Home   Sitemap   Careers   Contact Us   Client Log-In  

Click on the Letter


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

Acid-free Paper
Papermade from pulp containing little or no acid so it resists deterioration from age. Also known as alkaline paper, archival paper, neutral pH paper, permanent paper and thesis paper.

Acid Resist
An acid-proof protective coating applied to metal plates prior to etching.

Additive Colour
Colour produced by light falling onto a surface, as compared to subtractive colour. The additive primary colours are red, green and blue.

A4 Paper
ISO paper size 210 x 297mm

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

Any change made by the customer after copy or artwork has been given to the separator or printer. The change could be in copy, specifications or both. Also known as AA, author's alteration.

Anodized Plate
An offset printing plate having a treated surface in order to reduce wear for extended use.

Anti-offset Powder
Fine powder lightly sprayed over the printed surface of coated paper as sheets leave a press. Also known as dust, offset powder, powder and spray powder.

In a digitised image, diagonal lines are not a true diagonal line on the monitor, but rather they are a series of horizontal and vertical line segments that simulate a diagonal. At lower resolutions, this will produce a stair-stepped effect known as aliasing. Anti-aliasing reduces this effect, helping to produce smoother diagonal lines by partially filling in or blurring the hard edges.

Aqueous Coating
Coating in a water base and applied like ink by a printing press to protect and enhance the printing underneath.

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

Author's Alterations (AA's)
At the proofing stage, changes that the client requests to be made concerning original art provided. AA's are normally considered an additional cost to the client.


Base Art
Copy pasted up on the mounting board of a mechanical, as compared to overlay art.

Baseline Shift
To move a selected character up or down relative to the baseline of the surrounding text. This option is especially useful when hand-setting fractions or adjusting the position of inline graphics.

Base Negative
Negative made by photographing base art.

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 known as ream weight and substance weight (sub weight). In countries using ISO paper sizes, the weight, in grams, of one square meter of paper. Also known as grammage and ream weight.

The joining of leafs or signatures together with either wire, glue, thread or other means.

Usually a department within a printing company responsible for binding, collating, folding, forming nd trimming various printing projects.

Rubber-coated pad, mounted on a cylinder of an offset press, that receives the inked image from the plate and transfers it to the surface to be printed.

Printing that extends to the edge of a sheet or page after trimming.

Bleed Marks
Added fine (hairline) rules that define the amount of extra area to image outside the defined page size.

Blind Folio
A page number not printed on the page.

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

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

An enlargement, usually used with graphic images or photographs

Prepress photographic proof made from stripped negatives where all colours show as blue images on white paper. Because 'blueline' is a generic term for proofs made from a variety of materials having identical purposes and similar appearances, it may also be called a blackprint, blue, blueprint, brownline, brownprint, diazo, dyeline, ozalid, position proof, silverprint, Dylux and VanDyke.

Commentary of an author or book content on the book jacket.

Board Paper
General term for paper over 110# index, 80# cover or 200 gsm that is commonly used for products such as file folders, displays and post cards. Also known as paperboard.

The main text of work not including the headlines.

Boiler Plate
Blocks of repetitive type used and copied over and over again.

Bond paper
Category of paper commonly used for writing, printing and photocopying. Also known as business paper, communication paper, correspondence paper and writing paper.

Book Block
Folded signatures gathered, sewn and trimmed, but not yet covered.

Book Paper
Category of paper suitable for books, magazines, catalogs, advertising and general printing needs. Book paper is divided into uncoated paper (Also known as offset paper), coated paper (Also known as art paper, enamel paper, gloss paper and slick paper) and text paper.

A repeating registration problem in the printing stage of production.

The term used to indicate work printed on one of a large sheet of paper.

The effect produced by dusting wet ink after printing and using a metallic powder.

Build a Colour
To overlap two or more screen tints to create a new colour. Such an overlap is called a build, colour build, stacked screen build or tint build.

A dot or similar marking to emphasize text.

Burst Perfect Bind
To bind by forcing glue into notches along the spines of gathered signatures before affixing a paper cover. Also known as burst bind, notch bind and slotted bind.

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

A sequence of eight bits and can represent one alphabetic character or two number digits.


C1S and C2S
Abbreviations for coated one side and coated two sides.

Camera-ready Copy
Mechanicals, photographs and art fully prepared for reproduction according to the technical requirements of the printing process being used. Also known as finished art and reproduction copy.

Carbonless Paper
Paper coated with chemicals that enable transfer of images from one sheet to another with pressure from writing or typing.

