Print glossary



AO to A6 - trimmed paper sizes in the ISO international paper size range.

ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR - Software used for the creation of vector images, generally with a solid or graduated colour.

ADOBE PHOTOSHOP - Software used for the manipulation of graphic images, particularly photographic images.

A.D.S - artwork delivery system - a software used for sending digital advertisements, designed to get around the problem of font copyrights.

ALIGNMENT - horizontal position of type to place characters in line and/or regulation of typesetting to range lines of characters within a column boundary.

AMPERSAND - type character

ART - a paper coated with china clay and size to leave a very smooth surface. Finish can be matt or gloss.

ARTWORK - final copy/material (normally supplied mounted on board to avoid creasing) ready for scanning, or for plate making with any special colour separation instructions marked-up on an attached overlay.

ASCENDER - the top part of a lower case letter that rises above the x-height e.g. upper stroke in "h'.



BO to B6 - trimmed paper sizes in the ISO international paper size range (larger than A sizes).

BANK - lightweight papers (under 60 gsm)

BLANKET - drum covered with rubber surface in an off-set litho press which transfers the ink/image from the plate to the paper.

BLEED - printed area outside of final trim marks. Bleed printing achieves a clean edge where colour is run to the full height or width of page.

BLIND EMBOSSING - a relief design stamped/pressed into paper without ink.

BOLD FACE - type thicker than normal type.

BOND - heavier papers often used for letterhead.

BRE - Business Reply Envelope.

BROMIDE - a photographic quality paper that is water proof, used by newspapers for black and white advertisements, seldom used now due to digital copy.

BULK - degree of thickness of paper.

BULLS EYE - printing defect caused by a foreign particle holding the paper away from the inked printing surface.



CAPS - capital letters.

CHOKE - small increase to inside edge, usually applied to a lighter colour enclosing a darker colour, to force an overlap. A form of trapping.

CI - Copy Instruction - a sheet of paper containing all the booking details that normally accompanies the material sent to the publication.

CMYK - short term for four colour process referring to Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key (Black).

COLLATE - sort separate pages into correct sequence.

COLOUR SEPARATION - separation of copy or artwork into the four process colours.

CONCERTINA - alternating folds in a single sheet.

CONTINUOUS STATIONERY - generally used on computer printers, where each sheet is joined to the next.

COPY DATE - the date a publication requires the advertisement material to guarantee printing on time. This varies from the day before the insertion date on a national newspaper to 6 weeks prior on some magazines.

CROMALIN - an off-press proof (made direct from the film separations). See Matchprint.

CUTOUT - area/shape removed from within trim area. Image without a background.

CUTTER - used to cut pre-determined shapes in paper.

CYAN - one of the 4 process colours ("Blue").



DESCENDER - part of a lower case letter that falls below the base-line of the character e.g. lower stroke in 'q".

DOT GAIN - enlargement of half-tone dot during printing which needs to be allowed for in reproduction.

DPI - Dots Per Inch, Measure of resolution, i.e. how many separate dots a printing device can produce per linear inch.

DUO-TONE - two colour halftone produced from a single colour original to produce a subtly coloured image.

DYE-SUBLIMATION - a one-off printing process transferring process colour dyes instead of ink to achieve realistic colour portrayal. See Iris and Rainbow 3M.



EMBOSS - raised lettering or impression rising above the flat paper/material.

EPS - file format used for images and graphics - short for Encapsulated Postscript File.

EXTRA BOLD - extra thick character strokes.



FILM - copy supplied as separation film for plate-making.

FIT - refers to exact register of each colour used on film, proof or plate.

FOOLSCAP - paper measuring 13 by 8 inches.

FOUR COLOUR SET - 4 pieces of acetate film, one for each process colour, i.e. cyan, magenta, yellow and black.

FULL COLOUR - four colour process print using Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black (CMYK).



GATEFOLD - page in magazine which folds out.

GLOSS ART - shiny art paper (as opposed to matt art).

