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Printing Glossary

Printing Glossary


A- B- C- D- E- F- G- H- I- J- K- L- M- N- O- P- Q- R- S- T- U- V- W- X- Y- Z

A
Accordian fold: Series of parallel folds in paper resembling an accordian.
Adobe Acrobat: Software that lets you view and print Adobe PDF files. (See also "PDF")
Adobe Illustrator: Software package used to create illustrations.
Adobe Photoshop: Software package used extensively for photographic enhancements.
Adobe Type Manager: Application that ensures accurate screen representations of Postscript fonts.
Against-the-grain: Folding paper at right angles to the grain is problematic because it often causes cracking.
Agate: Unit of measurement used in newspapers to calculate column space. 14 agate lines equals one inch.
Anti-aliasing: Technique used in imaging applications to alleviate the jagged appearance of graphics produced on low-resolution devices such as computer monitors. Neutral colour is interpolated between two colour planes.
Ascender: That part of the letter which rises above the body of the letter.
ASCII: (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) Represents characters with numbered code.
Authoring: The layout, design and output of multimedia documents.

B
Backing up: In press work, the reverse side of the sheet.
Baseline: Horizontal line upon which all characters in a given line stand.
Batch processing: Execution of a single or sequence of commands on multiple files.
Bit-depth (or resolution): The amount of colour information available for each pixel in an image, also known as colour resolution. Common pixel depths range from 1 to 24 bits per pixel.
Bitmap: Also called raster images, bitmaps use a grid of pixels to represent graphics.
Bleed: Describes print that extends beyond the boundary of the printed sheet or page.
Blind embossing: An impression made with a stamping die, without the use of ink or foil.
BMP: (Windows bitmap) Image format on DOS and Windows platforms and applications. Format can be 1 to 24-bit depth and may be RLE-encoded for compression.
Book papers: General term for coated and uncoated stocks.
Burning: Photographic term referring to the addition of exposure to selected areas of a print. Computer term referring to the placing of files on a CD-R or CD-RW disk.

C
Calliper: The thickness of a sheet measured with a micrometre.
Camera-ready: Documents which are ready for the printing process without any further design or typesetting work.
Can Copy: (Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency) This agency administers copyright permissions and royalty collection between publishers and institutions such as the University of Lethbridge. See the U of L CANCOPY license information.
Cast coated: Highest gloss coating available with high ink absorption qualities.
Cerlox binding: Removable plastic ring binding coil.
Choke: The opposite of "spread" in plate making. When two colours butt up against one another, the darker colour area "chokes" the lighter colour, which is enlarged.
CMYK: (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) Colour model based on the light-absorbing quality of ink printed on paper. Cyan, magenta, yellow and black create secondary colours when combined.
Coated cover: Coated stock for creating cover and packaging material.
Coated paper: Paper with a matte or glossy smooth finish that aids image enhancement.
Colour key: Pre-press colour proofing method using film overlays.
Colour management systems: Digital database that defines colour space used by a digital input and output device. Ensures colour accuracy of output.
Colour matching: Precise colour matching of original to the output in either traditional or digital darkrooms.
Colour separation: Photographic process separating film into the four colours used to print cyan, magenta, yellow and black inks. Also known as CMYK.
Condensed type: Narrow version of a regular typeface.
Contact sheet: Also known as a gang proof, photographic negatives are aligned directly on photographic paper and exposed to light to provide one sheet containing all images.
Continuous tone: Any photography, drawing or illustration that has a complete range of tones, i.e. it has not been screened.
Corner-stitch: Single staple in top left corner of pages.
Cropping: Precise sizing of a photographic or digital image, selecting a portion of the total image area.