Selling unit of paper weighing approximately 150 pounds (60 kilos). A carton can contain anywhere from 500 to 5,000 sheets, depending on the size of sheets and their basis weight.

Covers and spine that, as a unit, enclose the pages of a casebound book.

Case Bind
To bind using glue to hold signatures to a case made of binder board covered with fabric, plastic or leather. Also known as cloth bind, edition bind, hard bind and hard cover.

Cast-coated Paper
High gloss, coated paper made by pressing the paper against a polished, hot, metal drum while the coating is still wet.

Catalog Paper
Coated paper rated #4 or #5 with basis weight from 35# to 50# (50 to 75 gsm) commonly used for catalogs and magazines.

Chain Lines
(1) Widely spaced lines in laid paper.
(2) Blemishes on printed images caused by tracking.

Deterioration of a printed image caused by ink that absorbs into paper too fast or has long exposure to sun, and wind making printed images look dusty. Also known as crocking.

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 known as shrink and skinny.

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

International Cooperation for Integration of Pre-press, Press and Post-press.

Clipping Path
A silhouette of an area that serves as a mask. Only that portion within the clipping path (mask) appears when placed into another application or combined with another image. The area outside the clipping path becomes transparent.

Close Up
A mark used to indicate closing space between characters or words. Usually used in proofing stages.

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 centimeter).

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 matt.

To organize printed materials 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 Bar
Strip of small blocks of colour on a proof or press sheet to help evaluate features such as density and dot gain.

Colour Blanks
Press sheets printed with photos or illustrations, but without type. Also known as shells.

Colour Break
In multicolour printing, the point, line or space at which one ink colour stops and another begins. Also known as break for colour.

Colour Cast
Unwanted colour affecting an entire image or portion of an image.

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

Colour Curves
Instructions in computer software that allow users to change or correct colours. Also known as HLS and HVS tables.

Colour Gamut
The entire range of hues possible to reproduce using a specific device, such as a computer screen, or system, such as four-colour process printing.

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

Colour Model
Way of categorizing and describing the infinite array of colours found in nature.

Color Management System (CMS)
A set of computer programs used to accurately translate color calibration. It ensures consistent color from prepress through print production by calibrating color between scanners, monitors, imagesetters, proofers, printers and other devices in the workflow process.

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.

Colour Sequence
Order in which inks are printed. Also known as 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 to perform colour separations.

Comb Bind
To bind by inserting the teeth of a flexible plastic comb through holes punched along the edge of a stack of paper. Also known as plastic bind and GBC bind.

Complementary Flat(s)
The second or additional flat(s) used when making composite film or for two or more burns on one printing plate.

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 known as 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.

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.

The degree of tones in an image ranging from highlight to shadow.

Paper that protects a printed publictation. Covers are often described as follows: Cover 1=outside front; Cover 2=inside front; Cover 3=inside back, Cover 4=outside back.

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

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

Coarse cloth embedded in the glue along the spine of a book to increase strength of binding. Also known as gauze, mull and scrim.

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

Crop Marks
Lines near the edges of an image indicating portions to be reproduced. Also known as cut marks and tic marks.

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

Computer-to-plate. A technology which involves the laser exposure of a printing plate, without the use of a film intermediate. This can be done on-press and off-press, and may not involve a plate processor.

To dry inks, varnishes or other coatings after printing to ensure good adhesion and prevent setoff.

Circumference of the impression cylinder of a web press, therefore also the length of the printed sheet that the press cuts from the roll of paper.

Cut Sizes
Paper sizes used with office machines and small presses.

Cutting Machine
A machine that cuts stacks of paper to desired sizes.

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


To press an image into paper so it lies below the surface.

Instrument used to measure density.

(1) For ink, the relative thickness of a layer of printed ink.
(2) For colour, the relative ability of a colour to absorb light reflected from it or block light passing through it.

Density Range
Difference between the darkest and lightest areas of copy. Also known as contrast ratio, copy range and tonal range.

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.

Device Independent Colours
Hules identified by wavelength or by their place in systems such as developed by CIE. 'Device independent' means a colour can be described and specified without regard to whether it is reproduced using ink, projected light, photographic chemistry or any other method.

Device for cutting, scoring, stamping, embossing and debossing.

Die Cut
To cut irregular shapes in paper or paperboard using a die.

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

Diffusion Transfer
Chemical process of reproducing line copy and making halftone positives ready for paste-up.

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.

Direct 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.

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 known as dot growth, dot spread and press gain.

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 known as dot pitch.

