Typographic Design:

Form and Communication

Fourth Edition

Typographic Design Glossary

A.A.
Abbreviation for “author’s alteration,” used to flag amistake or correction by the author.
ABA form.
Design principle of form interrelationships,involving repetition and contrast.
Accents.
Small marks over, under, or through a letterform, indicating specific punctuation or changes in stress.
Agate.
Vertical unit used to measure space in newspapercolumns, originally five-and-one-half point type. Fourteen agatelines equal approximately one inch.
Alert box.
A message box that appears on a computer screenwith information for the user, for example, a “bomb message”when a computer crashes.
Alignment.
Precise arrangement of letterforms upon an imaginary horizontal or vertical line.
Alphabet length.
Horizontal measure of the lowercasealphabet in a type font, used to approximate the horizontalmeasure of type set in that font.
Ampersand.
Typographic character (&) representing the word
Anti-aliasing.
The blurring of a jagged line or edge on a screen or output device to give the appearance of a smooth line. Application program. Computer software used to create and modify documents.
Area composition.
The organization of typographic and other graphic elements into their final positions by electronic means (keyboard, graphics tablets, and electronic pens, etc.), eliminating the need for hand assembly or pasteup.
Ascender.
Stroke on a lowercase letter that rises above the mean-line.
ASCII code.
Abbreviation for American Standard Code of Information Interchange. The numbers 0 through 127 represent the alphanumeric characters and functions on the keyboard.
Aspect ratio.
The ratio of an image, screen, or other medium’s height to its width. Images will become distorted if forced into a different aspect ratio during enlargement, reduction, or transfers.
Autoflow.
A page-layout program setting for placing blocks of text from page to page without operator intervention.
Autopaging, Automatic pagination.
A capability in computer typesetting for dividing text into pages. Advanced autopaging can add page numbers and running heads, and avoid awkward widows and orphans.
Auto-runaround, Automatic runaround.
A page-layout program feature that flows text smoothly around graphics or headlines placed within the normal text area.

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Base alignment.
A typesetter or printer specification that the baseline for all letters should be horizontal, even in a line of mixed sizes or styles; also called baseline alignment.
Baseline.
An imaginary horizontal line upon which the base of each capital letter rests.
Baud rate.
The number of bits per second, often used as a measure of data transmission; for example, by a modem.
Bezier curves.
A type of curve with nonuniform arcs, as opposed to curves with uniform curvature, which are called arcs. A Bezier curve is defined by specifying control points that set the shape of the curve, and are used to create letter shapes and other computer graphics.
Binary code.
Number system using two digits: zero and one.
Bit.
Contraction of binary digit, which is the smallest unit of information that a computer can hold. The value of a bit (1 or 0) represents a two-way choice, such as yes or no, on or off, positive or negative.
Bitmap.
A computerized image made up of dots. These are “mapped” onto the screen directly from corresponding bits in memory (hence the name). Also referred to as paint format.
Bitmapped font.
A font whose letters are composed of dots, such as fonts designed for dot-matrix printers. Compare outline font and screen font.
Body size.
Depth of a piece of metal type, usually measured in points.
Body type.
Text material, usually set in sizes from 6 to 12 points. Also called text type.
Boldface.
Type with thicker, heavier strokes than the regular font. Indicated as “BF” in type specifications.
Boot.
A computer’s start-up procedures; coined from “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps.”
Bounding box.
In drawing or page-description languages, a bounding box is an imaginary box within which an image is located. It represents the rectangular area needed to create the image.
Byte.
Unit of computer information. The number of bits used to represent a character. For personal computers, a byte is usually eight bits.
Backslant.
Letterforms having a diagonal slant to the left.

