Printing Partners Glossary of Terms
Printing Partners  Printing Partners Glossary of Terms
Printing experience
Every industry has a collection of words that are unique. The printing industry is no exception.
We have gathered a group of what we consider to be the most important terms in printing and finishing. Hopefully you will find this glossary useful.

The following definitions are offered to provide a common understanding for phrases such as “we’ll print your brochure 4/4 work/turn with satin aqueous coating.”

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A/D Converter
Device or Software to convert an analog signal to a digital signal.

Abbreviation for Author's Alterations

In paper, the property which causes it to take up liquids or vapors in contact with it. In optics, the partial suppression of light through a transparent or translucent material.

Accordion Fold
A term used for two or more parallel folds which open like an accordion fold

System developed by Adobe for creating, reading and annotating documents in PDF (portable document format).

Additive Primaries
In Color Reproduction, Red, Green and Blue(RGB). When lights of these colors are added together, they produce the sensation of white light.

Additive Primary Colors
Red, blue and green; the primaries used in computer displays. All colors that can be displayed on a computer monitor are combinations of red, blue and green light emitted by phosphors coated on the inside of the tube.

Compounds that control such ink characteristics as tack, workability and drying time.

Address Service Requested
One of four ancillary service endorsements, this instructs the Postal Service to forward priority, first class and standard mail at no charge for the first 12 months. In addition, an address notification is provided to the sender. There is a charge for the address notification.

Against The Grain
Folding or feeding paper at right angles to the grain direction of the paper. Also, called Crossgrain.

In artwork, a small pressure gun shaped like a pencil that sprays watercolor pigment. Used to correct and obtain tone or graduated tone effects. In platemaking, used with an abrasive-like pumice to remove spots or other unwanted areas. In electronic imaging, a retouching technique.

Alkaline Paper
Paper made up of a synthetic alkaline size and an alkaline filler like calcium carbonate which gives the paper over four times the life(200 years) of acid-sized papers (40-50 years)

Amplitude Modulation
Halftome Screening, as opposed to FM screening, has dots of variable size with equal spacing between dot centers.

Analog Color Proof
Off-press color proof made from seperation films.

Analog Computer
A computer that solves a problem by using analogs, like voltage or denisty, of the variables in the problem.

Ancillary Service Endorsements
Four basic phrases that can be printed on the address side of your mailpiece to give the Postal Service specific instructions for how to handle your mail if it is undeliverable as addressed. These include Address Service Requested, Return Service Requested, Forward Service Requested and Change Service Requested. The endorsements are the same for all classes of mail, but the treatment and cost differ by class of mail.

Anilox Inking
In flexography, two-roll inking systemwith a smooth fountain roll that transfers ink to an etched metal or ceramic-coated metal roll with cells of fixed size and depth that transfer the ink to the plate. Also, used in keyless offset.

Announcements are used for commercial and social occasions. Commercial announcements are usually supplied with a single gummed envelope. Social announcements are typically supplied with an inside ungummed envelope and an outside gummed envelope.

Anti-halation Backing
Coating applied to the back of film to prevent halation.

Anti-offest or Setoff spray
Dry Spray of powdered starch used on press to prevent wet ink from transferring from the top of one sheet to the bottom of the next sheet.

Antique Finish
A term describing the surface, usually on book and cover papers, that have a natural rough finish.

Lens opening or lens stop expressed as an f/no. such as f/22

Color corrected lenses which focus the three colors red, green and blue, in the same plane.

Aqueous Coating
In-line flood coat of a water-soluble liquid applied to a sheet of coated paper after it has been printed. Enhances the printed images and resists fingerprints. Also enables the sheet to be handled immediately because the coating dries instantaneously. Available in gloss and satin finishes.

Argon Laser
A strong blue laser that peaks at 470 nano meters.

All illustration copy used in preparing a job for printing.

That part of a lower-case letter which rises above the main body , as in "b".

The American Standard Code for Information Interchange. Files saved in ASCII format contain text without any formatting.

Automatic Picture Replacement
The replacement of a low resolution image by a high resolution image.

Automatic Processor
In Photography, a machine to automatically develop, fix, wash and dry exposed photographic film. In Platemaking, a machine to develop, rinse, gum and dry printing plates.