A small cross stroke at the end of the main stroke of the letter.

Service Bureau

Business using imagesetters to make high resolution printouts of files prepared on microcomputers. Also called output house and prep service.

Set off

The accidental transfer of the printed image from one sheet to the back of another.

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; e.g. 9 point set on 10 point.


Undesirable transfer of wet ink from the top of one sheet to the underside of another as they lie in the delivery stack of a press. Also called offset.


Hue made darker by the addition of black, as compared to tint.


Darkest areas of a photograph or illustration, as compared to midtones and high-lights.

Sheet fed

A printing press which prints single sheets of paper, not reels.

Sheet or leaf

A single piece of paper. In poster work refers to the number of Double Crown sets in a full size poster.

Sheetfed Press

Press that prints sheets of paper, as compared to a web press.


Technique of printing one side of a sheet with one set of plates, then the other side of the sheet with a set of different plates. Also called work and back.


See opacity.

Side heading

A subheading set flush into the text at the left edge.

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 stitch

To bind by stapling through sheets along, one edge, as compared to saddle stitch. Also called cleat stitch and side wire.


A vertical bar positioned usually on the right hand side of the screen.


Printed sheet folded at least once, possibly many times, to become part of a book, magazine or other publication.

Silk paper

A very smooth, triple coated matt paper

Silk Screen printing

See screen printing

Sixteen sheet

A poster size measuring 120in x 80in (3050mm x 2030mm).


Compound mixed with paper or fabric to make it stiffer and less able to absorb moisture.

Slip Sheets

Separate sheets (stock) independent from the original run positioned between the "printed run" for a variety of reasons.


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.

Soft back/cover

A book bound with a paper back cover.

Soft Dots

Halftones dots with halos.

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.


Any area of the sheet receiving 100 percent ink coverage, as compared to a screen tint.

Soy-based Inks

Inks using vegetable oils instead of petroleum products as pigment vehicles, thus are easier on the environment.

Specially Printer

Printer whose equipment, supplies, work flow and marketing is targeted to a particular category of products.


Complete and precise written description of features of a printing job such as type size and leading, paper grade and quantity, printing or binding method. Abbreviated specs.


Instrument used to measure the index of refraction of colour.


The complete range of colours in light in a rainbow, from short wavelengths (ultraviolet) to long wavelengths (infrared) red.

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.


Back or binding edge of a publication.

Spiral Bind

To bind using a spiral of continuous wire or plastic looped through holes. Also called coil bind.

Split Fountain

Technique of putting ink colours next to each other in the same ink fountain and printing them off the same plate. Split fountains keep edges of colours distinct, as compared to rainbow fountains that blend edges.

Split Run

(1) Different images, such as advertisements, printed in different editions of a publication. (2) Printing of a book that has some copies bound one way and other copies bound another way.


Paper that, due to mistakes or accidents, must be thrown away instead of delivered printed to the customer, as compared to waste.

Spot Colour or Varnish

One ink or varnish applied to portions of a sheet, as compared to flood or painted sheet.

Spot UV Varnish

A process for using a screen to apply a layer of varnish in a particular shape that gives high gloss coating after being exposed to a UV light source.


(1) Two pages that face each other and are designed as one visual or production unit. (2) Technique of slightly enlarging the size of an image to accomplish a hairline trap with another image. Also called fatty.


A paper size in the series of ISO international paper sizes slightly larger than the A series allowing the printer extra space to bleed.

SRA Sizes

Range of international paper based on the A sizes but with extra room to allow for printers grip and trimmarks

Standard Viewing Conditions

Background of 60 percent neutral grey and light that measures 5000 degrees Kelvin the colour of daylight on a bright day. Also called lighting standards.


Already in the possession of the printer from a previous printing and available to be used again with out alteration.


Short for photostat, therefore a general term for an inexpensive photographic print of line copy or halftone.

Statistical Process Control

Method used by printers to ensure quality and delivery times specified by customers. Abbreviated SPC.


The main vertical stroke making up a type character.

Step and Repeat

Prepress technique of exposing an image in a precise, multiple pattern to create a flat or plate. Images are said to be stepped across the film or plate.


Used in proof correction work to cancel a previous correction. From the Latin; 'let it stand'.

Stock Order

Order for paper that a mill or merchant sends to a printer from inventory at a warehouse, as compared to a mill order.

Stocking Paper

Popular sizes, weights and colours of papers available for prompt delivery from a merchant's warehouse.