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C. and l.c.
Used in marking copy, to instruct the typesetter touse capitals and lowercase.
C. and s.c.
Used in marking copy, to instruct the typesetter touse capitals and small capitals.
Camera ready (or camera-ready copy).
Copy and/or artworkthat is ready to be photographed to make negatives, which areexposed to printing plates.
Cap height.
Height of the capital letters, measured from thebaseline to the capline.
Capline.
Imaginary horizontal line defined by the height of thecapital letters.
Capitals.
Letters larger than – and often differing from – the corresponding lowercase letters. Also called uppercase.
Caps.
See Capitals.
Caption.
Title, explanation, or description accompanying an illustration or photograph.
Cascading style sheets.
Web-site design software permittingthe specification of type characteristics such as type size, letter-,and line-spacing.
Casting off.
Determining the length of manuscript copy,enabling a calculation of the area that type will occupy when setin a given size and style of type.
Cathode ray tube (CRT).
An electronic tube with aphosphorescent surface that produces a glowing image whenactivated by an electronic beam.
CD-ROM.
An optical data storage device; initials for compactdisk read-only memory.
Central processing unit (CPU).
Computer component that controls all other parts, performs logical operations, and storesinformation.
Character.
Symbol, sign, or mark in a language system.Character count. The number of characters in a block of text. In typography, spaces are counted but other nonprintingcharacters usually are not. In data processing, both printing andnonprinting characters are usually counted.
Chase.
Heavy metal frame into which metal type is locked forproofing or printing.
Chip.
A small piece of silicon impregnated with impurities thatform miniaturized computer circuits.
Chooser.
Software that tells a computer which output deviceand connection port to use.
Cicero.
European typographic unit of measure, approximatelyequal to the American pica.
Clipboard.
A computer’s “holding place,” a buffer area inmemory for the last material to be cut or copied from adocument. Information on the clipboard can be inserted(pasted) into documents.
Cold type.
Type that is set by means other than casting moltenmetal. A term most frequently used to indicate strike-oncomposition rather than photo or digital typesetting.
Colophon.
Inscription, frequently placed at the end of a book, that contains facts about its production.
Column guide.
Nonprinting lines that define the location ofcolumns of type.
Command.
The generic name for an order or instruction to acomputer.
Command character.
The combination of a command keyplus character(s) used to instruct a computer to take an action.
Comp.
See Comprehensive layout.
Compensation.
In visual organization, the counter-balancingof elements.
Composing stick.
Adjustable handheld metal tray, used tohold handset type as it is being composed.
Composition.
Alternate term for typesetting.
Compositor.
Person who sets type.
Comprehensive layout.
An accurate representation of aprinted piece showing all type and pictures in their size andposition. Comps are used to evaluate a design before producingfinal type and artwork.
Computer.
Electronic device that performs predefined(programmed) high-speed mathematical or logical calculations.
Condensed.
Letterforms whose horizontal width has been compressed.
Consonance.
In design, harmonious interaction between elements.
Copyfitting.
Calculating the area that will be occupied by agiven manuscript when set in a specified size and style of type.
Counter.
Space enclosed by the strokes of a letterform.
Counterform.
“Negative” spatial areas defined and shaped byletterforms, including both interior counters and spacesbetween characters.
CPS.
Characters per inch.
CPU.
See Central processing unit.
CRT.
See Cathode ray tube.
CSS.
See Cascading style sheets.
Cursive.
Type styles that imitate handwriting, often with lettersthat do not connect.
Cursor.
Term for the pointer or insertion point on a computerscreen.
Cut and paste.
To move material from one location to anotherwithin a document, or from one document to another. This is acomputer’s electronic equivalent to clipping something with scissors, then using glue to paste the clipping in anotherlocation.
Cutoff rules.
Rules used to separate pages into various units,such as advertisements or news stories.