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

Double Burn
To expose film or a plate twice to different negatives and thus create a composite image.

Double Dot Halftone
Halftone double burned onto one plate from two halftones, one shot for shadows, the second shot for midtones and highlights.

Printing defect appearing as blurring or shadowing of the image. Doubling may be caused by problems with paper, cylinder alignment, blanket pressures or dirty cylinders.

Considered as "dots per square inch," a measure of output resolution in relationship to printers, imagesetters and monitors.

Sample of inks specified for a job applied to the substrate specified for a job. Also known as pulldown.

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

Dropout Halftone
Halftone in which contrast has been increased by eliminating dots from highlights.

Drum Scanners
A large high-quality digital image scanner. Drum scanners require the source image to be wrapped around a drum to be scanned, which limits their utility to photographs and similar paper or film-based images. They can, however, produce very high-quality images suitable for professional printing reproduction.

Dry Back
Phenomenon of printed ink colours becoming less dense as the ink dries.

Dry Offset
Using metal plates in the printing process, which are etched to .15mm (.0006 in) creating a right reading plate, printed on the offset blanket transferring to paper without the use of water.

Dry Trap
To print over dry ink, as compared to wet trap.

Desktop Publishing - The use of personal computers, or workstations, to design and produce digital documents that are output to paper, film or plates. Can be used to design products of any type.

Dual-purpose Bond Paper
Bond paper suitable for printing by either lithography (offset) or xerography (photocopy). Abbreviated DP bond paper.

Dull Finish
Flat (not glossy) finish on coated paper; slightly smoother than matt. Also known as suede finish, velour finish and velvet finish.

Simulation of the final product. Also known as mock-up.

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

Duplex Paper
Thick paper made by pasting highlights together two thinner sheets, usually of different colours. Also known as double-faced paper and two-tone paper.

Brand name for photographic paper used to make blue line proofs. Often used as alternate term for blueline.


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

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 known as E up/down and face down/face up.

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

Scrambling of data being transmitted over the Internet in order to prevent anyone but the intended recipient from reading it. On the receiving end, the data must be decoded to return it to its original condition.

Gluing sheets of paper folded once only to the first and last section of a book.

End Sheet
Sheet that attaches the inside pages of a case bound book to its cover. Also known as pastedown or end papers.

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

Abbreviation for envelope.

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

Price that states what a job will probably cost. Also known as bid, quotation and tender.

The individual performing or creating the "estimate."

To use chemicals and light to carve an image into metal, glass or film.

A network technology used in local area networks (LAN) and wide area networks (WAN). Ethernet is a networking cabling system that transmits data at high speeds. Standard Ethernet (10 Base-T) transmits at 10 Mbps. Fast Ethernet (100 Base-T) transmits at 100 Mbps and requires Fiber Optics transmission.


Farm Out
To subcontract for a service that is closely related to the business of the organization. Also known as outsource.

Fake Duotone
Halftone in one ink colour printed over screen tint of a second ink colour. Also known as dummy duotone, dougraph, duplex halftone, false duotone, flat tint halftone and halftone with screen.

Feeding Unit
Component of a printing press that moves paper into the register unit.

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

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 or matt.

Final Proof
The last proof showing that is reviewed, approved, and signed and then sent to the printer.

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

Fine Screen
Screen with ruling of 150 lines per inch (80 lines per centimeter) 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 known as 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.

Flatbed scanners
Scanning device that incorporates a flat transparent plate, on which original images are placed for scanning. The scanning process is linear rather than rotational.

Flat Colour
(1) Any colour created by printing only one ink, as compared to a colour created by printing four-colour process. Also known as 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 known as aniline printing because flexographic inks originally used aniline dyes. Abbreviated flexo.

To print a sheet completely with an ink or varnish.

Flush Cover
Cover trimmed to the same size as inside pages, as compared to overhang cover. Also known as cut flush.

Leaf, at the front and back of a casebound book that is the one side of the end paper not glued to the case.

Fogging Back
Used in making type more legible by lowering density of an image, while allowing the image to show through.

Foil Emboss
To foil stamp and emboss an image. Also known as heat stamp.

Foil Stamp
Method of printing that releases foil from its backing when stamped with the heated die. Also known as 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.

Gatefold sheet bound into a publication. Also known as gatefold and pullout.

Folio (page number)
The actual page number in a publication.

A complete set of upper and lower case alphabets, numerics, punctuation marks, and symbols of one specific typeface, size, and style.

Font Family
All the fonts in one typeface. Includes bold and italic fonts and other weights available in that typeface plus a range of sizes.

