A to Z of Print


Abrasion Resistance

The resistance of an ink to removal by scratching or rubbing.


The extent to which a paper will take up and hold a liquid.


The first stage of drying litho ink when printed onto a porous material.

Achromatic Printing

Where two colours are used with black rather than three.

Acid Free Paper

Paper that does not contain any acid. Precautions are taken during manufacture to eliminate any active acid that might be in the furnish, in order to increase the longevity of the finished paper.

A computer software package by Adobe used for editing PDFs.

Acrobat Distiller

Used to create PDF files from postscript. Again by Adobe.

Acrobat Reader

Software package used to view PDFs. For more information on how to download Acrobat Reader, access the Adobe site on www.adobe.com

Additive Primaries

Red, green and blue light. Mixed together in varying combinations and intensities, they can produce any other colour.

Alpha Channel

A hidden image channel in addition to the basic colour channels in an image file, which can then be used to mask parts of that image, so producing cut-outs and transparency effects.

Ambient Conditions

The conditions surrounding a particular piece of equipment, such as temperature and humidity.

AM Screening

AM (Amplitude Modulated) screening varies the size of dots to stimulate different shades of colour. This differs from FM screening where the dots remain the same size but the number of dots used varies.


The etched or knurled steel roller that transfers ink to the stereos in flexographic printing. Their surface consists of a regular pattern of cells.


Minimising the jagged, blocky visual effect produced by differently coloured adjacent areas of a digital image by creating a gradual colour transitions across the pixels between those areas.


A quality bulky paper, particularly opaque, with a rough surface finish. It can be deckle edged, and either laid or wove. A good printing surface is a feature of this grade, which is often used for more expensive books.

Anti Set-Off Spray
A device used on the delivery end of a printing machine to prevent set off projecting a fine spray, of liquid or powder, at the sheet.


Aqueous inks or other permanent records and usually subject to a specification covering strength and chemical properties. Often used for legal documents.

Archival Paper

Paper intended for permanent records and usually subject to a specification covering strength and chemical properties. Often used for legal documents.

Artificial Regeneration

Forest regeneration by sowing or planting, usually after final felling.


Original illustrative copy or typesetting, ready for reproduction.

Authors Corrections

These are changes made to the artwork by the client.


Back Up

To print on the reverse side of a printed sheet


A defect in the print of a graduated tint or solid colour.

Base Board
Board intended for coating or laminating.

Base Paper
Name given to the base sheet for off machine coating, or paper intended to be converted, e.g. by a coating process or by impregnation. The term is sometimes also used for paper to which a layer of other material (aluminium, plastics) is bonded.

Basis Weight

The weight of paper defined in grams per square meter (g/m2).

Bible Paper

Very thin printing papers. Originally made specifically for Bible and prayer books, this grade of paper is also used for other commercial purposes, such as dictionaries, where many pages are required with an overall low volume. Bible paper is also known as India paper.


The Process of holding pages together to form booklets. The are different methods including: Wiro Binding, Comb Bindind, Saddle Stitch, Perfect Binding & PUR.

A substance that will decompose as the result of action by bacteria and other living organisms.


Biological diversity in nature, at all levels of living organisms. Man influences the biodiversity mechanically through construction, cultivation and raw material supply, and chemically through (for example) municipal waste industrial emissions. Modern silviculture tries to preserve the biodiversity of nature.

Energy generated from renewable biomass i.e. living plants and plant components.

Bitmap Image
A graphic image file comprised of fixed dots. As you increase the size of the image, the number of dots remains the same, they just get bigger. Thus a bitmap is ‘resolution-dependant’.

Blade Coated Paper

Paper coated by a process in which the freshly applied wet coating is smoothed and the excess removed by a thin, flexible metal blade that bears on the coated surface.

Blanket Cylinder

The cylinder on a litho printing machine, covered with a rubber (or similar) blanket, which conveys the image from the plate to the sheet.

Blanket to Blanket Machine

A printing machine in which the blanket cylinders act as opposing impression cylinders, so allowing both sides of the web or sheet to be printed simultaneously (or perfected).


The part of a printed image beyond the area to which the finished sheet will be cut.

Blind Embossed

A logo, text or deign that has been relief stamped into a sheet of paper, onto which no printing ink has been added.


A term applied to paper above an accepted weight. The substance when paper becomes known as board varies a great deal between manufacturers and can vary from as low as 180 g/m2 to as high as 250 g/m2. The lower substance definition usually refers to boards in the graphic sector.

Book Jacket Paper

The term applied to the printed dust cover or wrapper used to cover books or similar publications; usually a high quality coated grade in the higher substance range.


A black and white positive or proof on photograph ic paper. Traditionally made by contact printing negative film onto white photographic paper (bromide paper) this term also encompasses positives made by (Contact Transfer) (CT) or photomechanical Transfer (PMT) methods. Now seldom used.


A term applied to the substance, thickness and feel of a paper

Bulky Paper

Paper that appears to be thick in relation to its grammage.

Bulk Packed on Pallets (BPOP)

A method of packing paper in which the sheets are not wrapped in parcels but stacked on the pallet, tabbed at the required intervals to indicate quantity and over wrapped.

Bull’s Eye
A flaw in print caused by dust preventing contact between the paper and the printing surface.



Computer-aided design (or drawing), a system of precision drawing on a computer typically employed by architects and engineers. Examples of CAD programs include AutoCAD and TurboCAD.


An area of computer memory which literally remembers the last thing you did- save a file, run program, apply a special affect, or whatever. This way if you need to repeat the task, it does so at high speed the second time around.


The process of adjusting the capabilities of a digital colour device to match accurate values.

Carbon Cycle
After use and recycling, wood based products such as paper decompose, releasing carbon dioxide. New forests established in place of those cut down remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Carbon Dioxide

One of the best gases in the atmosphere produced by animals and needed by plants for assimilation. Cellulose is formed from carbon dioxide and water. The use of fossil fuels raises the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere; carbon dioxide is the biggest contributor to the greenhouse effect and thus to the unwanted rise in atmospheric temperature.


This consists of two sheets of paper (also know as NCR); the underside of the top sheet (designated CB, coated back) is coated with colourless dye in minute gelatine capsules; the underneath sheet (CF, coated front) is coated with a reactive chemical which turns blue or black when mixed with the colourless dye. Pressure from a pen or printer on the top sheet causes the gelatine capsules to break, the dye and chemical then mix and the blue or black copy appears on the bottom sheet. There is also an intermediate paper CFB, coated front and back), used between the top and bottom sheets to make multi-part sets. Some types of carbonless paper are not separately coated but incorporate both [arts of the dye mechanism within the one sheet.

Cartridge Paper

Slightly rough coated or uncoated printing surfaced paper used for a variety of graphic purposes such as envelopes; generally noted for good dimensional stability, high opacity and good bulk. The name comes from the original use for the paper, which was forming the tube section of a shotgun shell.

Cast Coating
A method of drying coated paper by contact of the freshly coated surface with highly polished chromium plated heated metal surface. Cast coated papers or boards have an extremely high gloss finish for top quality printing. The finish is obtained by the coating mix solidifying while in contact with the polished surface, resulting in the surface of the paper or board possessing the mirror like quality of the surface on which it is dried.

