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Printer Terms

AA's - Author's alterations

Acrobat- A program developed by Adobe Systems, Inc. for creating, editing, distributing, and viewing Portable Document Format files, also known as "PDF's"

Art work - Illustrative materials, paste up, mechanicals

Attribute - The attribute of a color is one of the many ways of describing the color, in this case by their hue, saturation and brightness.

Author - Printing Services definition is the person who requests the job, regardless of who originated the piece

Backbone - The back of a bound book connecting the two covers, also called spine

Backed up - Printing the reverse side of a sheet already printed on one side

Banding -Banding is the result of substandard printing that affects the graduation of colors, resulting in distinct bands of colors on the page. This is usually caused by improper alignment, or clogged nozzles in the print head.

Best Quality - Best quality refers to documents printed at high resolution that results in smooth graphics and clear text.

Bitmap Image (BMP) - A type of image file format that uses a grid of pixels to create shapes. Bitmap images, sometimes called raster images, consist of a fixed number of individually editable pixels. Photographs and screen captures are usually bitmap images. Popular bitmap file formats include GIF, JPEG, and TIFF.

Black - True black is not possible using only cyan, magenta and yellow and so the "four color process is used in today's printer with the fourth color being black. This is also termed CMYK with K representing Black.

Bleeding - Bleeding is a printing defect where colors bleed through the paper into one another, usually caused by either too muck ink or highly absorbent paper.

Blowup - A photographic enlargement

Blueline proof - A proof from a negative used to check layout and position

Body type - The type that is used for the main part or text of a printed piece

Character Per Inch (CPI) - CPI refers to the number of characters that will print within one horizontal inch.

Character Per Line (CPL) - CPL refers to the number of characters that will fit on a single horizontal line.

Characters - Characters are letters or symbols used in communication.

Characters Per Second (CPS) - CPS refers to the printing speed of a printer, specifically, the number of characters the printer can print per second.

CIP3 - The International Cooperation for the Integration of Prepress, Press, and Postpress. A file format is generated from your digital files that's used to preset the ink fountains on the press to reduce makeready waste and time. This file is also used in the bindery to preset equipment to the specifications of each particular operation, again reducing set-up time and waste.

Clipping Path - In computer graphics and imaging, a curve or polygon that defines the boundary of an image. Only the portion of the image that is enclosed within the clipping path will be visible when the item is printed or displayed. Clipping paths can be created in a program such as Photoshop; the Pen tool is used to draw the path around the object in questions, and the image must then be saved out as an EPS file.

CMY - CMY is the acronym for the three subtractive color primaries used in the three-color printing process – Cyan (blue), Magenta (red), and Yellow.

CMYK - CMYK is the four-color printing process – Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black – used in conventional color printing and color inkjet printing. By overlaying these four colors a vast range of colors can be produced.

Compression (scheme) - an algorithm that significantly reduces file sizes by removing redundant data. Common compression schemes include JPEG, LZW, and RLE.

Condensed Printing  - Condensed printing is the printing process where the characters are printed narrower than normal, thus allowing wide tables or spreadsheets to fit onto the paper.

Copy - All material to be included in a printed work

Core - A core is an empty cartridge shell, either inkjet or laser.

Crop - Reduce in size by removing part of an image (mark area to be cropped - DO NOT CUT ORIGINAL)

Cyan - Cyan is the technical term for the color Blue.

Data - Data, in printing terms, is the electronic representation of the printed page, which is then turned into a physical printed page.

Digital Asset Management (DAM) - a term to describe the disparate means of organizing and storing all the various elements (text, images, video, audio, etc.) one needs for a project.

Digital Proof - Refers to proofs made directly from digital data. NOT analog film.

Display type - Larger than body type, for titles and headings

Dots per inch (DPI) - DPI is a value for the measurement of the resolution of a printed or scanned image or text. A higher DPI will generally mean higher resolution and therefore higher quality.

DPI - an abbreviation for dots per inch. Refers to the resolution at which a device, such as a monitor or printer, can display text and graphics.

Dummy - A preliminary layout showing the position of illustrations and text as they are to appear in the final reproduction

Dye - Dyes are soluble colorants, usually chemical, used in printer inks. They dissolve in solvents such as water or alcohol.

Electronic Publication - a document that is distributed by computer rather than on paper. Electronic publications can usually be printed as well, but they are primarily intended to be read on-screen, searched, and saved for future access.

Epson proof - A full color proof

Filtering - Filtering is the process of removing unwanted particles from the ink which would otherwise clog the print head and render the printer damaged.

Flush (left/right) - Typeset copy vertically aligned at the left or right margin

Font - The complete set of characters in a type style

Format - The appearance of a printed work (type style, layout, margins, size, etc.)

FTP Site (File Transfer Protocol) - FTP is a communications protocol that lets people and companies make files available for transfer from their computer to your computer.

Four-Color Process - Four-color process refers to the CMYK process of printing that results in an acceptable color spectrum.

Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) - GIF refers to an image file format developed by CompuServe for the exchange of images across platforms. It’s common on the Internet and is also used by software applications.

Half-toning  - Half-toning, also called dithering, is the printing process that blends the inks or toner of eight primary colors (cyan, magenta, yellow, black, red, green, blue, and "no color") to produce the 16.7 million shades of a color gamut.

Hexachrome - Hexachrome is an expansion of the normal four colour process, CMYK, that also includes orange and green, thus significantly increasing the number of color combinations available.

Imposition - The arrangement of pages for printing on a large sheet in such a way that they appear in order when the sheet is folded.