Each side of a signature.

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

Form bond
Lightweight bond, easy to perforate, made for business forms. Also known as register bond.

Form Roller
Roller that come in contact with the printing plate, bringing it ink or water.

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.

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

Trough or container, on a printing press, that holds fluids such as ink, varnish or water. Also known as duct.

Fountain Solution
Mixture of water and chemicals that dampens a printing plate to prevent ink from adhering to the nonimage area. Also known as dampener solution.

Four-colour Process Printing
Technique of printing that uses black, magenta, cyan and yellow to simulate full-colour images. Also known as colour process printing, full colour printing and process printing.

For Position Only. A low resolution image placed in a document to indicate where the final version is to be positioned.

File Transfer Protocol. A protocol used to transfer files over a TCP/IP network (Internet, Unix, etc.). FTP includes functions to log onto the network, list directories and copy files. It can also convert between the ASCII and EBCDIC character codes. FTP normally requires a user ID and possibly a password to gain access.

Full-range Halftone
Halftone ranging from 0 percent coverage in its highlights to 100 percent coverage in its shadows.

Full-scale Black
Black separation made to have dots throughout the entire tonal range of the image, as compared to half-scale black and skeleton black. Also known as full-range black.


(1) To halftone or separate more than one image in only one exposure.
(2) To reproduce two or more different printed products simultaneously on one sheet of paper during one press run. Also known as combination run.

Gate Fold
A sheet that folds where both sides fold toward the gutter in overlapping layers.

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

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.

Gold leafing the edges of a book.

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.

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

Grain Direction
Predominant direction in which fibers in paper become aligned during manufacturing.

Grain Long Paper
Paper whose fibers run parallel to the long dimension of the sheet. Also known as long grain paper and narrow web paper.

Grain Short Paper
Paper whose fibers run parallel to the short dimension of the sheet. Also known as short grain paper and wide web paper.

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 Arts Film
Film whose emulsion yields high contrast images suitable for reproduction by a printing press, as compared to continuous-tone film. Also known as litho film and repro film.

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

Method of printing using metal cylinders etched with millions of tiny wells that hold ink.

Gray Balance
Printed cyan, magenta and yellow halftone dots that accurately, reproduce a neutral gray image.

Gray Component Replacement
Technique of replacing gray tones in the yellow, cyan and magenta films, made while colour separating, with black ink. Abbreviated GCR. Also known as achromatic colour removal.

Gray Levels
Number of distinct gray tones that can be reproduced by a computer.

Gray Scale
Strip of gray values ranging from white to black. Used by process camera and scanner operators to calibrate exposure times for film and plates. Also known as step wedge.

Approximately 1/8 inch (3 mm) along the spine that is ground off gathered signatures before perfect binding.

Gripper Edge
Edge of a sheet held by grippers on a sheetfed press, thus going first through the press. Also known as 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.

The unit of measurement for paper weight (grams per square meter).

In books, the inside margins toward the back or the binding edges.


Half-scale Black
Black separation made to have dots only in the shadows and midtones, as compared to full-scale black and skeleton black.

(1) To photograph or scan a continuous tone image to convert the image into halftone dots.
(2) A photograph or continuous-tone illustration that has been halftoned and appears on film, paper, printing plate or the final printed product.

Halftone Screen
Piece of film or glass containing a grid of lines that breaks light into dots. Also known as contact screen and screen.

Halo Effect
Faint shadow sometimes surrounding halftone dots printed. The halo itself is also known as a fringe.

Hard Dots
Halftone dots with no halos or soft edges, as compared to soft dots.

At the top of a page, the margin.

Imposition with heads (tops) of pages facing tails (bottoms) of other pages.

Spot or imperfection in printing, most visible in areas of heavy ink coverage, caused by dirt on the plate or blanket.

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.

Abbreviation for hue, lightness, saturation, one of the colour-control options often found in software, for design and page assembly. Also known as HVS.

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.


"International Colour Consortium". A consortium of companies that defined the open standard for creating colour management profiles used for converting colours in the RGB medium to the CMYK medium, to ensure that the colours on the RGB medium remains the same when converted to the CMYK medium.

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

Laser output device using photosensitive paper or film.
Arrangement of pages on mechanicals or flats so they will appear in proper sequence after press sheets are folded and bound.

(1) Referring to an ink colour, one impression equals one press sheet passing once through a printing unit.
(2) Referring to speed of a press, one impression equals one press sheet passing once through the press.