Central Impression

A printing machine in which the printing units are placed around a single common compression cylinder.


Any product that is first shaped and then hardened by means of heat. Ceramic coated rollers, with or without engraved surfaces, are alternatives to more commonly used chromium plated anilox rollers used in flexographic printing.

Chain of Custody

Allows open transparency in tracking and tracing forest products along the supply chain from the forest to the end user. Third party environmental audits are carried out by organisations such as FSC and PEFC to endorse Chain of Custody certificates.


The ready removal, in the form of a powder, of an insufficiently bound layer of pigment on the paper surface resulting from the absorption into the paper of too high a proportion of the vehicle of an ink.

Chemical Pulp

Fibre pulp made by means of chemicals that dissolve the bonding agent- lignin- in the wood. The chemical pulping process produces all the energy it needs through burning the dissolved wood constituents and recovering and regenerating the pulping chemicals.

Chip Board

A cheap board grade usually manufactured from the lower grades of waste paper.

Clipping Path

A vector path embedded into a bitmap image, or applied to an image after placing it onto a page layout, which acts as an irregularly shaped outline for that image, so creating a cut-out.

Closed Circulation

A concept for pulp mills, the aim being to recycle and recover the waste bleaching waters. The dissolved components and recovered and do not either the effluent.


Short for the subtractive primary colours of commercial printing: cyan, magenta, yellow and black. Standard process colours in full colour printing. The “K” in CMYK stands for key because in four-color printing, cyan, magenta and yellow printing plates are carefully keyed, or aligned, with the key of the black key plate. K is also so as to not be confused with ‘blue’ as a colour.

Coated Paper or Board
 coated on one or both sides with a mixture of china clay, latex and other loadings to fill up surface pits and improve the printing surface. There are variety of coating methods including roll coating, blade coating, air knife coating and brush coating, or combinations of there types. A very high quality form of off machine coating is cast coating.

Coating (Mineral)

The application of a layer of minerals applied to one or both sides of paper or board to improve brightness, gloss and printability; the mineral most often used is china clay (hydrated aluminium silicate), but calcium carbonate and titanium dioxide are also used; the coating is held together and stuck to the paper by a binder.

Coat Weight

The amount of coating on a base expressed as dry weight on a given are in grams per square metre (g/m2).

Cobi-Flex (Multi-Flex)

Small, 1/8” wide, strips of shelf adhesive tape that holds together the several parts of a multipart continuous form. The tapes are fed through sprocket holes in the continuous set, with these sprocket holes marginally larger than the standard sprocket hole.

Cold Set Web

Printing in which the ink is allowed to dry by penetration on an absorbent paper without heat.


An optical measuring instrument designed to respond to colour in a manner similar to the human eye for a given light source.

Colour Correction

Method used to improve the reproduction of the colour original.

Colour Management

The process of matching colours and keeping them visually consistent between devices which have different colour capabilities. System used for calibrating machines to ensure accurate colour rendering throughout the workflow.

Colour Model

A definition of colour by a scale of numerically specified attributes.

Colour Separation

Dividing a continuous tone colour image into four process colours (CMYK) negatives.

Colour Space

A three-dimensional geometric representation of the colours in a certain colour model.

Colour Sync

The built-in colour management architecture in the Mac OS.


A line of printing or spaces that run down the length of a form.

Combination Plate
In flexographic printing, using the same plate to print halftones or screen tints and solid linear text copy.


Reducing the size of computer files using special data encoding techniques. Some file formats have compression built-in, such as TIFF, JPEG and PDF.

Computer Integrated Manufacturing
A process of using computers to streamline the workflow.

Computer To Plate (CTP)

Process in which printing plates are imaged from a digital file instead of using film.

Conditioned Paper
Paper that has been treated, at the mill or at the point of use, to adjust the moisture content to what is considered to be an optimum level for flatness and stability.

Continuous Stationary

A grade widely used on modern high speed accounting machines. The paper is supplied in reel form and along with the printing process many finishing techniques can be used, such as perforation and special folds. A particular use is for invoices, statements and similar documents, when it is normally fan folded.

Continuous Tone

An image in which tonal graduation is produced by changes in density.

Copier Paper

Lightweight grade of good quality, used for copying correspondence and documents. May be glazed or unglazed. Most copier papers are laser compatible and special grades are made for colour copying.


The tube on which material is wound. Usually cardboard, but may be plastic or metal.

Corrugated Fibreboard

Board consisting of one or more sheets of fluted paper stuck to a flat sheet of paper or between several sheets.
The following are the main classifications:
Single face corrugated fibreboard: Board consisting of one sheet of fluted paper stuck to one sheet of facing.
Single wall corrugated fibreboard (also known as double faced): Board consisting of one sheet of fluted paper interposed between, and stuck to, two facings.
Double wall corrugated fibreboard (also know as double-double faced): Board consisting of two sheets of fluted paper interposed between, and stuck to, three facings
Triple wall corrugated fibreboard: Board consisting of three sheets of fluted paper interposed between, and stuck to, four facings.

Cover Papers and Boards
A range of different grades that may be plain, embossed or coated and offer a very wide range of materials for printing and design. These grades may also be made into two ply or three ply papers for special cover work. Many cover papers are characterised by strength, flexibility and durability.


Where an indent is made in paper to try and stop it cracking when folded.


The normal device used in continuous multi-part forms for holding each part of the set together. The crimp is a physical interleaving of each leaf of paper that will separate easily when pulled apart.

Cross Perf

A line of perforations running across the width of a continuous form, at both the head and the foot of the form, or sometimes in the middle of the form.


The inducement of a chemical interaction within a material (e.g. an ink or adhesive) usually involving molecular cross linking, resulting in a change of the properties of the material usually hardening.


Sheet distortion leading to a tendency to roll up.

Cut Set
A multi-part business form, which is cut to a precisely required size and in an individual set (ie not continuous). (Also known as unit set; a snap apart set is a particular type of cut set.)

Cutting Ahead

Operation of slitting and cutting watermarked paper without regard to where the design falls in each sheet. The design (s) may fall in different places in successive sheets and some may be cut.

Cutting to Register

Operation of slitting and cutting watermarked paper so that the watermark design falls in a given position in every sheet.



Digital asset management storing, retrieving and managing specific items of content (e.g. stories, pictures and templates) within a workflow, for use and re-use across diverse media.


The process of applying water to the lithographic plate on a litho printing machine.

Damping Roller

The roller on a printing machine that applies the moisture direct to the printing plate.

DCS (Desktop Colour Separation)

An EPS-based image file format developed by Quark. DCS 1.0. Is a five-file format comprising four process separation files plus a low-resolution PICT preview DCS 2.0 can be used as a single or multiple-file format, containing any mix of process and spot separations, plus alpha channels.

Used to measure/monitor the density of ink when printing.


The darkness of a printed image

Desensitising Area
An area on the surface side if a CF or CFB carbonless product, which has been rendered inert to producing a carbonless copy.

Die Cuttability

Suitability of paper and board for die cutting into blanks of a given shape.

Digital Asset
Any digital media file has value, such as images, graphics, audio, video, Web designs, page layouts, text documents and marketing collateral.