D
Deckle edge: Irregular, ragged edge on the outer edge of papers.
Descended: That part of a lower case letter which falls below the body of the letter.
Device driver: Software that enables a host computer to communicate with a hardware device.
Die-cutting: Special cutting device for punching holes or slits in covers, etc.
Digital image: Image that is scanned (digitized by a scanner) to a computer-readable format.
Dithering: A technique to mix two or more colors together in a dot pattern to create the illusion of additional colors.
Dodging: Photographic term referring to the subtraction of exposure to selected areas of a print.
Dots: halftone Minute, symmetrical subdivisions of the printing surface formed by a halftone screen.
DPI: (dots per inch) Also known as printer resolution Ñ is usually proportional to image resolution (ppi). The more dots per inch, the finer the resolution we have.
Drum scanner: High resolution scanner able to digitize reflective or transparent images.
Dummy: A rough form of any document.
Duotone: An image reproduced with two colors.
Dupe: Short form which describes duplicate versions of film negatives.
DVD CD-ROM: with additional storage capacity. Developed to play full length feature films using MPEG compression.
Dye-sublimation printing: CMYK printing using ink ribbons for proofing output to high-quality paper.
Dylux: Pre-press positioning proof.

E
Ellipses: Three dots (...) that indicate an omission.
Elliptical dot: A halftone dot shaped like a football rather than the conventional square dot shape. Elliptical dot provides a smoother gradation of tones.
Em: Short form for em-quad.
Em-quad: In handset type, a metal space that is the square of the type body size. The name comes from the fact that in early fonts the letter M was cast on a square body.
Em-space: A space the width of an em-quad.
Emboss: Engraved or raised image in paper.
Emulsion: Sensitized silver halide coating on acetate base of film able to recreate images when exposed to light.
En: Short form for en-quad, half the width of an em.
EPS (encapsulated PostScript): The graphics file format of the PostScript language.
extended: Also called expanded. Typeface letters are "stretched" horizontally.

F
Fine printing: Associated with offset printing method. Suggests full color publications using specialty stocks.
Finishing: Applying final size and binding specifications to printed sheets of paper.
FLASH: Macromedia software application used to create Internet content.
Flexography: A relief printing process using rubber or plastic plates which is widely used in the packaging industry.
Foil: Metallic or pigment leaf used to stamp designs on a surface.
Folio: Page number. Also refers to a sheet of paper when folded once.
Font: A particular style and size of type including all of the associated characters.
Format or formatting: Computing term to describe font style, layout, margins, etc, in documents. Term is also used to describe the layout of a physical hard drive or floppy disk.
Four-color process: Also known as CMYK. (See CMYK)
FPO (for position only): Low-resolution image file used for layout purposes prior to creating film.
FTP (file transfer protocol): A method to transfer computer files over the Internet and networks.

G
Gamut: Range of colors that can be displayed or printed.
Gatefold: Folding method whereby three panels fold into themselves.
GCR (grey component replacement): Black ink replacement of neutral colors throughout an image in a colour separation (CMYK image)
GIF (graphical interface format): Image compression format which creates small file sizes. Maximum 8-bit depth.
GIF 89a (graphical interface format): Indexed-colour GIF files allowing transparency.
Gigabyte (gig, GB, Gbyte): Computer storage amount. A gigabyte is made up of roughly 1,000 megabytes.
Grain: Refers to paper fiber direction. Folding occurs easily along the grain but must be forced if at right angles to the grain
Grayscale mode: Image mode which uses up to 256 shades of gray.
Grid: Refers to cross-ruled transparent grids over which all parts of a page will be assembled.
Gripper: The mechanical "fingers" which hold the paper onto the impression cylinder of the printing press.
Gutter: Blank space where two pages meet, or the space between columns of type.

H
Halftone: Screening of image with a series of different sized dots to provide the appearance of continuous tone on a printed piece of paper. (See also "LPI" and "continuous tone")
HSB (hue, saturation, brightness): Colour model based on human perception of colour.
Hyperlink: A programmed link between items of information.
Hypertext: Describes a program that provides multiple pathways through text.