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

To print new copy on a previously printed sheet, such as imprinting an employee's name on business cards.

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

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.

Inner Form
Form (side of the press sheet) whose images all appear inside the folded signature, as compared to outer form.

Within a publication, an additional item positioned into the publication loose (ie. not bound in).

Intaglio Printing
Printing method whose image carriers are surfaces with two levels, having inked areas lower than noninked areas. Gravure and engraving are the most common forms of intaglio. Also known as recess printing.

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

IP Address
The 32-bit numeric representation of the location or address of a device on the Internet. The unique address is assigned to client and server computers, which allows them to be connected to a TCP/IP network to access the Internet. The format of the address is 4 numbers separated by periods such as It is also known as a dot address, host address, Internet address, or network address.

A number assigned to a published work and usually found either on the title page or the back of the title page. Considered an International Standard Book Number.

A standard for the digital transmission over telephone lines.

Industry standard colour reference target used to calibrate input and output devices.


The outer wrapping or casing for a case book.

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


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

(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.'

Lines on a mechanical or negative showing the exact size, shape and location of photographs or other graphic elements. Also known as holding lines.

Key Negative or Plate
Negative or plate that prints the most detail, thus whose image guides the register of images from other plates.

Kiss Die Cut
To die cut the top layer, but not the backing layer, of self-adhesive paper. Also known as face cut.

Kiss Impression
Lightest possible impression that will transfer ink to a Substrate.

An opening, left in a printed area, in which a figure or photograph may be placed. Reversing type or art out of the background so that when the type or art is printed in that area, it will not interfere with the color to be achieved.

Kraft Paper
Strong paper used for wrapping and to make large envelopes.


Laid Finish
Finish on bond or text paper on which grids of parallel lines simulate the surface of handmade paper. Laid lines are close together and run against the grain; chain lines are farther apart and run with the grain.

Local Area Network. A network of computers that are physically linked together on a single site without the use of telephone lines of any sort. Typically, a LAN requires the installation of specialised hardware.

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

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

Lap Register
Register where ink colours overlap slightly, as compared to butt register.

Laser Printer
A printer that uses a laser beam to create an image on a drum by the use of electrostatic printing technology. The image is created from digital files.

Lay Flat Bind
Method of perfect binding that allows a publication to lie fully open.

Lay Edge
The edge of a sheet of paper feeding into a press.

A sample of the original showing position of printed work needed with directions and instructions.

Amount of space between lines of type.

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

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

Letter Paper
In North America, 8 1/2' x 11' sheets. In Europe, A4 sheets.

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

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

Line Negative
Negative made from line copy.

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

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.

Live Area
Area on a mechanical within which images will print. Also known as safe area.

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

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 known as first proof, random proof, scatter proof and show-colour proof.

Lens built into a small stand. Used to inspect copies, films, proofs, plates and prints. Also known as glass and linen tester.

Low Key Photo
Photo whose most important details appear in the shadows.

Lines per inch. The number of lines of dots per inch in a halftone screen or linescreen. A screen with a higher lpi, such as 200 lpi has many smaller dots which provide finer detail and sharper image clarity. The LPI of a halftone screen is also called frequency.


One of the four process colours.

(1) All activities required to prepare a press or other machine to function for a specific printing or binding job. Also known as setup.
(2) Paper used in the makeready process at any stage in production. Makeready paper is part of waste or spoilage.

Make 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 known as force card.

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

Imprinted space around the edge of the printed material.

Instructions written usually on a draft or mock-up.

To combine two or more collated piles together.

To prevent light from reaching part of an image, therefore isolating the remaining part. Also known as knock out.

Metallic Ink
Printing inks which produce a gold, silver, or bronze effect.

Match Print
A form of a four-colour-process proofing system.

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

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 known as 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.

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.

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

A reproduction of the original printed matter which may contain instructions or directions.

Undesirable pattern resulting when halftones and screen tints are made with improperly aligned screens, or when a pattern in a photo, such as a plaid, interfaces with a halftone dot pattern.

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

Spotty, uneven ink absorption. Also known as sinkage. A mottled image may be called mealy.

A specific type of glue used for books binding and personal pads needing strength.

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

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


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

Negative Film
Film that allows light from passing through images, as compared to positive film that prevents light to pass through.

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

Neutral Gray
Gray with no hue or cast.
News Print
Paper used in printing newspapers.

Newton Ring
Flaw in a photograph or halftone that looks like a drop of oil or water.

In the book binding process, a stage where air is expelled from its contents at the sewing stage.
Nonimpact Printing
Printing using lasers, ions, ink jets or heat to transfer images to paper.