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Daisy wheel.
Strike-on printing wheel containing reliefcharacters on spokes, radiating from a central disk. As the wheelspins, a hammer impacts the characters against an inkedribbon.
Data.
Information, particularly information upon which acomputer program is based.
Data bank.
Mass storage of large quantities of information, indexed for rapid retrieval.
Data processing.
The storing and handling of information bya computer.
Data transmission.
Rapid electronic transfer of coded data viatelephone or other communication links.
Dazzle.
Visual effect caused by extreme contrast in the strokesof letterforms.
Default.
A value, action, or setting that a computer system assumes, unless the user gives an explicit instruction to thecontrary; for example, a certain point size and typeface style will be used by a page-layout program unless the user selectsanother size and font.
Descender.
Stroke on a lowercase letterform that falls belowthe baseline.
Desktop.
Refers to the desktop metaphor depicted on the computer screen, with a menu bar across the top, icons for applications and disk drives, and other icons, such as a trash can used to throw away unwanted material.
Desktop publishing.
The popular use of this term is incorrect, because publishing encompasses writing, editing, designing,printing, and distribution activities, not just makeup and production. See Electronic page design.
Dialog box.
A box displayed on a computer screen requestinginformation or a decision by the user.
Digital type.
Type stored electronically as digital dot or stroke patterns rather than as photographic images.
Digitizer.
A computer peripheral device that converts imagesor sound into a digital signal.
Directory.
The contents of a computer disk or folder. Directorycontents can be arranged and displayed on a screen by name,icon, date created, size, or kind, etc.
Digital computer.
A device that translates data into a discretenumber system to facilitate electronic processing.
Disk.
Thin, flat, circular plate with a magnetic surface uponwhich data may be stored. See Floppy disk and Hard disk. Also,a circular grid containing the master font in some typesettingsystems.
Display Postscript.
A technology by Adobe Systems thatallows PostScript commands (for special graphic effects) to bedisplayed on the screen.
Display type.
Type sizes 14 points and above, used primarilyfor headlines and titles.
Dissonance.
In design, visual tension and contrast between typographic elements.
Dithering.
A technique for alternating the value of adjacentdots or pixels to create the effect of an intermediate value. When printing color images or displaying color on a computer screen, dithering refers to the technique of making different colors for adjacent dots or pixels to give the illusion of a third color; for example, a printed field of alternating cyan and yellow dots appears to be green. Dithering gives the effect of shades of gray on a black-and-white display or the effect of more colors on a color display.
Dot-matrix printer.
A printer that forms characters out of a pattern of dots; many have pins that strike against an inked ribbon to transfer the pattern of dots making up each character onto paper.
Dots per inch (dpi).
A measure of the resolution of a screen image or printed page. Dots are also known as pixels. Some computer screens display 72 dpi; many laser printers print 300 dpi; and imagesetters often print 1270 or 2540 dpi.
Downloadable font.
A font can be downloaded into a printer or computerized typesetter, which means that tables telling how to construct the type characters are sent from the computer to the output device. By accepting additional character sets – downloadable fonts – an output device can print many typefaces. To be able to accept downloadable fonts, a printer or typesetter must have sufficient computer memory and processing power to receive and store the images.
Downloading.
Transferring information from one computer and storing it on another one.
DRAM.
Abbreviation for dynamic random access memory chip; dynamic refers to loss of data in memory when a computer is shut off.
Draw program.
Computer applications for drawing graphics that are object-oriented; that is, it produces graphics from arc and line segments that are mathematically defined by points located on the horizontal and vertical axes on the screen. Compare Paint program.
Drop initial.
Display letterform set into the text.

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E.A.
Abbreviation for “editor’s alteration,” used to flag errors orcorrections made by the editor.
Editing terminal.
Workstation consisting of a keyboard andvisual display device, used to input and edit copy prior totypesetting.
Egyptian.
Typefaces characterized by slablike serifs similarin weight to the main strokes.
Electronic page design.
The layout and typesetting ofcomplete pages using a computer with input and outputdevices.
Elite.
Size of typewriter type approximately equal to 10-point typography.
Ellipses.
Three dots used to indicate an omission in quoted material.
Em.
The square of the body size of any type, used as a unit ofmeasure. In some expanded or condensed faces, the em is alsoexpanded or condensed from the square proportion.
Em dash.
A dash one em long. Also called a long dash.
Em leader.
Horizontal dots or dashes with one em betweentheir centers.
Em space.
A space equal to the width of an em quad.
En.
One-half of an em (see Em ).
En dash.
A dash one en long. Also called a short dash.
En leader.
Horizontal dots or dashes with one en between theircenters.
En space.
Space equal to the width of an en quad.Encapsulated PostScript (ESP). A computer format for encodingpictures. These can be stored, edited, transferred, and output inthe form of structured PostScript code.
EPS.
See Encapsulated PostScript.
Exception dictionary.
See Hyphenation.
Expanded.
Letterforms whose horizontal width has been extended.
Export.
To send text, graphics, or layouts created in one program from the computer memory in a form suitable for use with other programs.