I
Illustrator: Adobe application used to create illustrations and drawings.
Image resolution: The number of pixels displayed per unit length of an image usually measured in pixels per inch. (See also "PPI")
Image setter: Digital typesetters that process postscript files used to output photo-sensitive film for printing.
Imposition: The arrangement of pages for printing.
Indexed colour mode: Colour palette of at most 256 colours to represent image data.
Indicia: A special permit which takes the place of a stamp.
Ink holdout: A paper characteristic that keeps ink on the surface and prevents it from being absorbed. Too much absorption causes the printed image to lack sharpness.
Inkjet printing: Wet inks are sprayed through fine nozzles onto the paper surface.
Internegative: Negative created from transmission copy as an intermediate step to reproducing the original.
IP address: A 32-bit number that identifies each sender or receiver of information that is sent in packets across the Internet.
ISO (International Standards Organization): Organization responsible for establishing industry standards for film emulsion.

J
Jaggies: Occurs when bitmapped images are displayed on a low-resolution monitor, or printed on a low-resolution printer, or when the image is enlarged. Anti-aliasing techniques can alleviate the problem.
JAZ cartridge: High-capacity removable disk with up to two gigabytes of storage space.
JPEG (Joint Professional Experts Group): Lossy image compression format for utilizing millions of colours on the web. 24-bit colour depth.
Justified type: Lines of type that align on both the left and right.

K
Kerning: Adjustment of spacing between letters.
Keyline: The outlines or areas or objects.
Kilobyte (K, KB, kbyte): Computer storage amount. A Kilobyte is made up of roughly 1,000 bytes.
Kraft: A sturdy paper made from sulphate pulp, commonly used for wrapping.

L
L.C. (lowercase): Small letters of a font.
LAB (luminance*A*B) colour mode: Precise mathematical formula for describing image colour space. Used in colour management systems.
Laid paper: Paper having a series of parallel lines which simulate the look of handmade papers.
Laminate: Encases a single imaged sheet in a protective plastic material. Often used for posters and flyers.
Laser printing: Uses a combination of toner and laser heat to fix images to paper.
Lay down sequence: In CMYK printing, the sequence in which the colors are printed.
Leader: A row of dots, periods or dashes used to lead the eye across the page.
Leading (pronounced "ledding"): Metal type term for space between lines of type.
Legibility: Type that is composed and spaced for maximum speed of perception.
Letterpress: Printing method using a raised area.
Ligature: Two or three characters joined on one body.
Line spacing: Phototypesetting term for leading.
Lithography: Printing process whereby the image area is separated from the non-image area by means of chemical repulsion.
Logo: Identification image.
Logotype: Often referred to as logo. Identification image which includes letters.
Lossless: Describes an image-compression method that retains all image detail (See "LZW compression")
Lossy: Describes an image-compression method that reduces image detail in order to create a smaller file size.
Low resolution: A display system or printer which is unable to produce fine detail.
LPI (lines per inch): Also known as screen frequency. Refers to the number of dots used to produce halftones for printing. (See also "halftones" and "screen frequency")
LZW compression: A lossless image compression method that does no discard detail from the image. Images are compressed by creating commonly recurring data bits.

M
Macromedia Director: An application enabling users to create presentations combining images, video and sound.
Magenta: Also referred to as process red -- one of the CMYK process colors.
Make-ready: Press preparations prior to printing a job.
Masking: Hiding an area that should not show during the image creation process.
Match print: Proof printed on customer selected paper
Megabyte (meg, MB, Mbyte): Computer storage amount. A megabyte is made up of roughly 1,000 kilobytes
Metallic inks: Inks containing bronze or aluminum powders in a varnish base.
Midtone: Gray or middle tonal range of an image - the area closest to 50% white and 50% black
Moire: Undesirable patterns that sometimes occur when reproductions are made from halftone proofs due to incorrect screen angles.
Monitor resolution: Pixel setting of the monitor. Default resolution of Mac monitors is typically 72 dpi. Default resolution of PC monitors is typically 96 dpi.
Monotone: Reproduction in one colour only.
Montage: Single image created from a compilation of several images.
MPEG (Motion Picture Experts Group): Data compression method for full-motion video.
Multiple master: A font manipulation system devised by Adobe in which a basic master font can be altered by the designer.