A subheading used above the main headline in a newspaper article.


A thicker board made from straw pulp, used in bookwork and in the making of envelopes and cartons. Not suitable for printing.


The effect of ink soaking through the printed sheet.


To assemble images on film for platemaking. Stripping involves correcting flaws in film, assembling pieces of film into flats and ensuring that film and flats register correctly. Also called film assembly and image assembly.

Stumping (Blocking)

In the book arena, hot die, foil or other means in creating an image on a case bound book.

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.

Subject to sight

When the estimator quotes a price he cannot normally see the job he is quoting on. The printer normally reserves the right to alter his quote or estimate after seeing the job should it be different from that on which he based his quote.


The small characters set below the normal letters or figures.

Substance Weight

Alternate term for basis weight, usually referring to bond papers. Also called sub weight.


Any surface or material on which printing is done.

Subtractive Colour

Colour produced by light reflected from a surface, as compared to additive colour. Subtractive colour includes hues in colour photos and colours created by inks on paper.

Subtractive Primary Colour

Yellow, magenta and cyan. In the graphic arts, these are known as process colours because, along with black, they are the inks colours used in colour-process printing.

Supercalendered Paper

Paper calendered using alternating chrome and fibre rollers to produce a smooth, thin sheet. Abbreviated SC paper.


The small characters set above the normal letters or figures.


(see Overprinting) printing over a previously printed area of either text or graphics.

Swash letters

Italic characters with extra flourishes used at the beginning of chapters.


A colour sample.


Abbreviation for specifications for web offset publications, specifications recommended for web printing of publications.



Using a broadsheet as a measure, one half of a broadsheet.

Tabular setting

Text set in columns such as timetables.


In printing inks, the property of cohesion between particles the pulling power or separation force of ink in its transfer from a press blanket to its intended printing surface. A tacky ink has high separation forces and can cause surface picking or splitting of weak papers. A lack of tack has very little ability to transfer properly from blanket to paper because it has a low adhesion tendency, this effects trap.


Grade of dense, strong paper used for products such as badges and file folders.

Tagged Image File Format (TIFF)

A common format for interchanging digital information, generally associated with greyscale or bitmap data.


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.


A standard layout usually containing basic details of the page dimensions.

Terms & conditions

The set of terms and conditions that the printer is making the offer to quote or tender under. The customer should be familiar with each printers terms as the can vary.


the written or printed material which forms the main body of a publication.

Text Paper

Designation for printing papers with textured surfaces such as laid or linen. Some mills also use 'text' to refer to any paper they consider top-of-the-line, whether or not its surface has a texture.

Text type

Typefaces used for the main text of written material. Generally no larger than 14 point in size.

Text wrap

See Run-around.


Method of printing using colourless resin powder that takes on the colour of underlying ink. Also called raised printing.

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

See Pipelining.


The first ideas or sketches of a designer noted down for future reference.

Tied letters

See Ligature.


Screening or adding white to a solid colour for results of lightening that specific colour.


Various even tones (strengths) of a solid colour. Created by the use of photomechanical tints usually available in percentages of 5, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 and 95% screen tints from various manufacturers.

Tip in

The separate insertion of a single page into a book either during or after binding by pasting one edge.

Tone Compression

Reduction in the tonal range from original scene to printed reproduction.

Tone line process

The process of producing line art from a continuous tone original.


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.

Top Split

To diecut using a cutting forme, the top layer of a self adhesive stock, but not cut the carrier layer below.

Total Area Coverage

Total of the dot percentages of the process colours in the final film. Abbreviated for TAC. Also called density of tone, maximum density, shadow saturation, total dot density and total ink coverage.

Touch Plate

Plate that accents or prints a colour that four-colour process printing cannot reproduce well enough or at all. Also called kiss plate.

Trade Shop

Service bureau, printer or bindery working primarily for other graphic arts professionals, not for the general public.


An abbreviation for transparency

Transmission densitometer

Transmission densitometers measure light transmitted through film and other materials.


A full colour photographically produced image on transparent film.


To print one ink over another or to print a coating, such as varnish, over an ink. The first liquid traps the second liquid. See also Dry Traps and Wet Traps.


Overlapping colours which butt together. When in perfect registration you will not see white around the edges of the two joining colours. More trapping is required when printing a newspaper, as opposed to printing a quality full colour brochure.

Trash can (US)

The icon selected for the deleting of files or objects.


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.