GRAVURE - process where the printing areas are below the non-printing surface. The recesses are filled with ink and the surplus is cleaned off with a blade before the paper contacts the whole surface and lifts the ink from the recesses. Generally used for very large print runs.

GSM - short for "grams per square metre", defining the weight of paper.

GUTTER - the inner, binding margin of a book, or space between printed areas.



IMAGESETTER - high resolution output printer used for producing bromide, final film or even plates containing graphics, text and scanned images (e.g. Linotron).

INSERT (Loose/Bound-in/Tip-in, etc.) - a page, booklet, or other item inserted into a magazine which is not printed as part of it. Usually pre-printed, can be inserted either loose, bound into the spine, or stuck onto a page of the publication.

IRIS - manufacturer name for a colour proofing system which produces finished image straight from computer (i.e. without separation film). See Dye-Sublimation.

ITALICS - version of type font with sloping characters.



JPEG - Joint Photographic Experts Group - A medium for compressing picture file sizes to reduce transmission time.

JUSTIFY - spacing words to a predetermined width.



KERNING - spacing letters of a word so that they are either closer together or further apart.

Key - one of the 4 process colours ("Black").

KEYLINE - used as a positioning guide for placement of an image or tint - and can be printed or deleted before printing.



LAID - a form of paper with marks through the paper, as opposed to wove which is smooth.

LEADING - spacing between lines of text, depth of which measured in points.

LITHO - lithography. A method of printing whereby the ink transferred from a chemically treated flat plate to paper Can be direct or off-set, sheet or web-fed.

LOWER CASE - small letters as opposed to capitals.

LPI - lines per inch (see DPI). Measurement of definition (halftone screen to be applied).



MAGENTA - one of the 4 process colours ("Red").

MATCHPRINT - an off-press proof (made direct from the film separations). See Cromalin.

MATT ART - dull finished paper (as opposed to gloss art).

MICRON - 1/millionth of a metre, 1/thousandth of a millimetre

MINDER - print machine operator.

MOIRE - undesired pattern on scanned image resulting from incorrect use of screen.

MONOCHROME - single colour.



NCR - "No Carbon Required". Paper impregnated with dye which transfers image to sheet below.

NEGATIVE - film with image in reverse.



ORIGINATION - all the processes involved in the reproduction (Repro) of all copy/material up to platemaking.

ORPHAN - single word on a line at end of a paragraph.

O/S/E - Outside Edge - position of space booked on the page.

OVERLAY - transparent sheet with captions or instruction covering printed image.



PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM (PMS) - colour matching system specifying ink mixes to achieve consistent colour

PORTABLE DIGITAL FILE (PDF) - a digital file that compresses, Quark files, pictures, etc. into smaller size files for digital transmission over both Mac and PC platforms.

PERFORATE (PERF) - make series of holes in order to ensure straight-line tear.

PICA - 1/6", 12 point, standard unit of print measure.

PLATE - printing plate carrying inked image.

POSITION GUIDE - marked-up copy of the artwork specifying where images need to be placed.

POSITIVE - film with image resembling original.

PRE-PRESS - film and plate-making operations.

PRESS - printing machine.

PROCESS COLOUR - 4 standard colours used in full colour print (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black).

PROGRESSIVES - proofs taken from each plate to demonstrate build up of colour in a print run.

PROOF - printed sheet for checking type and colours.



RAINBOW 3M - a proofing system. See Dye-Sublimation.

REAM - 500 sheets of paper.

REGISTER - exact position of overlaid film separations c printed colours to achieve sharp image.

REPRO-HOUSE - company specialising in production C plate-making and/or film for printers.

RESOLUTION - definition of image by number of dots. More dots per inch mean higher resolution.

RGB - Red, Green, Blue: These are "additive" colours (100~, of each produce white).

RIVER - white line/area appearing in consecutive lines of set type as result of letter-space alignment or gaps in text.

R/R E/D - Right Reading Emulsion Side Down - the image is black on the clear acetate and is legible (not the wrong way around like a mirror image) when the black emulsion is on the bottom.