N
Neg: Short form for film negatives.
Network printer: Printer connected to a network so that many computers can access it.

O
Offset printing or lithography: Transfer of an image from a printing plate to a special rubber sheet and finally onto paper.
OLE (object linking and embedding): Allows users to create documents that integrate tools and information from a variety of sources.
On-demand publishing: Customized books or documents created digitally or conventionally.
Opacity: Paper quality which prevents type or images printed on one side from showing on the other side. Also refers to the covering power of an ink.
Optical disk: In computing and optical recording (CD or optical disk) is a flat, usually circular disc which encodes binary data in the form of pits and lands on one of its flat surfaces.
Overprinting: Also called surprinting. One color is printed on top of another.
Overrun: Printing a quantity in excess of what is ordered. Typically printers specify that they will supply 10% more or less than the requested quantity.

P
Padding: Glue applied to a group of sheets to form a note pad.
Path: A digital selection of an image area usually stored in an alpha channel. Also referred to as "clipping path".
PDF (portable document format): A file type containing embedded information. Created by Adobe, PDF is ideal for portability and screen viewing because pages display the same way that they were created
Perfect binding: Glued pages with wrap-around paperback cover.
Photo CD: Kodak image compression file format using YCC data, a colour encoding metric developed by Kodak.
Photo Shop: Adobe software package used extensively for photographic enhancements.
Pica: Measuring unit typically used in typesetting. One pica is approximately 1/6 of an inch.
PICT: Apple's format for displaying 72 dpi bitmapped graphics. PICT data is one element of an EPS file, allowing PostScript data to be viewed on screen.
Pixel: A small area defined on a computer screen. The on-screen image is made up of thousands of individually coloured pixels.
Plate: Used in the offset printing process to transfer image to paper.
PMS (Pantone matching system): Print industry colour matching system.
PMT (photo mechanical transfer): Black print contact sheet made from negative film.
PNG (portable network graphic): File format developed as an alternative to GIF for use on the worldwide web. PNG preserves all colour information using a lossless compression scheme.
Point: Sub-measurement of pica. There are 12 points in a pica and 72 points in an inch. Point size is commonly used to denote the size of a particular font.
PPI (pixels per inch): Describes the number of pixels an image contains. The more pixels per inch, the finer the resolution.
Pre-flighting: Checking files for colour fit (trapping), fonts, positioning, registration and accuracy.
Pre-press: All working steps leading up to the printing process.
Pressure sensitive paper: A sticky label stock with removable protective backing.
Primary (or additive) colours: Consist of red, green and blue. Addition of all 3 wavelengths yield white. (See also "RGB")
Print driver: Software needed to set parameters for document printing.
Printing inks: Inks used in reproduction of images and text on a press.
Process printing: CMYK printing of halftones from two or more plates to produce other colours and shades.
PS (PostScript): A printer language file which may be printed without opening the native application.

Q
Quark Xpress: Publishing software package used in printing facilities and design houses.
QuickTime: A video file format developed by Apple.

R
RAM: Refers to random access memory used by computers for temporary storage of data.
Raster: A bitmap image consisting of a matrix of pixels.
Ream: A measurement unit for paper, usually 500 sheets.
Registration marks: Usually depicted by a cross in a circle to ensure perfect alignment when printing more than one ink.
Removable media: Refers to portable mass storage devices such as Iomega Zip, JAZ, SyQuest, and floptical disks.
Resolution: The number of dots or screen pixels used to create an image. The more dots, the higher the resolution, the better the image. Higher resolutions increase file sizes.
RGB (red, green, blue): colour mode which uses a large percentage of the visible colour spectrum (primary colours). RGB images must be translated to CMYK to print.
RIP (raster image processor): Converts postscript files to raster (bitmap) images for printing on output devices.
RLE (run-length encoding): Bitmap compression for 4- and 8-bit bitmaps. Compression is lossless - it does not discard detail from the image.
RTF (rich text format): Text file able to retain font and formatting information.