Digital Asset Management

The practice of storing and retrieving digital or electronic files such as images, logos and marketing collateral in a centralised system. Particularly useful for printers who work on catalogue, brochure or corporate production.

Digital Paper

Paper specifically designed and optimised for digital technology.

Digital Printing
The printing process where an image is applied to the substrate directly from a digital file rather than using plates of film.

Digital Proofing

Ability of paper to retain its dimensions and its shape (a) despite changed in its moisture content under the influence of, for example, variations in the surrounding atmosphere, or (b) despite variations of the physical and mechanical stresses during printing and converting operations for use.

Direct Imaging (DI)

The process of directly imaging plates on press.

Direct to Plate (DTP)

see Computer to plate.

Display Papers and Boards

A wide range of coated papers and boards used for display and exhibition purposes.

DNG (Digital Negative)

Adobe’s proposed non-proprietary, industry standard format for unprocessed ‘camera RAW’ image data captured by digital cameras.


A suffix used to denote files created with the Microsoft Word word processing program.

Dot Gain

The increase in size of a dot in a tone print that takes place when it is printed, as compared with its size on the photographic positive or negative.


The appearance on a printed sheet, locally, of two non-coincidental images obtained at one impression.


To reduce the resolution size of a bitmap image by removing some of the dots and adjusting the colour of adjacent dots to maintain the integrity of the image.

Down Time

Non-productive time when a printing machine is being maintained or cleaned.


Dots per inch, a common unit of measurement to indicate the dot resolution of printers, scanners and computer displays.

Drawing Papers and Boards

These grades are manufactured from top quality pulps with special treatment of the furnish (see Cartridge). The best grades are tub sized and air dried, with sheet surfaces varying according to use.


Substances generally metallic compunds, added to an ink to increase the rate of drying by catalytic action.

Dry Coating

Coating method in which a binder is applied to the paper surface followed by dry coating pigment.

Duplex Cutting

The operation of converting a web of paper into sheets on a cutting machine equipped with two cross cut knives so that two different lengths of sheet can be cut simultaneously.

Duplex Paper and Board

Grade made from two different webs combined during the manufacturing process while still moist, without the use of adhesive. This combination may, for example, be two different webs of furnish, colour or substance.

Duplex Printing

Printing on both sides of a sheet.


Accumulation of powdered paper on the non-printing areas of a blanket.


An unprinted representation of the text pages of a book or magazine made by folding and collating sheets of the intended quality, size and grammage of paper so that an idea may be formed of the general appearance and thickness of the final result.


ECF (Elemental chlorine free)
A common definition for pulp bleached without using elemental chlorine. Originally any of the bleaching techniques for chemical pulp, when no molecular (elemental) chlorine is used.

The calculated environmental impact of a product, like paper, from raw material extraction to the disposal of the finished product, allowing for emissions into the soil, air and water caused by transport, production, conversion. Energy production, the manufacture of additives and recycling.


All living organisms- the plants, animals and microbes and their environment in a defined zone, e.g. the forest ecosystem.

Effective Resolution

The print resolution of a digital image after it has been enlarged or reduced by scaling its picture box in a page layout. Blowing up a picture box reduces the image’s effective resolution, while shrinking a picture box increases it.

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)

The electronic exchange of documents, such as invoices or purchase orders, commonly used between trading partners.


The release of impurities from a source such as industry and farming.


When a PostScript RIP or EPS export filter is written using code which impersonates PostScript, it is said to be emulated. It is generally cheaper to emulate PostScript than license the real thing from Adobe.


Dispersion of water into the ink during printing. An excess of this may cause printing difficulties.


A mixture of dampening solution is dispersed in small drops in the ink.
Characters that are printed, invariably on cheques, which contain iron, and which can be recognised by MICR automatic readers. MICR stands for Magnetic Ink Character Recognition.


Environmental non governmental organisation.

Environmental Audit

An examination of the operations of a company, organisation or authority in relation to the environment, e.g. emissions, occupational health and safety and the use of resources. It is carried out by independent, trained environmental specialists or auditors.


Encapsulated PostScript, a PostScript- based file format for pictures which can then be conveniently imported onto a page layout. EPS is most commonly used for vector graphics but has partly been superseded by PDF.


Fan Out

Widening of the paper web on the press due to dampering or printing pressure.


Resistance of colour to fading.

The light falling on an image but which does not come from the subject

Filling In

The spreading of the printed image on a sheet

Fine Paper

Fibre based paper usually containing less than 10% mechanical pulp, eg quality printing and writing paper. The point where the small unprinted spaces are obliterated.


The surface characteristics imparted to paper by mechanical means.
Flame Resistant Paper
Paper that has been given a treatment designed to give it a certain degree of non-flammability and/or of incombustibility.


Rendering layered and transparent affects in digital artwork to a single bitmap image for output. Flattening often takes place within the final RIP.

Flexographic Printing

A method of relief letterpress printing using flexible rubber or photopolymer plates on web fed rotary presses.

Fluorescent Paper

A white base paper or board coated with a mixture of fluorescent pigment and binder, the latter being used to key the former to the surface. The coating is activated by ultraviolet light, either by exposure to an ultraviolet lamp or to natural daylight.


To trim both covers and sections at the same time in binding.

Fly Sheet

A web of paper, frequently unprinted but not necessarily so, to which a form is attached for processing through continuous output printers.

Foil Blocking/Foil Stamping
The process by which extremely fine leaves of foil are impressed onto a paper, usually logos or company names.

Folding Boxboard

Although boxboards can vary in quality from grey board to high class board made from virgin fibre, the term is usually taken to mean white lined boards. They are made on multi layer machines, and the outer layers may be of different furnish to the centre layer.

Fountain Roller

The roller on a printing machine, which initiates the supply of moisture to the damping system.

Fountain Solution

Water, with additives, for application to the lithographic plate on a printing machine.

FPO (For positional only)

Referring to a low-resolution version of a digital image which can be conveniently used in page make-up and only replaced with the original high-resolution version at the output stage.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol)

The program used to transfer files through the internet from one computer to another.


The mixture of various materials blended in the stock or raw matrial from which paper and board is made. The chief constituents are wood or other pulps, sizing material, fillers, dyes and other additives.


Part of a non-impact printing system that fuses toner or powder on to paper.



The range of different colours that can be interpreted by a colour model or a specific device.

GCR (Grey Component Replacement)
The act of replacing neutral greys in an image that have been produced using a mix of process colours (cyan, magenta, yellow) with a black tint only. This reduces the amount of ink being applied to the paper in these areas while on the presses.


There are two types of ghosting:
a) An image that appears as a lighter area on a subsequent print, due to local blanket depressions from previous image areas.
b) Spoiling of a print by an image on it of work on the reverse side that has interfered with its drying, so that differences in the trapping of some colours or variations in gloss are apparent.
GIF Graphics Interchange Format
An image file format with built in compression, commonly used in web pages. Because of its 256-colour limitation and having been designed for on-screen use only GIF is not suitable for photography or press output.


Gloss can refer to the reflectivity of paper itself or to the printed result on it. Gloss of paper is measured by using a Gardner Gloss meter, which measures reflected light at an angle of 75 degrees, and is expressed in Gardner Gloss units – the higher the number, the glossier the paper surface.