SADDLE-STITCH - a form of binding a publication by stapling the spine.

SANS-SERIF - no cross-line finishes to letter strokes.

S.E.A - Self Extracting Archive. A digital file for sending graphics over both Mac and PC platforms. Compresses a number of files into one compressed file which saves on download time.SEAL - varnish to protect printed, coloured image.

SEPARATIONS (SEPS) - series of films (pos or neg.) corresponding to each colour to be used.

SERIF - cross-line finish to the strokes of a letter.

SHEET-FED - printer or press fed with single sheets of paper, rather than a roll of paper (see Web Offset).

SHEETWORK - to print each side of the sheet from a sepa-rate set of plates, as distinct from work and turn.

SMALLCAPS - small capital letters the size of lower case.

SPECIAL COLOUR - a printing ink colour mixed specially for a job rather than made out of the process colour set.

SPOT COLOUR - each single additional colour.

SPREAD - small increase to outside edge, usually applied to a lighter colour enclosed by a darker colour, to force an overlap. A form of trapping. Also: two facing pages in book or magazine.

STEPCUT - pages trimmed to different heights.

STET - proof readers instruction meaning "ignore the marked correction".



THROW-OUT - a page which folds out of a book or maga-zine to a larger size than the book trim.

TIFF - computer file format used for colour and mono images and graphics - short for Tagged Image File Format

TINT - percentage of a solid colour.

TINT LAYING - using films and screens to create a mechanical shading.

TIP-IN - a method of gluing or sticking on a burster or insert in a publication.

TRACKING - proportional spacing between letters.

TRAPPING - control of overlap where different colours touch or abut. See Choke and Spread.

TRANSPARENCY - positive (usually colour) photograph on transparent film for viewing with transmitted light

TRIM - the actual size of the finished page when cut

TRIM MARKS - cutting guides marked outside intended print area to establish the final size of the page.

TYPE AREA - this is the area of a page that is guaranteed to print. Another term meaning the same thing is 'live matter area'. It is the safe area that will mot be altered if the page is guillotined badly.

TYPESET - produced by typesetting process, not type-written or hand-written.

TYPOGRAPHY - defining the form of typeface and style and format of text



ULTRA VIOLET VARNISH (UV) - high gloss varnish dried by exposure to UV light.



VARNISH - to apply an oil, water or synthetic varnish to printed matter to enhance appearance. Can be applied to specific areas (spot).

VIGNETTE - a graduated tint.



WEB-OFFSET - reel-fed offset litho printing.

WET-PROOF - proof produced from final plates on intended paper showing exact colour reproduction.

WIDOW - a single word carried on from a paragraph which appears in the next column or on the next page.

WORK AND TURN/WORK AND TUMBLE - printing on both sides of a sheet from a single set of plates.

WOVE - paper with smoother, more uniform finish than laid paper.



X-HEIGHT - the main body of a lower-case character without ascenders or descenders.



YELLOW - one of the 4 process colours..



Internet glossary



Abbreviation element - Used in HTML alongside the title attribute to denote the use of an abbreviation. It allows screen readers to spot abbreviations and, instead of trying to pronounce the abbreviation, it reads out the full title.

Above the fold - Referring to the part of the web page that is visible on-screen before the user scrolls down.

The term was originally used with reference to newspapers, where the newspaper would be folded and placed on a news stand. The visible part of the paper (above the fold) is what sells the paper. In web design, the part of the site that is above the fold has the same function. There must be enough content of interest above the fold to make the user want to dig deeper.

accessibility - Refers to the structuring of web content in such a way that it is easily accessible to all users, in particular users with disabilities. Not to be confused with usability. 

ADN (Advanced Digital Network) - This network depends on a private digital service line. It conveys synchronous serial information that is private of nature. Conveyance occurs through a complete duplex four-wire line. ADN comprises of various features: non-consistent speed modes, a network reconfiguration that is controlled by the subscriber, network control as well as network diagnostics. The ADN line carries 56k bits per second. ADN services are carried by a leased or rented line. The line is designed to be used with one connection power point which enables it to be used more efficiently. 

ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) - ADSL technology came into existence because of the need to carry huge data movements. The substance used to move data is copper telephone wire. It is geared for a maximum of 8 Mbps downstream and 640 kbps upstream flows. Permalink to this entryEDIT  affiliate program On the Web, an affiliate program is a system whereby referrers/affiliates are financially rewarded for referring business to suppliers. An affiliate would sign up at a supplier (such as and then place links to that supplier from their web site or blog. The link typically contains a special piece of code so that any referrals and sales through that link can be credited to the affiliate. Affiliate commission percentage is usually about 10% of the sale, as determined by the supplier. 

AJAX (Asynchronous Javascript and XML) - offers a way to harness the power of JavaScript and XML to enhance interactivity in web pages. 

alt attribute - An alt attribute is used to specify alternate text for an image. Specified inside the IMG tag in HTML, the alt attribute contains the alternate text that is displayed inside the image placeholder while the page is loading. In some browsers the mouseover tooltip will also display the text from the alt attribute (alt text). Alt text plays a role in SEO. 

Anti-aliasing - Anti-aliasing is a feature of many design programs such as PhotoShop and Corel Photopaint. This feature creates a smoothing effect on the color edges of an image, providing a smooth transition from one color area within the image to the next color area in the same image. Without anti-aliasing the individual pixels would be more visible on the edges of the color areas. 

Apache - The Apache HTTP server is free software. It is an open source Web server. It is compatible with Unix systems as well as Microsoft Windows and Novell NetWare to name but a few.

API - Application Program Interface, is a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications. The API specifies how software components should interact and are used when programming graphical user interface (GUI) components.

Applet - An applet is a (small) Java program. Applet software is inseparable from the context of another program, such as the Web browser, for example. It is dependent on other software and therefore offers a very narrow function. It has no independent use. 

Application server - An application server is installed as a software engine in a computer network. One of its functions is to host software applications. Neither the file server nor the print server has such a function. Another function of the application server is to transmit applications to linked computers. It further manages most of the applications for business logic as well as the data access applications of your computer.

Array - an array is an index of data values. In PHP, for example, an array contains a number of variables. 

ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) - ASCII is a standard for code numbers. The standard is applied world-wide by computer programmers. ASCII encodes all the upper and lower-case Latin numbers, letters, punctuation and more. A set of 128 standard ASCII codes present a 7 digit binary number: 0000000 to 1111111 

ASP (Active Server Pages) - is a Windows-based server-side scripting language used for creating dynamic content. 

Attribute - In the context of HTML, an attribute is a characteristic of a tag. An IMG tag, for example, could include attributes that specify the height and width of the image.  

AVI (Audio/Video Interleaved) - A common video file format (.avi). Video quality can be good at smaller resolutions, but files tend to be large.


B2B - Business to business. A site that focuses on selling to other businesses, not to end users.

B2C - Business to customer. A b2c business focuses on selling directly to the customer or end user.

Backbone - A network backbone is a high-speed line or a series of connections

Backend - The backend of a web site refers to the HTML markup, code, files and server processes that make the web site work. The backend is what the web designer builds, the frontend is what the web site visitor sees. 

Backlink - A link from someone else's web site to yours. The number and quality of the backlinks you have pointing to your site has a significant impact on your search engine rankings. Many web developers offer a link building service where backlinks are obtained on the client's behalf. 

Bait-and-switch - A black hat Internet marketing technique. The idea is to have two versions of a web page. One is optimised for search engines, the other for users. Once the search engine indexes the first (takes the bait), the webmaster switches the pages so that the page optimised for users now lives at the URL of the page the search engine indexed. It's worth noting that search engines today are much smarter than they were back when this trick worked. 

Bandwidth - The maximum amount of data that a connection can transfer.

Banner blindness - Referring to the practice/habit of ignoring banner advertisements. The term implies that people often do not see banner ads, regardless of how loud they are, because they habitually focus on text content.