Nonreproducing Blue
Light blue that does not record on graphic arts film, therefore may be used to preprint layout grids and write instructions on mechanicals. Also known as blue pencil, drop-out blue, fade-out blue and nonrepro blue.


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

(1) Characteristic of paper or other substrate that prevents printing on one side from showing through the other side.
(2) Characteristic of ink that prevents the substrate from showing through.

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

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

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.

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

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 known as celluloid proof and layered proof.

To print one image over a previously printed image, such as printing type over a screen tint. Also known as surprint.


One side of a leaf in a publication.

Page Count
Total number of pages that a publication has. Also known as extent.

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

In the book arena, the numbering of pages.

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.

One page of a brochure, such as one panel of a rack brochure. One panel is on one side of the paper.

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

Parent Sheet
Any sheet larger than 11' x 17' or A3.

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 format developed by Adobe Systems. It can capture formatting information from many publishing applications. This makes it possible to send a formatted document to a computer screen or printer and have it look exactly the way in which it was created. You need Acrobat Reader to read PDF files.

Proofreader mark meaning printer error and showing a mistake by a typesetter, prepress service or printer as compared to an error by the customer.

Perfect Bind
To bind sheets that have been ground at the spine and are held to the cover by glue. Also known as adhesive bind, cut-back bind, glue bind, paper bind, patent bind, soft bind and soft cover.

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

Perf Marks
On a mock-up marking where the perforation is to occur.

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.

A unit of measure in the printing industry. A pica is approximately 0.166 in. There are 12 points to a pica.

Engraving done using photochemistry.

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

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.

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

Pickup Art
Artwork, used in a previous job, to be incorporated in a current job.

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

Pin Register
Technique of registering separations, flats and printing plates by using small holes, all of equal diameter, at the edges of both flats and plates.

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

Planographic Printing
Printing method whose image carriers are level surfaces with inked areas separated from noninked 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.

Plate-ready Film
Stripped negatives or positives fully prepared for platemaking.

(1) Regarding paper, a unit of thickness equating 1/1000 inch. (2) Regarding type, a unit of measure equaling 1/12 pica and .013875 inch (.351mm).

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

Position Stat
Photocopy or PMT of a photo or illustration made to size and affixed to a mechanical.

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

Post Bind
To bind using a screw and post inserted through a hole in a pile of loose sheets.

A page description language developed by Adobe Systems. This is a language used for printing documents on laser printers and other output devices, such as imagesetters. PostScript is an object-oriented language which means it treats images, fonts, and graphics as geometrical objects rather than as bitmaps. It allows output devices from different manufacturers, that would not normally read a file in the same way, to read and print the file basically the same.

Preflight Check
The evaluation, during the digital pre-press stage, of an electronic file to determine if all the elements necessary to print from it have been included and are useable.

Processes performed on a printing order before it is printed. These include camera work, scanning, colour separations, imaging, stripping, platemaking and other prepress functions.

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

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

Press Check
Event at which makeready sheets from the press are examined before authorizing full production to begin.

Press Proof
Proof made on press using the plates, ink and paper specified for the job. Also known as 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.

Price Break
Quantity at which unit cost of paper or printing drops.

Primary Colour
A color that is the basis for all other color combinations. The primary colors are Red, Green and Blue (RGB) in light; Cyan, Magenta and Yellow (CMY) in color photographic printing.

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.

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
A thin object (plate) made of either metal or paper which is light sensitive and causes an image to be transferred to paper while on a printing press. The image is burned onto the plate by the use of high intensity light. The surface of the plate is treated or configured so that only the printing image is receptive to the ink which transfers to the printed object

Printing Unit
Assembly of fountain, rollers and cylinders that will print one ink colour. Also known as colour station, deck, ink station, printer, station and tower.

Process Colours
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.

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

Proofreader Marks
Standard symbols and abbreviations used to mark up manuscripts and proofs. Also known as 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 known as percentage wheel, proportion dial, proportion wheel and scaling wheel.

Proprietary System
A term used typically to describe vendor-specific a database management system, characterised by a "non-open" architecture. The system relies on applications from a single vendor, and applications access the system through closed application programming interface, thus making it difficult to integrate with components from other vendors.

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


(1) Sheet folded twice, making pages one-fourth the size of the original sheet. A quarto makes an 8-page signature.
(2) Book made from quarto sheets, traditionally measuring about 9' x 12'.

Price offered by a printer to produce a specific job.