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Face.
The part of metal type that is inked for printing. Also another word for typeface.
Family.
See Type family.
FAX machine.
An electronic device that scans documents and transmits them over telephone lines. Documents are received and output by another FAX machine.
Film font.
A photographic film master used in some typesetting machines. Characters from a film font are exposed through lenses of different sizes onto paper or film. Unlike digital typesetting, typesetting systems using film fonts cannot set an entire page complete with graphics.
Finder.
A computer program that generates the desktop and is used to access and manage files and disks. See Multifinder.
Firmware.
Software that has been written into nonchangeable memory that does not need to be loaded into the system for each use. Most printers and output devices store their software in this form.
Fit.
Refers to the spatial relationships between letters after they are set into words and lines.
Floppy disks.
Portable, flexible disks housed in a 3.5-inch hard plastic case and inserted into a disk drive, which reads the information on the disk.
Flush left (or right).
The even vertical alignment of lines of type at the left (or right) edge of a column.
Folio.
Page number.
Font.
A complete set of characters in one design, size, and style. In traditional metal type, a font meant a particular size and style; in digital typography a font can output multiple sizes and even altered styles of a typeface design.
Font/DA Mover.
An application that allows a user to add and/or remove fonts and desk accessories from a file on a disk.
Font substitution.
During output of a page, font substitution is the replacement of a requested but unavailable font by another (usually similar) available font.
Footer.
An identifying line, such as a page number and/or a chapter title, appearing in the bottom margin of a document. Footers repeated throughout a document are called running footers or running feet.
Footprint.
The amount of space a machine such as a computer takes up on a surface such as a desktop.
Format.
The overall typographic and spatial schema established for a publication or any other application.
Formatting.
In digital typesetting and phototypesetting, the process of issuing specific commands that establish the typographic format.
Foundry type.
Metal type used in hand composition.
Furniture.
Rectangular pieces of wood, metal, or plastic used to fill in excess space when locking up a form for letterpress printing.

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Galley.
A three-sided, shallow metal tray used to hold metal type forms before printing.
Galley proof.
Originally, a type proof pulled from metal type assembled in a galley. Frequently used today to indicate any first proof, regardless of the type system.
GIF.
See Graphic Interface Format.
Gigabyte (GB).
A unit of data storage equal to 1,000 megabytes.
“Golf” ball.
An interchangeable metal ball approximately one inch in diameter with raised characters on its surface, used as the printing element in some typewriters.
Graphic Interface Format (GIF).
A graphic image formatwidely used in Web sites.
Greeking.
Type set using random or Greek characters tosimulate typeset text in a layout or comp.
Grayscale.
An arbitrary scale of monochrome (black to white)intensity ranging from black and white, with a fixed number of intermediate shades of gray.
Grid.
Underlying structure composed of a linear frameworkused by designers to organize typographic and pictorialelements. Also, a film or glass master font, containingcharacters in a predetermined configuration and used inphototypesetting.
Grotesque.
Name for sans-serif typefaces.
Gutter.
The interval separating two facing pages in apublication.
Gutter margin.
Inner margin of a page in a publication.

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Hairline.
Thinnest strokes on a typeface having strokes ofvarying weight.
Hand composition.
Method of setting type by placingindividual pieces of metal type from a type case into acomposing stick.
Hanging indent.
In composition, a column format in which thefirst line of type is set to a full measure while all additional linesare indented.
Hanging punctuation.
Punctuation set outside the column measure to achieve an optical alignment.
Hard copy.
Computer output printed on paper.
Hard disks.
Large rigid disks having large storage capacity, fastoperating speed, and permanent installation within thecomputer or a separate case.
Hardware.
The physical equipment of a computer system,such as the CPU, input/output devices, and peripherals.
Header.
An identifying line at the top margin of a document. A header can appear on every page and can include text, pictures, page numbers, the date, and the time. Headersrepeated throughout a document are called running headersor running heads.
Heading.
Copy that is given emphasis over the body of text,through changes in size, weight, or spatial interval.
Headline.
The most significant type in the visual hierarchy ofa printed communication.
Hertz.
One cycle per second. See Megahertz.
Hot type.
Type produced by casting molten metal.
HTML.
See Hypertext markup language.
Hypertext.
Text on a computer screen that contains pointers enabling the user to jump to other text or pages by clicking acomputer mouse on highlighted material.
Hypertext markup language.
The basic computer-programming language used to design Web sites.
Hyphenation.
The syllabic division of words used when theymust be broken at the end of a line. In electronic typesetting,hyphenation can be determined by the operator orautomatically by the computer.