Graduated Screen
A ‘screen’ is a series of ink ‘dots’, printed on to a paper, which gives the appearance of a solid colour. The depth of screen colour can be deepened by increasing the dot frequency (see dpi) or the converse. A graduated screen is one where the dpi is varied across the screen so that you get a fading/deepening effect across the printing.


Another expression of gsm or g/m squared, used to express the weight of paper or board (see g/m squared).

Graphic Design

The art of visual communication using text and graphics to promote a message. The design of logos, graphics & images to be used inbrochures, newsletters, posters, signs, TV, Web, and many other media types are all forms of graphic communication. Today’s graphic designers often use desktop publishing, photo manipulation and illustration software and techniques to achieve their goals.”

Graphic Papers

Papers for printing and writing.

Gravure Printing
Process in which recesses on a printing cylinder are filled with ink and the surplus removed by a blade. The paper contacts the cylinder and ‘lifts’ the ink from the recesses before depositing it on the paper. Generally used for long run printing, eg magazines and catalogues, because of the high cost of cylinders.

Greenhouse Effect
The natural greenhouse effect is necessary for all living species. An excessive greenhouse effect due to human activities is causing unwanted warming of the lower atmosphere. Certain gases in the atmosphere, such as carbon dioxide, do not prevent short wave solar radiation from reaching the earth; but they hinder the escape of the longer wave reflective radiation from the atmosphere. The latter thus heats the atmosphere, resulting in a greenhouse effect.


An image composed of greys as opposed to colour or purely black and white. A typical 8- bit greyscale can.

A device on a printing machine for holding the sheet during the printing or finishing process.

Gripper Allowance

The margin of paper along the gripper edge of the sheet, which is held by the grippers and which therefore cannot be printed.

Gripper Edge
The edge of the sheet presented to the gripper or on e edge of the plate that is fitted to the leading clamp of the cylinder.


Half Perf

A perforation line, usually across the form but not absolutely so, that does not cross the full dimension of the form.


Printed in colour is an illusion produced by a fine mesh of overlapping dots made up from a small number of ink primaries typically cyan, magenta, yellow and black. This mesh is known as a halftone screen, and photo images reproduced in print are commonly referred to as halftones.

Halftone Screen
A grid in which the lines and spaces are of equal thickness and equidistant, used in photographing an original for plate or block making.

The printing of irregular patterns of ink, usually to the surface of sheets of paper within a multi-part set, which render the image created unreadable- this is to ‘hide’ certain information, which is required not to be read by certain recipients of forms. (Also known as Masking, and scramble printing)

Heat Resistant Splice

A join in a reel of paper that will resist the heat of a heat set printing press.
Heat Set Ink
A printing ink intended to dry by the application of heat after printing.


Where two extra colours are added to CYMK to expand the gamut possible, green & Orange.


A spot on a printed sheet caused by dust, lint or ink imperfections; particularly noticeable on solids and halftones.


Bright tones of a positive image on film, which corresponds with the negative areas.

Hold Out
Resistance of paper to ink absorption.


A device created by recording the wave patterns and diffraction of light. Used mainly for security purposes.


Hue, saturation and brightness (or luminance), being three coordinate colour space popularised in the form of the colour wheels in Apple’s Mac operating systems.

HTML (Hypertext Mark-up Language)

The coding behind every web page. HTML is text-based and uses a system of naturally worded tags to produce web links, text presentation, page layout and picture handling.


The basic colour of an object irrespective of its lightness or saturation.

Hybrid Technology

Joining together of different technologies in one unit, such as combing flexographic and digital in one machine.
Hybrid Screening
Usually a mix of AM and FM screening technologies to improve print quality.
The non-image area on an offset printing plate that is repellent to ink.
The image area on an offset printing plate that receptive to ink.


ICC (International Color Consortium)
A body established in 1993 to standardise colour management on digital systems.

ICC Profile

Characterisation information of a device’s colour rendering and reproduction capabilities, saved as a file.

ICM (or ICM 2.0) Image Color Management

The built-in colour management architecture in MS Windows.

Image Colour Enhancement

Permits a wide range of colours to be printed beyond the four colour process.


Used to convert digital files into film.

Image Editor

Software program for opening and editing bitmap images. Popular image editors include Adobe Photoshop, Macromedia Fireworks and Jasc Paint Shop Pro.

Imitation Art Paper

Loaded with china clay and highly finished to give an art paper appearance. True art paper has a china clay coating applied to a conventional base.

Imitation Parchment

A tough greaseproof paper.

The process of placing the pages of a document into their relative positions on the printing plate, according to the size of the plate and the number of pages. The printed sheet can then be folded and trimmed and is ready for binding.

Impressed Watermark

Semi-genuine watermark made in the paper machine press section using engraved rolls while the web is still wet.

Impression Cylinder

The cylinder of a printing machine that supports one surface of the sheet to web while the other surface receives its printed image from a co-operating blanket cylinder.

Index Board

This grade is usually a pulp board manufactured with a good surface suitable for printing and writing.

Inkjet Printing

A printer that sprays drops of ink onto the substrate to form an image. Drop on demand inkjet shoots out single drops of ink, while continuous inkjet sprays a constant stream of small droplets.

Ink Fade
Variation in ink density or uneven ink film.

Ink Rub

A defect often associated with matt coated papers, in which parts of a dried ink film are removed by pressure or friction from another surface.


A synonym for colour saturation.

Integrated Mill

A mill that starts with log or wood chips and produces wood pulp, which it then processes to make paper or board without intermediate drying.

ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation)

The body responsible for framing and publishing international standards. ISO is not an acronym; it comes from the Greek word ‘isos’, meaning ‘equal’.

ISO 14001

An international environmental standard that provides a framework for the development of a management system.

ISO 9001

An international quality standard for industry defining the structure of an organisation, its obligations and authorisations, the structure of production and its ability to manufacture products or to produce services at a continuous quality level in conformity with the standard.

ISO Brightness

The brightness of paper and board measured at a wavelength of 457 nanometres under standard conditions.

Ivory Board
High quality board with a bright, clear appearance, particularly used for high class printed work.



An object-oriented programming language developed by Sun Microsystems in the early 1990s. Unlike conventional languages which are generally either designed to be compiled to native (machine) code, or interpreted from source code at runtime, Java is complied to a bytecode which is then run by a Java virtual machine.

JDF (Job Definition Format)

A digital job ticketing specification, based on XML, developed by members of the CIP4 organisation.

JPEG (or JPG) Joint Photographic Experts Group
The organisation which gave its name to an image file format with built-in compression. JPEG compression is lossy in that the higher the compression level, the more detail is lost in the image. An improved version of the JPEG format, JPEG 2000, is now becoming more widely available. See: www.jpeg.org

Job Ticket
Specifies the print job and gives all pre-press requirements, technical information, and finishing required and administrative data.



A line drawn on artwork that indicates an area for tint laying, positioning of halftones etc, where this must be done at a later stage. May be printing or non- printing.

Knocking Up
Aligning the edges of a pile of paper.