Beta / beta test - A beta test is a phase in software and web development. It usually comes after in-house testing and right before the launch. A beta test lets users know that the site is not guaranteed to be 100% operational and it gives the developer an opportunity to gather error data and user feedback for final tweaks before the launch. 

Bit (Binary DigIT) - A bit is the smallest unit of computerised data, comprised of either a 0 (off) or a 1 (on). Bandwidth is usually measured in bits-per-second.

Bps: (Bits per second) - A measurement of how fast data is moved from one place to another. A 28.8 modem can move data at 28,800 bits per second.

Black hat - A collective name for those SEO techniques that attempt to deceive search engines into ranking a page higher than it really deserves.

Bookmark - A pointer to a Web site of interest. Within browsers, pages can be "bookmarked" for quick reference, rather than remembering and typing the complete URL in the address bar.

Blog - Short for web log, a blog is a web page that functions almost like a diary or journal, with frequent updates. Blogs typically deal with a specific topic and are often used as a marketing or customer service tool alongside the main company web site. 

Breadcrumbs - In web design the term refers to a navigational element showing the path within the site from the homepage to the current page. For example: Home > Services > Web Design > Order Page.

Broken link - A link that points to a page or resource that does not exist. A broken link produces a "404" error (not found). 

Browser - A browser is software used to access web pages. Examples include Firefox, Chrome, Opera and Microsoft Internet Explorer.

Bug - A bug, in web design terms, is an error or a problem where the site does not behave as it should. For example if a form validation script incorrectly identifies completed fields as blank fields. 

Byte - A set of bits that represent a single character. There are usually 8 bits in a byte.



Cache - A section of memory or the Hard Drive where data can be stored for rapid or frequent access.

CAPTCHA - A CAPTCHA is field in a web form, designed to differentiate between users and bots. Typically a CAPTCHA consist of an image containing letters that are difficult to read. The user must then enter those letters into a text box on the form. The goal is to reduce form spam by making the letters unreadable to bots, but readable to humans. 

Case-sensitive - Case-sensitive systems differentiate between uppercase and lowercase. "ABC" and "abc" are not the same thing on a case sensitive system.

CGI - (Common Gateway Interface) programs/scripts run on the server and are usually designed to add functionality to a web site. 

cgi-bin - The most common directory to store CGI programs on a web server. The "bin" part of "cgi-bin" is an abbreviation of "binary", dating back to when programs were referred to as "binaries".

Cloaking - a technique where the web site serves different content to different users, based on their IP. While there are legitimate uses for cloaking (such as delivering different content for users from different countries), the technique is not recommended.

Comments - In relation to web development, the term "comments" usually refers to comments entered into the code of the site to make the code more human-friendly. 

Compression - Data files available for upload and download are often compressed in order to save space and reduce transfer times. Typical file extensions for compressed files include .zip (DOS/Windows) and .tar (UNIX).

Content - The content of a web site refers to all the text, images, sound etc. that make up the web site, but not the layout elements such as the background or navigation links. 

Content management system (CMS) - offers a way for a user to edit the content of a web site from within a browser-based interface, without any HTML skills required. This is a feature often built into a web site by the developer, allowing the web site owner to add, remove or change the content themselves. 

Conversion rate - refers to the percentage of web site visitors that take the intended action such as signing up for a newsletter or making a purchase.

Cookie - a small text file that a web site saves on a user's computer. The cookie stores information about that user. On the user's next visit to the same web site, the web site retrieves the cookie to access the information. Cookies are useful for saving bits of information like user preferences. 

CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) - is a style sheet language that determines the look of elements on web pages. The main benefit of CSS is that it splits the content from the presentation. Site-wide style changes can be performed by editing the style sheet rather than every page individually.

Cyberspace - This term was coined by author William Gibson in his novel Neuromancer. Cyberspace is currently used to describe the whole range of information available through computer networks.



Database - A database is a collection of data, organised into tables and records. In web design. Databases are typically used to store information like user account information, product information etc. 

Dedicated server - A dedicated server is a web server that is used to host one web site only.