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I-beam pointer.
The shape the pointer or cursor on a computerscreen usually takes when working with text.
Icon.
A pictorial representation. The elemental pictures on a computer screen used to represent disk drives, files,applications, and tools, etc., are called icons.
Import.
To transfer text, graphics, or layouts into a program ina form suitable for its use.
Imposition.
The arrangement of pages in a printed signature toachieve the proper sequencing after the sheets are folded andtrimmed.
Incunabula.
European books printed during the first half-century of typography, from Gutenberg’s invention of movable type until the year 1500.
Indent.
An interval of space at the beginning of a line to indicate a new paragraph.
Inferior characters.
Small characters, usually slightly smaller than the x-height, positioned on or below the baseline and used for footnotes or fractions.
Initial.
A large letter used at the beginning of a column; for example, at the beginning of a chapter.
Initialize.
Electronically formatting a disk to prepare it to record data from a computer.
Input.
Raw data, text, or commands entered into a computer memory from a peripheral device, such as a keyboard.
Insertion point.
The location in a document where the next text or graphics will be placed, represented by a blinking vertical cursor. A user selects the insertion point by clicking where he or she wishes to work.
Interletter spacing.
The spatial interval between letters, also called letterspacing.
Interline spacing.
The spatial interval between lines, also called leading.
Interword spacing.
The spatial interval between words, also called wordspacing.
Italic.
Letterforms having a pronounced diagonal slant to the right.

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Jaggies.
The jagged “staircase” edges formed on raster-scan displays when displaying diagonal and curved lines. SeeAnti-aliasing.
JPEG.
An acronym for Joint Photographic Experts Group. JPEG is a bitmap format used to transmit graphic images.
Justified setting.
A column of type with even vertical edges on both the left and the right, achieved by adjusting interword spacing. Also called flush left, flush right.
Justified text.
Copy in which all lines of a text – regardless of the words they contain – have been made exactly the same length, so that they align vertically at both the left and right margins.

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Kb (kilobyte).
Computer term for one thousand twenty-four bytes of memory.
Kerning.
In typesetting, kerning refers to the process of subtracting space between specific pairs of characters so that the overall letterspacing appears to be even. Compare Tracking.
Keyboard.
A device having keys or buttons used to enter data into typesetting and computer systems.

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Laser.
A concentrated light source that can be optically manipulated. Coined from “Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.”
Laser printer.
A computer printer that creates the image by drawing it on a metal drum with a laser. The latent image becomes visible after dry ink particles are electrostatically attracted to it.
Latin.
Type style characterized by triangular, pointed serifs.
Leader.
Typographic dots or periods that are repeated to connect other elements.
Lead-in.
Introductory copy set in a contrasting typeface.
Leading.
(Pronounced “LED-ing”.) In early typesetting, strips of lead were placed between lines of type to increase the interline spacing, hence the term. See Linespacing, Interline spacing.
Letterpress.
The process of printing from a raised inked surface.
Letterspacing.
See Interletter spacing.
Ligature.
A typographic character produced by combining two or more letters.
Line breaks.
The relationships of line endings in a ragged-right or ragged-left setting. Rhythmic line breaks are achieved byadjusting the length of individual lines of type.
Line length.
The measure of the length of a line of type,usually expressed in picas.
Linespacing.
The vertical distance between two lines of typemeasured from baseline to baseline. For example, “10/12” indicates 10-point type with 12 points base-to-base (that is, with 2 points of leading). See Leading, Interline spacing.
Lining figures.
Numerals identical in size to the capitals andaligned on the baseline: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10.
Linotype.
A machine that casts an entire line of raised typeon a single metal slug.
Local area network (LAN).
A network of computers and peripherals, usually in the same office or building, connectedby dedicated electrical cables rather than telephone lines.
Logotype.
Two or more type characters that are combined as asign or trademark.
Lowercase.
The alphabet set of small letters, as opposed to capitals.
LPM.
Lines per minute, a unit of measure expressing the speedof a typesetting system.
Ludlow.
A typecasting machine that produces individual lettersfrom hand-assembled matrices.