Raster Image Processor (RIP)
A hardware device or program that translates electronic file data (PostScript) for the bitmapped image of text and graphics and then converts the data into dot patterns that can be understood by the output device.

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

500 sheets of paper.

Register Marks
Cross-hair lines on mechanicals and film that help keep flats, plates, and printing in register. Also known as 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.

Remote Proofing
Digitally transmitting a file of a proof to an outside location so that the proof can be output at that location for approval.

Sharpness of an image on film, paper, computer screen, disc, tape or other medium.

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

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 known as knockout and liftout.

Abbreviation for the three colours, red, green and blue, which are the primary colours that are mixed to display the colours of pixels on a computer monitor.

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.

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

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

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

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 known as press layout, printer's layout and ruleout.


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

Satin Finish
Alternate term for dull finish on coated paper.

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

To digitize an image by passing it through a device that can read text or illustrations printed on paper and translate the information into a form the computer can use.

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

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 known as screen percentage.

Screen Printing
Method of printing by using a squeegee to force ink through an assembly of mesh fabric and a stencil. Also known as silkscreen printing.

Screen Ruling
Number of rows or lines of dots per inch or centimeter in a screen for making a screen tint or halftone. Also known as line count, ruling, screen frequency, screen size and screen value.

Screen Tint
Colour created by dots instead of solid ink coverage.

An undesirable effect showing unwanted ink spots on in the non-image area. This happens if the printing plate is not able to separate the ink effectively from non-printing areas of the plate. Reasons are mostly too high machine temperature, too high ink volume, too low ink viscosity or wrong adjustment of rollers.

Secondary Colour
The color produced when equal amounts of two primary colors are mixed. An example of an additive secondary color would be when you have 100% red light and 100% green light which produce the additive secondary color, yellow. An example of a subtractive secondary color would be when you mix equal amounts of the subtractive primary colors, cyan and yellow, which produces the subtractive secondary color, green.

Self Cover
A publication not having a cover stock. (a publication only using text stock throughout)

Self Mailer
A printed item independent of an envelope.

Separated Art
Art with elements that print in the base colour on one surface and elements that print in other colours on other surfaces.

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.

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.

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 known as work and back.

Allowance, made during paste-up or stripping, to compensate for creep. Creep is the problem; shingling is the solution. Also known as stair stepping and progressive margins.

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

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

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

Soft Dots
Halftones dots with halos.

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.

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.

Instrument used to measure the index of refraction of colour.

Specular Highlight
Highlight area with no printable dots, thus no detail, as compared to a diffuse highlight. Also known as catchlight and dropout highlight.

Back or binding edge of a publication.

Spiral Bind
To bind using a spiral of continuous wire or plastic looped through holes. Also known as wire-o binding.

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.

Two pages that face each other and are designed as one visual or production unit.

Standard Viewing Conditions
Background of 60 percent neutral gray and light that measures 5000 degrees Kelvin the colour of daylight on a bright day.

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

A word used by proof readers to signify that something once erased, or marked for omission, is to remain as it was.

Stochastic Screening
Images are converted into screens digitally made up of very small dots which are equal in size, but of variable spacing. An alternative to conventional screening that separates an image into very fine, randomly placed microdots, rather than a grid of geometrically aligned halftone cells. The variable dot pattern eliminates many of the moiré patterns and allows for more than four colours to be used to represent an image. This is the primary aspect of high-fidelity printing.

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

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.

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 known as film assembly and image assembly.

A variant of the basic type face, example like Italic, Bold, Strikethrough or Outline. A character style is a collection of character formatting attributes that can be applied to a selected range of text. A paragraph style includes both character and paragraph formatting attributes, and can be applied to a selected paragraph or range of paragraphs. Character styles can be used to set some character attributes while leaving other attributes unchanged.

Substance Weight
Alternate term for basis weight, usually referring to bond papers.

Stumping (Blocking)
Hot die, foil or other means in creating an image on a case bound book.

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
Groundwood paper made using alternating chrome and fiber rollers that makes a very smooth, thin sheet of paper used mainly for advertising flyers and magazines. Abbreviated SC paper.

Taking an already printed matter and re-printing again on the same.

Specifications for Web Offset Publications, which are the specifications recommended for web printing of publications. A set of guidelines that specify color standards, film densities, screen rulings, reverses, overprinted type, proofing, color bars, and proofing stock for printing web offset publications. These guidelines have been set up to promote uniform communication throughout the different areas of the publishing process to strive for quality color in web offset publications.


One half the size of a broadsheet.