Deep linking - Linking to directly to pages within a site, other than the homepage.

Depricated - Depricated tags, elements or attributes are ones that have become obsolete or they have been replaced by newer versions.

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Dithering - Used in computer graphics, it is a method of creating new colours from ones that already exist in the image by interspersing pixels.

DNS (Domain Name Server) - A computer running a program that converts domain names into IP addresses and vice versa. Domain Name Servers (also known as Name Servers) are the backbone of the Internet. 

Domain - A domain name is a name by which a web site or web server is identified, for example Domains can include letters, numbers and hyphens only. 

Domain extension - The last bit of the domain name, for example ".com", ".net" or ".org". There are hundreds of different domain extensions, including country-specific domain extensions such as "" for the UK, "" for Australia etc. 

Domaining - Describes the activities related to trading in domain names. Domaining has become an occupation, with many entrepreneurs buying and selling domains full-time. 

Download - The process of transferring data from a remote computer to a local computer. When you copy a file from a computer on the Internet to your computer, you are "downloading" that file.

Dreamweaver - Adobe Dreamweaver (formerly Macromedia Dreamweaver) is a popular and powerful web development program. 

Dynamic web site - A web site that writes to and/or reads from a database and/or a web site where the content changes based on user inputs.



Ethernet - The common method of networking computers in a LAN, or Local Area Network. An Ethernet connection will handle about 10,000,000 bits per second.

Email (Electronic Mail) - Messages sent from one person to another via the Internet. Email can also be sent to a large number of addresses at once through a Mailing List.



FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) - An FAQ is a document that lists and answers the most common questions on a particular subject. It is considered good netiquette (the Internet's code of conduct) to check for FAQs and read them.

Finger - An Internet tool for locating people on other sites. Finger can also be used to give access to non-personal information, but the most common use is to see if a person has an account at a particular site. The most famous finger site was a Coke machine at Carnegie-Mellon University that students had wired to the Internet. They could then finger the machine and find out how many bottles remained and how long they had been in the machine so they wouldn't walk all the way there and find an empty machine or warm soda.

Firewall - A combination of hardware and software that separates a LAN into two or more parts for security purposes. A firewall is commonly used to separate a network from the Internet.

Flame - Originally, to "flame" meant to debate in a passionate manner, often involving the use of flowery language. More recently, flame has come to refer to any kind of derogatory or inflammatory comment, no matter how witless or crude.

Flame War - When an online discussion degenerates into a series of personal attacks against the debaters, rather than a discussion of their positions, it is referred to as a flame war.

FQDN (Fully Qualified Domain Name) - The official name assigned to an individual computer. Organizations register names, such as "", then assign unique names to their computers, such as "".

Freeware - Software that is available for download and unlimited use without charge.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) - A common method of moving files between two Internet sites. Most FTP sites require a login name and password before files can be retrieved or sent.



Gantt chart - Used in web project management, a gantt chart specifies objectives/milestones and assigns target dates to those objectives. 

Geek-speak The unique terminology that geeks tend to use and that non-geeks have a hard time understanding. This dictionary attempts to make some geek-speak understandable to non-geeks by offering definitions of geek terms. 

Ghost site - A web site that remains available online, but that is no longer being maintained or updated. Unlike an abandoned site, a ghost site usually includes a paragraph stating that it is no longer being updated and it is kept alive because the information it contains may still be valid and useful. 

GIF - GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) is a popular image format for the web. The GIF format is limited to 256 colors and supports transparency, which makes it suitable for simple graphics such as logos or buttons, but not for complex graphics such as photos. 

Graphics - In the context of web design, graphics is a collective name for all the images associated with a web site. 

Guestbook - A page on a web site where visitors can enter their names and leave their comments about the site. Guestbooks worked great until automated guestbook spam made them more of a liability than an asset. Today few company web sites still offer a guestbook. The ones that do usually have effective anti-spam measures in place. 

GUI - GUI is short for graphical user interface. It's that part of an application (or web site) that's intended for the user. Also called the "front end". 


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