Label Papers

A large variety of body papers that are made to be gummed, or for application of a self-adhesive material.

Laid Lines
A continuous watermark consisting of very close parallel lines, generally associated with spaced lined called chain lines at right angles to them.

Laid Paper

Usually printing or writing paper with a ribbed appearance caused by the use of a wire roll or dandy roll at the wet end of the paper machine.


A converted product made by combining together suitable paper or board either with other paper or board or with other materials such as plastics or metal foil, generally by means of an adhesive, to form a product with particular qualities.


A surface coating applied after the printing process.

LAN (Local Area Network)

A collection of interconnected desktop computers and servers that share data applications.

Laser Printing

Images are produced through electronic impulses using an intense, focused beam of light.


The position of print on sheet of paper.


An overall term to describe the design of the print or artwork.

LCD Liquid Crystal Display
Flat panel screen where each pixel is comprised of liquid crystal molecules suspended between two electrodes, and two polarising filters.

LED (Light Emitting Diode)

A semi- conductor that emits a specific and narrow spectrum light. Commonly used for displays on consumer electronic equipment.

Letterpress Printing

From images with a raised surface, which are inked and impressed directly onto the surface of the material.

Light Fast

Inks that will not fade to any significant extent even after prolonged exposure to light are termed light fast.

Perception by which white tones are distinguished from grey or black, and light from dark.

Lightweight Printing Paper

Printing paper with high bulk and a grammage under 40 g/m2, used in telephone directories, sales catalogues and airmail projects.

Line Perf

A perforated line that runs along the length of a form. Usually to be used as a separate description of a perf line in the middle of the form, rather than perf lines that appear at the side of the form for detaching the sprocket punched holes (see side perfs)

Lines Per Inch (lpi)

A gauge of resolution quality.

Line Screen

Halftones were originally produced photographically by overlaying a photo print with a transparent screening sheet bearing a close mesh of ultra thin lines. The resolution of this mesh- even when created digitally- is referred to as a line screen or halftone screen.

Line Work

A printing term used to describe printing in which lines of ink, or solid blocks of ink, appear.


Surface fibres released from paper during printing.


A build up of lint on an offset blanket, often leading to hickies.

Lithographic Printing

A planographic (ie flat surface) printing process in which the non-image areas of the printing plate are made wettable and the image areas are made to repel water whilst attracting the printing medium (ink).

Long Grain
The fibres in paper naturally take up an alignment roughly parallel to the direction of travel of the web on the papermachine; this becomes the grain direction. Papers are normally stocked in long grain form, short grain being supplied to a special order. The grain direction affects the stiffness in a particular dimension and must be taken into account when planning a job that needs to be folded, as paper usually folds easier with the grain.

Look Through

The appearance of a paper when held up to transmitted light. It discloses whether the formation is even and uniform or lumpy and ‘wild’. For graphic purposes, a regular, even look through is desirable, indicating a well made, uniform sheet.

LPI (Lines Per Inch)

Being the resolution of a halftone screen.


Lightweight coated paper with a grammage below 60 g/m2.


Machine Finished (MF)

Any finish obtained on a papermachine. It can refer to either the finish on the sheet as it leaves the last drying cylinder of the machine, or the finish given to a sheet by calendaring, but on machine.

Machine Glazed (MG)
Paper that has had one side made smooth and Silky by pressing and drying in contact with a very large, heated, polished metal cylinder which forms part of the drying section of the machine. The other side of the paper remains relatively rough.

Make Up
Preparing and collecting all elements of a page including images, text, fonts, folios and graphics.

Make Ready

Time spent preparing a machine to run a specific job. The cost of this non-productive time is normally passed on to the client, unlike down time.

Magnetic Ink Character Recognition paper (MICR)

Usually a high quality bond paper with good surface characteristics and dimensional stability for printing with magnetic inks for computer sorting.

Magnetic Information System (MIS)

Computerised modules designed to streamline workflow by providing relevant real time information as a job is going through the press.


Originally paper made from pulp produced partly or entirely of Manila hemp, but now mostly composed of softwood Kraft pulp. Most frequently in industrial uses including the printing industry, especially envelopes.


An irregular pattern of ink, printed in to the second, third, fourth, or subsequent. This it so ‘hide’ information that is required not to be read by certain recipients of forms. (Also known as hatching and Scramble printing)

Matt Paper

A coated paper with a dull smooth finish

Mechanical Paper

A paper that contains a proportion of mechanically produced wood pulp. These papers enjoy good calliper, but will yellow with age and tend to be very weak. Newspapers are printed on mechanical papers.

Micro Perf

A very finely cut perforated edge, designed to stimulate affect of a guillotine cut edge. (Also known as clean edge).

Information about a digital file either attached to or embedded within the file itself. Metadata can record how and when the file was created, and by what equipment, plus details such as size, format, copyright restrictions, usage history, version, and so on.

Mill Conditioned Paper

Paper that has undergone conditioning at the mill to regulate the moisture content and prevent it warping and curling when exposed to the air.

Mini Web Reels

Paper suitable for web offset printing, sometimes coated, which is made into reels for small high speed web printing presses (maximum width about 660mm).


The appearance of a printed image out of its correct position.


An interference pattern formed when two similar grids overlap each other. If a press is slightly out of register, the halftone screens of process colour inks can conflict to produce a moiré. It’s the print equivalent of the wavy pattern seen when a man wears a striped shirt on television.

Moisture Content

The amount of moisture in paper, expressed as a percentage of its weight. A Moisture content of around 7 to 8% is recommended for printing papers.


The appearance of irregular spots or blotches in a printed area that should be even in colour.

Mould Made Originally

Paper made by hand by the traditional method of paper mould, usually from rag pulp. Today, mould made papers are high quality grades made on a cylinder mould machine, as opposed to a Fourdriner or other type of machine, and may be made with or without deckle edges.


Refers to a business form that contains more than one leaf of paper.


NCR (No Carbon Required)

This expression, which was introduced by the National Cash Register Company (which formerly owned the patents), has now been superseded by the term carbonless.


The relatively low grade paper intended for the printing of newspapers; it is mainly produced from mechanical softwood pulp and recycled fibres.

The pressure point between two rollers.

Nitrogen Emissions
Nitrogen enters a pulp or paper mill with the raw timber and some of it is emitted in effluent. Biological waste water treatment requires both phosphorus and nitrogen, so some of the nitrogen in the effluent is eliminated in biological treatment. Some of the nitrogen gets burnt with the black liquor and some in the form of nitrogen oxides with the flue gases.

Non-Renewable Resources

Oil, coal, natural gas and other sources of energy which occur naturally and cannot be replaced.


Offset Blanket

A covering for a cylinder on a printing machine for accepting the ink image and then transferring it to the surface to be printed.

Offside Lay

The edge of a printing machine opposite to side lay.

OMR (Optical Mark Recognition)

The process via which the typed or written position of ‘mark’ (ie. Simple tick or shaded out area) on piece of plate paper denotes an instruction to an electronic forms’ processing device.
On Press Proof
Sample print in a small run length to show the final printed result. Often used with the digital process.

The extent to which a paper is capable of obscuring matter printed on the other side or on an underlying page or other surface lying underneath. For example, a sheet with good opacity is one on which the printing on one side cannot be seen from the other under normal conditions. It is expressed as a percentage (%).