Trim marks

Marks indicating the position to cut the printed sheet to a certain size

Trim Size

The size of the printed material in its finished stage (e.g., the finished trim size is 5 1\2 x 8 1\2).

TrueType font

A font (typeface) that appears in a printed document exactly the way it appears on the screen. TrueType fonts are scaleable to any font size.


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.


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.


A typed manuscript.


An abbreviation for typographical error. An error in the typeset copy as opposed to author's corrections.


A specialist in the design of printed matter, and in particular the art of typography.


The design and planning of printed matter using type.



An abbreviation for UPPER and lower case.

Uncoated Paper

Paper that has not been coated with clay. Also called offset paper.

Under Colour Removal (UCR)

Removing excessive densities of cyan, magenta and yellow in neutral shadow areas to allow for more press controllability without plugging up the shadows


In multicolour printing presses, refers to the combination of inking, plate and impression operations to print a single colour. A four-colour press has four printing units each with its own inking, plate and impression functions.

Universal Copyright Convention (UCC)

Gives protection to authors or originators of text, photographs or illustrations etc, to prevent use without permission or acknowledgement. The publication should carry the copyright mark c, the name of the originator and the year of publication.


Printed sheets left as they came off the press - usually relating to overprinting


Term to indicate multiple copies of one image printed in one impression on a single sheet. "Two up" or "three up" means printing the identical piece twice or three times on each sheet.

UV Varnish

Liquid applied to a printed sheet, when bonded and cured with ultraviolet light gives a very high gloss coating.


Vacuum Frame

In platemaking and composite film making, a vacuum device for holding stripped materials in exact position while making close contact to a photosensitive material (film or plate) prior to and during exposure.


Liquid applied as a coating for protection and appearance.


Value added tax - a state tax added to the total quoted price.


The treated skin of a calf used as a writing material. The name is also used to describe a thick creamy book paper.

Vellum Finish

Somewhat rough, toothy finish.


A type of matt paper similar to silk

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.

Viewing Booth

Small area or room that is set up for proper viewing of transparencies, colour separations or press sheets. Also called colour booth. See also Standard Viewing Conditions.


Decorative design or illustration fade to white.

Vignette Halftone

Halftone whose background gradually and smoothly fades away. Also called degrade.


A destructive file or program deliberately created to cause damage to hardware, software and data. Normally spread innocently by users unaware that viruses that have attached themselves to data or programmes being shared.



An abbreviation for 'wrong fount'. Used when correcting proofs to indicate where a character is in the wrong typeface.

Warm Colour

In printing or colour separations, a colour that has a reddish or yellowish cast. By using a colour print viewing filter set a more desirable colour may be selected if a colour correction is necessary.

Wash Up

To clean ink and fountain solutions from rollers, fountains, screens, and other press components.


Unusable paper or paper damage during normal makeready, printing or binding operations, as compared to spoilage.


An impression incorporated in the paper making process showing the name of the paper and/or the company logo.


1) A continuos roll of paper used in web or rotary printing. 2) An abbreviation for the World Wide Web.

Web Press

A press which prints from rolls (or webs) of paper, as this type of press differs when compared to a sheet fed press.


The degree of boldness or thickness of a letter or font.

Wet trapping

The ability to print wet ink film over previously printed ink. Wet trapping is dependent upon several presses and paper conditions including hardness and holdout of the paper, tack of the inks and general condition of the rollers, cylinders and blankets on the press. Dry trapping is printing wet ink over dry ink. Improper trapping will cause colour changes.


A single word left on the last line of a paragraph which falls at the top of a page.


(1) In a printed product, a die-cut hole revealing an image on the sheet behind it. (2) On a mechanical, an area that has been marked for placement of a piece of artwork.


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.


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.

With the Grain

Parallel to the grain direction of the paper being used, as compared to against the grain. See also Grain Direction.

Woodfree Paper

Made with chemical pulp only. Paper usually classified as 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 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.

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.


Paper manufactured without visible wire marks, usually a fine textured paper.

Wrong Reading

An image that is backwards when compared to the original. Also called flopped and reverse reading.


World Wide Web, a system of linked "pages" on the internet.


X height

The height of a letter excluding the ascenders and descenders; e.g. 'x', which is also height of the main body.


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.


A way of measuring type, it's the height of the lower case letter "x" in the particular font.



One of the subtractive primaries the hue of which is used for one of the four colour process inks. It reflects red and green light and absorbs blue light.



To enlarge a portion of an image in order to see it more clearly or make it easier to alter.