JDF - Job Definition Format. An open, multi-vendor solution created by Adobe, AGFA, HEIDELBERG, and MAN Roland that gives us the ability to bridge the communication gap between production and management information systems, picking up where CIP3 leaves off. Destined to become the industry standard.

Jet - Jet is another term for the nozzle in the printhead portion of the printer or cartridge.

Justify - Space out lines of type so that both left and right margins are flush

Kerning - Widening or narrowing spaces between typeset characters

Layout - The drawing or sketch of a proposed printed piece

Laser Printing - Laser printing is a process that produces very high quality text and graphics, both monochrome and color, at fast speeds. A laser is used to scan an image onto a metal drum, thus charging the drum electrostatically. Powdered ink is then attracted to the charge and transferred to paper using heat and pressure. This process is used in laser printers, photocopiers and fax machines.

Leading - Extra spacing between lines of typeset copy (Printers used to use lead strips for spacers.)

Line copy (line work) - Any copy which contains only solid black and white, without halftones

Magenta - Magenta is the technical term for the color Red.

Make ready - All operations required to prepare the finished copy for printing

Mechanical - A finished sheet of copy prepared for the printer

Nozzle - Nozzles are the tiny tubes through which the heated bubbles of ink are sprayed onto the page, thus producing the printed image.

Optical Density - Optical density is a measure of the overall blackness of a printed image, also called jetness.

Paste up - Assembly of the component parts to make a mechanical

PDF (Portable Document Format) - A file format designed for cross-platform document creation and distribution. An electronic snapshot of a document, which may be printed or displayed on-screen, saved in a compressed PostScript format. PDF files can simply mimic print documents or provide interactivity through links and dynamic media.

Perfect bind - A wrap around, glued paper book cover

Pica - Unit of measurement used principally in measuring lines. One pica equals approximately 1/6 inch

Pigment - Pigment is a solid colorant used in inks. Being insoluble, pigments produce better quality images in most situations and also provide better protection against fading.

Pigment Inks - Pigment inks use pigments as the colorant rather than dyes, thus producing prints that are blacker and richer in color and also have better color retention.

PJTF - Portable Job Ticket Format. A format created by Adobe that allows you to attach a digital job ticket with your files, giving specifications about the job.

Point - Basic unit of type measurement. One point equals 1/12 pica and approximately 1/72 inch

PostScript - A page description language invented by Adobe Systems, Inc., that consists of software commands which, when translated through the raster image processor (RIP) forms the desired image on an output device, such as a laser printer or image setter.

PPF - Print Production Format. A file format extension used within a CIP3 workflow.

Preflight- A check to a digital file before output that involves ensuring that images and other color usage are in the correct color space for the target output device, that all images are at a suitable resolution and image size, that all fonts are present and accounted for and any other problems that may prevent consistent or quality output are identified.

Print Alignment - Print alignment refers to small adjustments made to the orientation of the printerhead, in relation to the paper, to ensure clean printing with straight lines.

Printhead - The printhead is the part of the printer or printer cartridge that contains the necessary electrical and/or electronic circuitry and nozzles needed to spray the ink onto the paper during the printing process.

Proof or galley proof - A copy of typeset material, used for correcting type before page makeup (paste up)

Ragged (left/right) - Unjustified copy

Register - To position two or more images so they are precisely superimposed

Remote proofing - A situation where a digital proffer with acceptable quality is maintained at the client's site. Images and pages are sent through some network transmission from the printer and then imaged at the client's site.

Rendering - Rendering is the process of converting electronic information into visible images on paper.

Reservoir - The reservoir is the receptacle that contains the ink in an inkjet system.

Resolution - The number of pixels per inch in an image. The more pixels, the finer the image and the more realistic it appears. When an image is scanned, a certain number of pixels per inch are captured. From this original capture, the image may be displayed at different resolutions according to how many pixels the monitor can display. When an image is printed, the resolution is controlled by how many dots per inch the printer is capable of printing.

Reverse - Make white areas black, and black areas white

Running head - A title repeated on each page

Saddle stitch - Bind by stapling folded sheets through the fold

Saturation - Saturation is the degree by which a color is pure and undiluted by white light. High saturation produces bright vibrant colors moving through pastels as saturation decreases to black or shades of gray. The extremes are 100% saturation, which contains no white and 0% saturation which contains no color.

Side stitch - Bind by stapling sheets on the side near the backbone (spine)

Soft Proof (monitor proof) - The ability to generate a file from the customer's ripped page, that is viewable on a monitor. This allows operators to check the file against supplier laser proofs for content, type flow and correct trapping. It can also be a PDF file, generated from the ripped file and sent to the customer to view at their site before any materials are used.

Solvent - The solvent is the ingredient in ink that dissolves a dye. In inkjet cartridges, the solvent is water.

Spiral binding - Book binding with plastic or wire inserted through holes punched along the binding side

Stock - Material to be printed on

Tagged Image File Format (TIFF) - TIFF refers to the standard file format for high-resolution bitmapped graphics with cross-platform compatibility.

Text - The body of a page or book, as distinguished from the heading

Toner - Toner is a dry powdery ink used in the laser printing process and found in laser printers, photocopiers and fax machines. Toner is composed of plastic, carbon and iron oxide for color, which are mixed together, solidified and then ground into a fine powder.

True Black - True black is produced by black ink as opposed to composite black, produced from a mixture of Cyan, Magenta and Yellow, which lacks a true black color.

Widow - A single word in a line by itself, ending a paragraph

WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) - WYSIWIG refers to the ability of applications and viewing devices to duplicate the ultimate physical output of the printing device.


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