A cross-platform font file format developed jointly by Adobe and Microsoft. Although based on TrueType technology, OpenType can contain PostScript font data and supports an expanded character set and advanced typographic features.

OPI (Open Prepress Interface)

A computer-based system that lets you work with convenient, low-resolution positional images in your layout during document creation, and then these are automatically substituted with high-resolution versions at the point of output.

Out Work

Operations put to another company or individual for reasons of specialism or capacity.


Where translucent inks print over the top of others, so producing intermediate colour mixes. For example, to produce green with process inks, the yellow must overprint cyan.

Over Run
Sheets or copies produced in excess of the required number.


Pantone Colour

Also known as the PMS, ie Pantone Matching System. This is an ink system where eight primary colours are mixed in defined ratios to achieve a specific colour, ie if asked for PMS 357- this is a reference for specific colour, achieved by mixing three or four of the Pantone primary colours to achieve a particular shade.
Paper and Board Sizes
See end of section


A term sometimes used for lightweight boards (below 300 g/m2).


A mark placed in the paper after it has been made and not during the papermaking process. The mark can be produced through printing, chemical application or embossing. Some marks are good imitations of a watermark but are imitations.


A sheet of writing material made from animal skin, nowadays usually used to denote vegetable parchment, or parchmentised papers. These have a high resistance to the penetration of grease and atmospheric humidity.

PDF (Portable Document Format)

A cross-platform, graphically rich and self-contained document file format based on PostScript technology. PDF is increasingly becoming the file format of choice when submitting documents for press output.

An industry standard (ISO 19005-1:2005) for the long term archiving of printable documents, based on the Adobe PDF 1.4 file format.


The PDF eXchange data for mats restrict the characteristics of a PDF to production specific criteria. There are several iterations of PDF/X which are recognised international standards, and some of which are endorsed by graphic organisations, but are not official standards.


Printing both sides of the substrate at the same pass through a printing machine.

Perfect Binding
Means of binding books or magazines using adhesive.

Personalised Printing

The ability of a digital press or printer to individually personalise each sheet within a run. This can take the form of changing text, graphics or images, altering colours or typeface, and personalising the content through variable data printing.

Photo Setting
The process of composing text matter directly on to a photographic or other light sensitive material.


The rupture of the surface of paper during manufacture or printing, which occurs when en external tensile force applied to the surface (eg from an ink that is too tacky) is greater than the cohesion of the paper.


Build up of ink on transfer surfaces.


A defect in reels, consisting of ridges running around the circumference, due to moisture take up by the surface layers.


A contraction of the term picture element, a single coloured dot in a computer- based image.

Plate Break
The non-print area where the two ends of flexographic plate butt together after being wrapped around the plate cylinder on the press.

Plate Cylinder

The cylinder in a printing unit to which printing plates are fixed.


Machine that outputs plates from printing from digital data.


A chemical compound whose molecules are formed from many repeated units of one or more compounds. A plastic compound from which a particular type of printing plate is made.


The PostScript language was developed by Adobe founders John Warnock and Chuck Geshke, to provide a means of describing integrated text and graphic data as a single data stream. Together with Apple’s Macintosh computer, the

Writer print engine and Aldus’ PageMaker page layout software, PostScript was one of the foundation technologies of the desktop publishing revolution.

PPI (Pixels Per Inch)

While ‘dpi’ (dots per inch) concerns printed dots, ‘ppi’ refers to dots in a digital image on a computer screen.

Pre-Consumer Waste

Waste paper that has left the mill, but not reached the end user. This consists of printer’s and converters’ off cuts and rejects, as well as some damaged paper. It does not include mill broke.

Pre-Flight Checking

Software that allows inspection of a file to ensure that all information included is correct (i.e. fonts, image resolutions, imposition).


All the functions that take place before a job is printed such as artwork, proofing, make up.

Primary Colours
Fundamental colours which form the basis of all other colours within a colour model. Primaries cannot be broken down or produced by mixing other colours in the same model.

Print On-Demand
The ability to print the exact number of documents necessary at any required time.

Process Printing/Process Colours

Fine colour reproduction of photographs or artists work is printed via the ‘process’ method. Described simply, each photographed through red, blue, yellow and grey filters. This produces four images, which in turn leads to the production of four printing plates, one each of which will print a magenta, cyan, yellow and black image. Each colour is superimposed, on the other, to achieve a full colour effect, I colour process printing is the reproduction of artwork via four colours only.

Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification

A neutral organisation that promotes good forestry management and practice. The organisation has developed a set of strict environmental criteria to which forest owners and managers must work. A certification system means that PEFC products have been made to the highest environmental standards.

Process Colours

The subtractive primary ink colours of printing: cyan, magenta, yellow and black.


A data file which describes the measured colour capability of a digital device according to the ICC’s industry definitions of visible colour.


A pre-production print made for purpose of checking the accuracy of layout, type matter, and tone and colour reproduction.


Adobe Photoshop’s native file format. Keeping images in this native format may offer benefits (layers, editable type, transparency etc) when placing them in documents created with other Adobe software.

The generic term for the cellulose fibre material used in papermaking.


Industry standard desktop publishing application.


Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)
Allows chips, or printed circuits, to be inserted in products as a track and trace technology. Gaining an increasing use in packaging.

Rag Paper

Paper made from stock containing a substantial portion of rag pulp, which is produced chiefly from recovered cotton and linen. The minimum percentage of such pulp required for a paper to be so designated varies from country to country.

Raster Image Processor (RIP)
A device or programme that interprets a page description language containing a file’s instructions for printing. The RIP converts instructions to dot patterns, so that the printer or press can create a document.


Digital photo format captured by professional- class digital cameras. It contains unprocessed image data from the camera’s image sensor, and is proprietary to each camera.

Real Art

A generic term given to woodfree coated papers, which has traditionally referred to papers with a highly polished surface in the upper quality bracket. Today, the term is less used because of the introduction of more categories in the sector. However, Real Art is till used for those woodfree coated papers, Silk or matt, which are considered to be of the very highest quality.

Five hundred (500) sheets of paper of the same quality, size, and grammage. In earlier times, a ream could also consist of 48 or 516 sheets.


The only obstacle to the recyclability of fine paper are certain finishes, such as UV lacquering, laminating, plastic coating, pulp dyeing, self-adhesive glues, scratch finishes, plastic windows in envelopes and flexographic printing.

Recyclable Fibre

Fibre, such as waste paper, that can be used again to make new paper.
Recycled Paper
Paper made all or in part from recycled pulp.

Recycled Pulp

Pulp made from waste paper or board and used to make paper. It may or may not be de-inked. The quality of the fibres deteriorates with recycling, so paper cannot be endlessly recycled.


A continuous length of paper wound on a core, irrespective of diameter, width or weight. Reels may thus be rewound into smaller reels or slit into coils.

Reel to Reel

A machine on which the material is supplied in reel form, and comes off again in reel form.

The accurate positioning of images on a sheet relative to one another.

Register Marks
A set of fine line crosses or other suitable devices added to original artwork to provide reference points for accurate subsequent multi-colour printing or finishing processes.