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Machine composition.
General term for the mechanicalcasting of metal type.
Majuscules.
A term in calligraphy for letterforms analogous touppercase letterforms, usually drawn between two parallellines, the capline and the baseline. See Minuscules.
Makeup.
The assembly of typographic matter into a page, or asequence of pages, ready for printing.
Margin.
The unprinted space surrounding type matter on apage.
Markup.
The marking of typesetting specifications uponmanuscript copy.
Marquee.
A rectangular area, often surrounded by blinkingdashed or dotted lines, used to select objects or regions in aapplication program.
Master page.
In a page-layout program, a master page is a template providing standard columns, margins, andtypographic elements that appear on a publication’s individualpages.
Masthead.
The visual identification of a magazine ornewspaper, usually a logotype. Also a section placed near thefront of a newspaper or periodical containing information suchas names and titles of publishers and staff, along withaddresses.
Matrix.
In typesetting, the master image from which type isproduced. The matrix is a brass mold in linecasting and a glassplate bearing the font negative in phototypesetting.
Meanline.
An imaginary line marking the tops of lowercaseletters, not including the ascenders.
Measure.
See Line length.
Mechanical.
A camera-ready pasteup of artwork includingtype, images showing position of color and halftone matter, lineart, etc., all on one piece of artboard.
Megabyte (MB).
A unit of measurement equal to 1024kilobytes or 1,048,576 bytes.
Megahertz (MHz).
A million cycles per second. Describes thespeed of computer chips; used to measure of how rapidly a computer processes information.
Menu.
A list of choices in a computer application, from whichthe user selects a desired action. In a computer’s desktopinterface, menus appear when you point to and click on menu
Menu bar.
A horizontal band across the top of a computerscreen that contains menu titles.
Message box.
A box that appears on a computer screen togive the user information.
Microprocessor.
A single silicon chip containing thousands ofelectronic components for processing information; the “brains”of a personal computer.
Minuscules.
A term in calligraphy for letterforms analogous tolowercase letters and usually drawn between four parallel linesdetermining ascender height, x-height, baseline, and descenderdepth. See Majuscules.
Minus spacing.
A reduction of interline spacing, resulting in abaseline-to-baseline measurement that is smaller than the pointsize of the type.
Mixing.
The alignment of more than one type style or typefaceon a single baseline.
Modem.
Contraction of modulator/demodulator; a peripheraldevice to send data over telephone lines from a computer toother computers, service bureaus, and information services, etc.
Modern.
Term used to describe typefaces designed at the endof the eighteenth century. Characteristics include vertical stress,hairline serifs, and pronounced contrasts between thick and thinstrokes.
Monocase alphabet.
A language alphabet, such as Hebrewand Indic scripts, having only capital-height letters and nolowercase letterforms.
Monochrome.
Refers to material or a display consisting of asingle color, typically black or white.
Monogram.
Two or more letterforms interwoven, combined, orconnected into a single glyph, typically used as abbreviations orinitials.
Monoline.
Used to describe a typeface or letterform with auniform stroke thickness.
Monospacing.
Spacing in a font with characters that all havethe same set width or horizontal measure; often found intypewriter and screen fonts. See Proportional spacing.
Monotype.
A trade name for a keyboard-operated typesettingmachine that casts individual letters from matrices.
Mouse.
A small computer device that controls an on-screenpointer or tool when the mouse is moved around on a flatsurface by hand. The mouse-controlled pointer can selectoperations, move data, and draw images.
Multifinder.
A computer program permitting severalapplications to be open at the same time, so that a designer canwork back and forth between page-layout and drawingprograms, for example, without having to repeatedly open andclose programs.

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Navigation.
The act of manually moving a cursor through anon-screen page or series of pages.
Negative.
The reversal of a positive photographic image.
Network.
A system connecting multiple computers so they canshare printers and information, etc.

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Object-oriented.
A method in drawing and other computerprograms that produces graphics from arc and line segmentsthat are mathematically defined by points located on thehorizontal and vertical axes on the screen.
Oblique.
A slanted roman character. Unlike many italics,oblique characters do not have cursive design properties.
Offset lithography.
A printing method using flat photo-mechanical plates, in which the inked image is transferred oroffset from the printing plate onto a rubber blanket, then ontothe paper.
Old Style.
Typeface styles derived from fifteenth- to eighteenth-century designs, and characterized by moderate thick-and-thin contrasts, bracketed serifs, and a handwriting influence.
Old Style figures.
Numerals that exhibit a variation in size, including characters aligning with the lowercase x-height, and others with ascenders or descenders:
Operating system.
A computer program that controls a computer’s operation, directing information to and from different components.
Optical adjustment.
The precise visual alignment and spacing of typographic elements. In interletter spacing, the adjustment of individual characters to achieve consistent spacing.
Orphan.
A single word on a line, left over at the end of a paragraph, sometimes appearing at the top of a column of text. See Widow.
Outline font.
A font designed, not as a bitmap, but as outlines of the letter shapes that can be scaled to any size. Laser printers and imagesetters use outline fonts. See Bitmapped font and Screen font.
Outline type.
Letterforms described by a contour line that encloses the entire character on all sides. The interior usually remains open.
Output.
The product of a computer operation. In computerized typesetting, output is reproduction proofs of composition.