S
Saddle-stitch: Booklet style stapling with two staples.
Sans serif: Type without serifs.
Scoring: Creasing paper mechanically so that it will fold more easily.
Scratch disk: Portion of existing hard disk space reserved by an application for use as temporary working space.
Screen: Usually a reference to a printed screen resolution. (See also "halftone" and "LPI")
Screen frequency: A reference to a printing press screen resolution. (Common frequencies are 85 lpi for newsprint and 133-150 lpi for fine printing). (See also "halftone" and "LPI")
SCSI (small computer systems interface): Interface to transmit digital data and to connect computers to peripherals such as printers, scanners, etc. (Pronounced "scuzzy")
Separation: Conversion of images to CMYK (for printing). Also used to refer to the physical negatives created for each of the CMYK colours.
Serifs: The opening and closing cross strokes that appear in the letterforms of some typefaces.
Shadow: Dark tonal range of an image.
Sheet-fed: Paper is fed to a printing press using sheets, rather than on a roll or web.
Spiralastic: Spiral, plastic, coil binding that winds through a series of punched holes in the document.
Spread: A pair of facing pages.
Spreading: When two colours print next to each other, the lighter colour is spread a tiny amount to eliminate the possibility of white space occurring due to imperfect registration.
Stet: A proofreader's mark that indicates copy marked for correction should be ignored.
Stripping: Term for placing different negatives on a masking sheet prior to making printing plates.

T
Tape binding: Cloth binding (usually black) applied to the spine of a document during or after the copying process.
Thermal binding: Process that bakes a pre-glued wrap-around cover onto the loose pages of a book forming a permanent binding.
Thermography: Special powder application to offset printing. Paper is transferred through a special thermal heater unit which creates raised, glossy ink.
Thumbnail: A very small, rough rendition of a larger image.
TIFF (tagged-image file format): Image format used to exchange files between applications and computer platforms. Supports LZW lossless compression. Format can be 1 to 32-bit depth.
Tooth: Refers to the rough texture of a paper's surface.
Trapping: Two colours which print next to each other are overlapped a tiny amount to eliminate the white space between them. (See also "choke" and "spread")
Typeface: A selection of a particular type style comprised of a number of fonts.
Typography: Skilled level of typeface choice with spacing, impact and readability considerations.

U
UCR (under colour removal): Replacement of colour inks with black ink in shadow and neutral areas of a colour separation. Reduces "muddiness" due to excessive ink coverage.
Uncoated paper: Stocks with a non-smooth surface and high ink absorption.
Uppercase: The capital letters of a type font.

V
Van Dyke: Another name for a pre-press proof or dylux proof.
Varnish: A clear coating ink that gives a gloss or matte finish to printed pieces.
Vector graphics: Consist of lines and curves.
Vellum: Designates a strong, toothy paper finish.

W
Web-fed: Refers to presses that accept paper on rolls.
Weight: The variation of a letterform. Also refers to the weight of 500 sheets (a ream) of paper.
Widow: A single work left hanging at the end of a paragraph.
Word mark: Logo comprised of words only.
Wove paper: An uncoated paper that has a uniform surface.
Wrap-around: A book jacket cover with front, back and flap designs. Often referred to as a "dust-cover".
WYSIWYG: (pronounced "wizzywig") Generally means that what you see on your monitor is what you'll get when you print a hard copy.

X
X-height: The height of the body of lowercase letters, without the ascenders and descenders.

Z
ZIP disk: A "Zip" disk, not to be confused with a "zip file", is a high-capacity, removable disk with a 100-250 megabyte capacity.
ZIP file: A zip file is a normal file in compressed format. You can zip any number of files into one zip file. PKZIP, WINZIP, or STUFFIT can be used to compress and decompress these files.

 
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