Reinforced Paper

Any paper that has been strengthened mechanically by the incorporation of other materials such as plastics, threads, cloth or strips of metal.

Relative humidity (RH)
Quotient of the amount of moisture in air and the amount that would saturate it at the same temperature and pressure, expressed as a percentage. Optimum printing press conditions are 20ºC and 55 to 65% RH.


Printing method using a raised image, e.g. letterpress.

Remote Proofing

Allows print companies to send electronic files to a calibrated printer at a customer site; which are then printed as proofs.

Rendering Intent

A style of mapping colour values from one image description to another.

Renewable Resources

Forests, solar and wind energy. Resources that can be renewed (see also Non-renewable resources).

Repro (Repro Graphic)

Pre-press, camera work, scanning and make up, whether film or electronic files

Repro Paper
Sometimes known as baryta paper, this is a speciality grade (usually in substances of around 160 g/m squared and 125 g/m squared) that has a hard sized white coating and good absorbency for quick ink drying. A heavier grade is used for typesetting and line drawing in connection with lithography and is designed to give perfect print variety for subsequent camera work. It may also be used for letterpress proofing. The lighter substance paper is used for IBM setting (or similar systems of direct impression typesetting) and line ruling, the pink or blue back giving added opacity at relatively low grammage, which helps in paste up for photography and camera work.


Complex organic substances in a ink, which upon drying become the binder or film-forming materials.

A generalised term to express the density of pixels addressable by a computer imaging device (printers, scanner, camera, display), usually expressed as dots per inch (dpi)

Reversed Out Printing

Text is normally printed directly onto paper. The process of ‘reversing out’ is to print a solid block of colour while leaving the text to be read as unprinted areas on the paper, ie ‘white’ text being read on a background of solid colour – seen often in titles.

Reverse Side Printing

Printing on the underside of a leaf of paper.


Short for the additive primary colours: Red, Green and Blue.

Ribbonless Entry

Entering information on to a multi-part set by an output printer device that does not have a carbon ribbon. This is often seen in hidden entry systems or when self contained carbonless products are in use.

Rice paper
Rice paper is not actually paper but the sliced and flattened pith of a plant that grows in Taiwan. Chinese artists sometimes use it as a surface for painting.


The rigidity of a paper or board is measured using a stiffness tester. This operates by measuring the force required to bend a strip of the material to an angle of 15 degrees. The greater the force required, the more rigid the material and the higher the value.


Raster image processor (pronounced ‘rip’), the software engine that converts PostScript page data to a high resolutions bitmap for an output device.

Roll Up/Roll Back

The surface of a board delaminates and becomes a tight roll. Always occurs from an edge and usually affects bulky boards. Roll ups inevitably damage printing blankets.

A ‘row’ of text or spaces, always 1/6” in depth when continuous, that runs across the width of a form.

Run Length
The number of copies to be printed.

The ability of a paper or board to perform on a printing press or on converting machinery without problems.


Means of binding using wire for stitching.


The attribute of colour perception that expresses the amount of departure from the neutral grey of the same lightness. Also referred to as intensity/chroma.


A screen is actually a fine film on to which is printed a very fine matrix. The matrix is then laid on to a photograph that is to be printed, and the combination of photograph and overlaid screen is then photographed again by a professional printing camera, producing a photograph of ‘dots’. These dots are then ultimately the position of printing ink, which reproduces a photographic effect. Screens are also used to print ‘apparent’ solid colours on forms but which are in fact a series or print dots that stimulate solid colours. Screen matrices can vary in fineness, and are referred to as dpi – pots per inch. The finer the screen, the better quality print production. Photographs in newspapers are examples of coarse screens – say 85 dpi. Good quality magazines will use 150 to 200 dpi and can go up to 400 dpi.

Screen Ruling
The number of lines per inch (or centimetre) on a halftone or tint screen, equal to the number of dots per inch on the printed image.

Secondary Colours

Colours produced by mixing pairs of the primary colours.

Self Adhesive Paper

Used essentially for labelling purposes, this grade has a self-adhesive coating on one side and a surface suitable for printing on the other. The adheshive is protected by a laminate that enables the sheet to be fed through printing machines, the laminate subsequently being stripped when the label is applied.

Self Cover

Used when the cover of a document is made from the same paper as its text pages.

Set off

The unwanted transfer of printing ink from a printed sheet to a surface facing it.

Machine that cuts reels of paper into sheets.


Those presses or printers that run cut sheet paper rather then paper from a roll or web. Some sheetfed machines can be converted to run webs with the aid of in-line feeding equipment, which cuts the web as it feeds.

Show Through
Due to the low opacity of some papers, copy can be seen on the other side to which it was printed.

Shrink Wrap

Plastic film wrapping

Side Lay

A datum point on a printing machine for positioning correctly the side of the sheet in relation to the printed image; mechanism for moving the sheet to this point.

Side Perf

A perforated line running down the side of a continuous business form, usually 12 to 13mm in from each side of the form.
A print sheet that when folded and cut forms a group of pages. Also used to define a mark on the first and last pages of document when producing book blocks.


Single side printing.


Dividing a web of paper in the length wise direction into two or more narrower webs, an operation often carried out by converters.

Soft Perf

An old fashioned type of perforated line, a method of production irrelevant to the form usage itself.

Soft Proof

A proof that, rather than being printed onto a substrate, is transmitted to a customer’s calibrated monitor and shown on a computer screen.

Solid Emissions
The bulk of the solids emitted in pulp and paper mill effluent are clay (used as a filler), calcium carbonate and wood fibres.


The volatile liquid in which dyes and resins are dissolved and pigments are dispersed to produce printing inks.


Measurement device that determines colour value.


Joint of a web of paper in or approximately in the cross direction, made by an adhesive strip, either in order to obtain a reel of the desired length or to permit, (for example on a converting machine or roll fed press) a continuous operation between the end of one reel and the beginning of the next.

Spot Colour

Used to enable colours to be included in the print without mixing the primary colours such as PMS Spot Colours (Pantone Matching System).

Sprocket (hole)

The line of holes at each side of a continuous form to feed it through output printer devices.


An aqueous suspension of papermaking raw materials from the stage of disintegration of the pulp to the formation of the web or sheet.

Strike Through
The effect seen on the back of a sheet of paper due to excess penetration of printing ink.

Stochastic Screening

Sometimes called FM (Frequency Modulated) screening. Improves the visual quality of print by breaking up the linear placements of dots using a frequency modulator to vary positioning, thus achieving random placement within relevant colour zones.

Originally a board made from straw pulp. Now used loosely to describe a number of boards, grey or yellowish in colour, used for stiffness in envelopes, pads, book binding and other purposes.


The weight of paper or board, shown by scale taken from a sample. The weight is defined by grammage per square meter of a single sheet (g/m squared).

Subtractive Primaries
Cyan, magenta and yellow inks (dyes or pigments). Combined in the form of screened, over printing dots, they can create the illusion of other colours.

Sulphur Emissions

These cause acidification of soil and water, and are the biggest problem in making pulp by the sulphite method. Changing to the sulphate method and efficient flue gas scrubbing can significantly reduce sulphur emissions.