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Page preview.
A mode on many word-processing and page-layout programs that shows a full-page view of what the page will look like when printed, including added elements such as headers, footers, and margins.
Pagination.
The sequential numbering of pages.
Paint program.
A computer application that creates images as a series of bitmapped dots, which can be erased and manipulated by turning the pixels on and off. Compare Draw program.
Pantone Matching System (PMS).
The trademarked name of a system for specifying colors and inks that is a standard in the printing industry.
Paragraph mark.
Typographic elements that signal the beginning of a paragraph. For example, ¶.
Parallel construction.
In typography, the use of similar typographic elements or arrangements to create a visual unity or to convey a relationship in content.
Paste.
To place a copy of saved material into a computer-generated document or layout.
P.E.
Abbreviation for “Printer’s Error,” used to flag a mistakemade by the compositor rather than by the author.
Pen plotter.
A printer that draws using ink-filled pens that aremoved along a bar, which also moves back and forth. Manyplotters have very high resolutions but have slow operation,poor text quality, and poor handling of raster images.
Peripheral.
An electronic device that connects to a computer,such as a disk drive, scanner, or printer.
Photocomposition.
The process of setting type by projectinglight onto light-sensitive film or paper.
Photodisplay typesetting.
The process of setting headlinetype on film or paper by photographic means.
Phototype.
Type matter set on film or paper by photographicprojection of type characters.
Photounit.
Output component of a photocomposition system,which sets the type and exposes it to light-sensitive film orpaper.
Pica.
Typographic unit of measurement: 12 points equal 1 pica.6 picas equal approximately one inch. Line lengths and columnwidths are measured in picas.
PICT.
A computer format for encoding pictures. PICT data canbe created, displayed on the screen, and printed, thus enablingapplications without graphics-processing routines to incorporatePICT data generated by other software.
Pixel.
Stands for picture element; the smallest dot that can be displayed on a screen.
Point.
A measure of size used principally in typesetting. One point is equal to 1/12 of a pica, or approximately 1/72 of an inch. It is most often used to indicate the size of type or amount of leading added between lines.
Pointer.
A graphic form that moves on a computer screen and is controlled by a pointing device; usually a symbolic icon such as an arrow, I-beam, or clock.
Pointing device.
A computer input device, such as a mouse, tablet, or joystick, used to indicate where an on-screen pointer or tool should be placed or moved.
Port.
An electrical socket where cables are inserted to connect computers, peripheral devices, or networks. Ports are named for the type of signal they carry, such as printer port, serial port, or SCSI port.
PostScript.™
A page-description programming language created by Adobe Systems that handles text and graphics, placing them on the page with mathematical precision.
Preview.
To view the final output on a computer screen before printing. Because most screens have lower resolution than an imagesetter or laser printer, fine details are often different from the final output.
Processor.
In a computer system, the general term for any device capable of carrying out operations upon data. In phototypography, the unit that automatically develops the light-sensitive paper or film.
Program.
A sequence of instructions that directs the operations of a computer to execute a given task.
Proof.
Traditionally, an impression from metal type for examination and correction; now applies to initial output for examination and correction before final output.
Proportional spacing.
Spacing in a font adjusted to give wide letters (M) a larger set width than narrow letters (I).

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Quad.
In metal type, pieces of type metal shorter than type-high, which are used as spacing matter to separate elements and fill out lines.
Quoins.
Wedges use to lock up metal type in the chase. These devices are tightened and loosened by a quoin key.