Tagged Image File Format
Computer file format used to store images from scanners and video devices. Abbreviated TIFF.

Target Ink Densities
Densities of the four process inks as recommended for various printing processes and grades of paper. See also Total Area Coverage.

Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol. A set of rules governing the reliable transfer of data between computers on the Internet.

A standard layout concerning a printing project's basic details with regards to its dimensions.

Text Paper
General term to describe the type of paper suitable for printing, (except newsprint and bristol), especially offset printing. Text paper can have many different finishes and may be coated or uncoated. It is good for 2-sided printing and is also characterized by excellent folding qualities and durability. Also known as book paper.

Text wrap
The technique of flowing text around graphic elements.

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

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

Tip In
Adding an additional page(s) beyond the normal process (separate insertion).

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

Total Area Coverage
Total of the dot percentages of the process colours in the final film. Also known as density of tone, 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 known as kiss plate.

Positive photographic image on film allowing light to pass through. Also known as chrome, colour transparency and tranny. Often abbreviated TX.

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.

The overlapping of adjoining colors or ink to help prevent the possibility of a fine white area showing between colours due to misregistration of colour negatives or due to normal variations on the press.

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).


Uncoated Paper
Paper that has not been coated with clay. Also known as offset paper.

Undercolour Addition
Technique of making colour separations that increases the amount of cyan, magenta or yellow ink in shadow areas. Abbreviated UCA.

Undercolour Removal
Technique of making colour separations such that the amount of cyan, magenta and yellow ink is reduced in midtone and shadow areas while the amount of black is increased. Abbreviated UCR.

Universal Copyright Convention (UCC)
A system to protect unique work from being reproduced. To qualify, one must register their work and publish a © indicating registration.

Unsharp Masking
Technique of adjusting dot size to make a halftone or separation appear sharper (in better focus) than the original photo or the first proof. Also known as edge enhancement and peaking.

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 Coating
Liquid applied to a printed sheet, then bonded and cured with ultraviolet light.


The shade (darkness) or tint (lightness) of a colour. Also known as brightness, lightness, shade and tone.

Liquid applied as a coating for protection and appearance.

Vellum Finish
A rough and toothy finish.

Viewing Booth
Small area or room that is set up for proper viewing of transparencies, colour separations or press sheets.

Vignette Halftone
Halftone whose background gradually and smoothly fades away. Also known as degrade.

Virgin Paper
Paper made exclusively of pulp from trees or cotton, as compared to recycled paper.

Volatile Organic Compounds, which include petroleum substances used in printing inks.


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.

Translucent logo in paper created during manufacturing by slight embossing from a dandy roll while paper is still approximately 90 percent water.

Web Break
Split of the paper as it travels through a web press, causing operators to rethread the press.

Web Gain
Unacceptable stretching of paper as it passes through the press.

Web Press
Press that prints from rolls of paper, usually cutting it into sheets after printing. Also known as reel-fed press.

Wet Proof
The use of a special proofing press designed for very short runs and actually printing a quantity of sheets using the real stock and real inks. This also requires producing the plates for the proofing.

Wet Trap
To print ink or varnish over wet ink, as compared to dry trap.

(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.

Wire Side
Side of the paper that rests against The Fourdrinier wire during papermaking, as compared to felt side.

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
Paper made from cooked wood fibers mixed with chemicals and washed free of impurities. Paper usually classified as calendered or supercalendered.

Work and Tumble
A printing method where different pages are assembled so that they are on one plate. One side is printed and then the sheet is turned from front to rear so that one is using the opposite edge as the gripper edge and then the second side is printed. The product is then cut apart to make two finished items.

Work and Turn
A printing method where different pages are assembled so that they are on one plate. One side is printed and then the sheet is turned over so that one is using the same gripper edge and then the second side is printed. The product is then cut apart to make two finished items.

Working Film
Intermediate film that will be copied to make final film after all corrections are made. Also known as buildups.

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

Wrong Reading
An image that is backwards when compared to the original. Also known as flopped and reverse reading.


Zero Leading
Used when there is no leading from a section, word or set of characters.

Zero point
The point at which the on-screen vertical and horizontal rulers meet at 0, the position relative to the page is changeable by the user.

A paper fold represented by back and forth folds into three panels.

Zig-zag Folding
The fanfolding used on continuous forms to convert roll paper to a continuous flat stack of forms.

To compress electronic files using the WinZIP program.

The effect of enlarging or reducing the magification on screen. Zoom in allow to see more precise details and zoom out allow to see the whole page of the layout.