Sustainable Development

Keeping the overall environmental impact from operations within different areas of society within the limits of what man, society and nature can sustain in the long term.

SWOP (Specifications for Web Offset Publications)

A printing standard mainly for the US market. About to be aligned with the ISO 12647 standard.
Synthetic Paper
Paper produced by conventional means from furnishes comprising substantially or wholly synthetic fibres. Tcf (totally chlorine free) Pulp produced without any chlorine or chlorinated chemical compounds whatsoever.


Tabbed On Stationery

Sheet printed letterheads or cut set forms (whether single or multi-part), stuck on to a continuous sprocket web, for carrying the stationery through sprocket mechanism on an output printer device.


A device for measuring the rate of revolution of a shaft. Generally, in flexography, a device for measuring the speed of a web.


The property that renders a film of printing ink sticky to the touch. It is governed by viscosity and adhesion.

TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol)
A packet communications protocol for data transfer over the Internet- the glue that holds the Internet together.
Telescoped Roll
Reel of paper with progressively misaligned edge.

Thermal Paper
The base paper used for thermal papers is first pre-coated and then treated with a special emulsion containing heat sensitive modifiers, co-reactants, pigments and colour formers. The heat from a thermal head (eg in a fax machine) melts the modifier, which in turn dissolves the co-reactant that allows the colour formers and pigments to mix, producing a high contrast image on paper.

Thermographic Printing
Relief effect created by dusting a special powder onto a printed image while still wet and then passing the sheet through a heating device.


The distance between one surface of a paper and the other. Also known as calliper.


The property of an ink where its viscosity is reduced merely by agitation. Discontinuing the agitation allows the viscosity to increase again.

TIFF (or TIF) Tag Image File Format

An image file format with built- in compression and originally devised for faxes. Unlike JPEG, TIFF compression is not lossy.

Tissue Paper

Soft, lightweight paper, often creped, generally between 17 and 30g/m2.


Chemical used to create an image in photocopying and toner printing.


The area where adjacent coloured areas on printed matter are made to overlap slightly, so preventing ugly white gaps from appearing in the event of print misregistration.


An outline font standard, originally developed by Apple and licensed to Microsoft, in direct competition to Adobe’s Type 1.

TVI (Tone Value Increase)

Otherwise known as dot gain, the difference between a tone value on the print and the tone value in the data file or on the plate.


A PostScript- based outline font standard developed by Adobe to replace non-scalable bitmap fonts in the late 1980s. legacy Type 1 fonts comprise separate printer (outline) and on-screen (bitmap) font files, but the outline fonts are supported natively in Mac OS X and Windows 2000/XP/Vistra.

Twin Wire

A two ply paper or board made on a papermachine with duplicated wire parts. In this way two sheets of the same composition are formed and combined, wire side to wore side, so that the finished sheet has two identical printing surfaces.

Two Sidedness

An unintended difference of varying degree in surface texture or shade between the two faces of a paper or board, which is inherent in the method of manufacture.


UCR (Under Colour Removal)

When cyan, magenta and yellow are reduced in favour of black

Uncoated Paper

A Matte paper which has no coating on (as opposed to silk or gloss coated), it is also referred to as offset paper or bond. Copier paper is a form of uncoated paper.

Urban Forest

A description of towns and cities that are the source of waste paper as one of the raw materials used for papermaking

URL (Universal Resource Locations)

Are Internet links to content, pages or websites, on the Internet.

UV (Ultra Violet)

UV Printing is normally used on plastics whilst UV drying is used for specially formulated inks printed on non-porous substrates.


Variable Data Printing
The ability in digital printing to change each document in a run to include different text or changes, so that each is personalised/individualise (see also personalised printing).

Vector Graphic
Artwork created using an illustration program in which lines, shapes and colours are defined internally as mathematically plotted objects. As you increase the size of the graphic, the lines, shapes and colours are automatically redrawn at a higher resolution. Thus a vector graphic is resolution-independent.

Virgin Fibre

Paper or board pulp fibre being used for the first time (as opposed to recycled or secondary fibre)


WAN (Wide Area Network)

A collection of geographically spread LANs or individual users, made up of point to point leased lines or dial-up circuits.

Waste Furnish

Board or paper consisting of waste paper packaging, cardboard, or newsprint.

Water Conservation
All the measures aimed at reducing water pollution. In industry, water conservation means reducing the emissions by closing the processes and efficient treatment of effluent. Community water conservation means the effective treatment of waste water, and reduction of the spread load by, for example, reducing emissions from agriculture and airborne acidifying pollution.

Waterless Printing
Waterless printing eliminates the water dampening system. Using silicone rubber coated printing plates, special inks, and temperature control. The process is more environmentally friendly than other technologies as it saves on water, chemicals and paper.


A deliberate design or pattern in paper that visible when viewed by transmitted light or against a contrasting background, made by a dandy roll at the west end of the papermachine.


The term given to the reel of printing paper intended for use on a web, ie not sheetfed, printing press. Also used in papermaking for the continuous piece of paper that passes through all the processes of a papermachine before being wound onto the jumbo reel.

Web Presses

Those presses that run paper from a roll or web rather than sheets.

Web to Print

An automated online system that controls all administration, print management and production files for a print job and allows customers to process their print requirements over the Internet.

Wet End

The first stages of a papermachine, before the drying process, where much of the high percentage of water in the stock is eliminated by drainage, suction and pressure. A web of paper is left, which then passes to the drying cylinders.

Wet on Wet
The superimposing of successive colours while the printed colour is still wet, in one pass through a printing machine.

Wet Strength Paper

Paper treated to decrease its loss in strength on wetting.


A pulp or paper that contains no mechanical wood pulp. In commercial practise, a small percentage of mechanical fibre is usually acceptable. It does not denote a paper or pulp made from materials other than wood, neither is it a paper made without wood fibres.

Work and Tumble
Printing one side of a sheet, then turning the sheet over, retaining the same lay edge but reversing the front and back edges, and using the same printing plate.

Work and Turn

Printing one side of a sheet, then turning the sheet over, retaining the same front edge but moving the side lay edge of the sheet to the other side of the press, and using the same printing plate.


The printing process from production and pre-press through to press and finishing.



Electrostatic copying process in which toner adheres to electrostatically charge paper to produce an image.


Extensible Hypertext Mark-up Language. HTML specification defined as an XML application. As it is strictly defined in an XML, DTD, XHTML 1.0 is not susceptible to the kind of hacking, non-standard augmentation and ‘sloppy’ use that ‘straight’ HTML was in the 90s. The XHTML 1.0 standard has ‘cleaned up’ the web and provided a solid platform for future development.

Extensible Mark-up Language. A set of rules which let you define your own HTML-like mark-up tags. An XML file is therefore just a tagged-up text document which can then be imported into software programs for automated formatting and layout.


Extensible, embedded metadata standard developed by Adobe to allow enable creative software and workflow platforms to interact with digital assets in a sophisticated manner.

suffix used to denote files created with the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet program.

Part of the process set of inks (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black).

Zahn Cup
A type of cup used for measurement of the viscosity of an ink by measuring the time taken for ink to empty through a small hole in the base of the cup. A Zahn No 2 cup is usually used.