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Ragged.
See Unjustified type.
RAM.
Abbreviation for random access memory, the area of a computer’s memory that temporarily stores applications and documents while they are being used.
RAM cache.
An area of the computer’s memory set aside to hold information from a disk until it is needed again. It can be accessed much more quickly from a RAM cache than from a disk.
Raster display.
A raster image is divided into scan lines, each consisting of a series of dots from a thin section of the final image. This dot pattern corresponds exactly to a bit pattern in the computer memory.
Raster image file format (RIFF).
A file format for paint-style color graphics, developed by Letraset USA.
Raster image processor (RIP).
A device or program that translates an image or page into the actual pattern of dots received by a printing or display system.
Raster scan.
The generation of an image upon a cathode ray tube made by refreshing the display area line by line.
Recto.
In publication design, the right-hand page. Page one (and all odd-numbered pages) always appears on a recto. The left-hand page is called the verso.
Resolution.
The degree of detail and clarity of a display; usually specified in dots per inch (dpi). The higher the resolution, or the greater the number of dpi, the sharper the image.
Reverse.
Type or image that is dropped out of a printed area, revealing the paper surface.
Reverse leading.
A reduction in the amount of interline space, making it less than normal for the point size. For example, 12-point type set on an 11- point body size becomes reverse leading of 1 point.
Revival.
A little-used historic typeface previously unavailable in current font formats, now released for contemporary technology.
RIFF.
See Raster Image File Format.
River.
In text type, a series of interword spaces that accidentally align vertically or diagonally, creating an objectionable flow of white space within the column.
ROM.
Abbreviation for read only memory, which is permanently installed on a computer chip and can be read but cannot accept new or changed data; for example, some laser printers have basic fonts permanently installed in a ROM chip.
Roman.
Upright letterforms, as distinguished from italics. More specifically, letters in an alphabet style based on the upright serifed letterforms of Roman inscriptions.
Rule.
In handset metal type, a strip of metal that prints as a line. Generally, any line used as an element in typographic design, whether handset, photographic, digital, or hand-drawn.
Run-around.
Type that is set with a shortened line measure to fit around a photograph, drawing, or other visual element inserted into the running text.
Run in.
To set type without a paragraph indentation or other break. Also, to insert additional matter into the running text as part of an existing paragraph.
Running foot or running footer.
A line of text that duplicates a line of text from another page but positioned at or near the bottom of a page.
Running head.
Type at the head of sequential pages, providing a title or publication name.

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Sans serif.
Typefaces without serifs.
Saving.
Transferring information – such as an electronic page design – from a computer’s memory to a storage device.
Scanner.
A computer peripheral device that scans pictures and converts them to digital form so they can be stored, manipulated, and output.
Scrapbook.
A computer’s “holding place” for permanent storage of images, text, etc.
Screen font.
A bitmapped version of an outline font that is used to represent the outline font on a computer screen.
Script.
Typefaces based on handwriting, usually having connecting strokes between the letters.
Scroll bar.
A rectangular bar that may appear along the right or bottom of a window on a computer screen. By clicking or dragging on the scroll bar, the user can move through the document.
Scrolling.
In typesetting and computer-assisted design, moving through a document to bring onto the screen portions of the document not currently displayed.
SCSI.
Abbreviation for Small Computer System Interface; pronounced “scuzzy.” SCSI is a computer-industry standard interface allowing very fast transfer of data.
Semantics.
The science of meaning in linguistics; the study of the relationships between signs and symbols, and what they represent.
Serifs.
Small elements added to the ends of the main strokes of a letterform in serifed type styles.
Set width.
In metal type, the width of the body upon which a letter is cast. In phototype and digital type, the horizontal width of a letterform measured in units, including the normal space before and after the character. This interletter space can be increased or decreased to control the tightness or looseness of the fit.
Shoulder.
In metal type, the flat top of the type body that surrounds the raised printing surface of the letterform.
Sidebar.
A narrow column of text, separated from the main text by a box or rule and containing a secondary article.
Side head.
A title or other heading material placed to the side of a type column.
Slab serifs.
Square or rectangular serifs that align horizontally and vertically to the baseline and are usually the same (or heavier) weight as the main strokes of the letterform.
Slug.
A line of metal type cast on a linecasting machine, such as the Linotype. Also, strips of metal spacing material in thicknesses of 6 points or more.
Small capitals.
A set of capital letters having the same height as the lowercase x-height, frequently used for cross-reference and abbreviations. Also called small caps and abbreviated “s.c.”
Smoothing.
The electronic process of eliminating jaggies (the uneven staircase effect on diagonal or curved lines).
Software.
Components of a computer system consisting of the programs or instructions that control the behavior of the computer hardware.
Solid.
Lines of type that are set without additional interline space. Also called set solid.
Sorts.
In metal type, material that is not part of a regular font, such as symbols, piece fractions, and spaces. Also, individual characters used to replace worn-out type in a font.
Stand-alone typesetting system.
A typesetting system that is completely self-contained, including editing terminal, memory, and character generation.
Startup disk.
The computer disk drive containing the system software used to operate the computer.
Stet.
A proofreader’s mark meaning that copy marked for correction should not be changed; rather, any instructions for changes should be ignored and the text should be left as originally set.
Storage.
In computer typesetting, a device (such as a disk, drum, or tape) that can receive information and retain it for future use.
Straight matter.
Text material set in continuous columns with limited deviation from the basic typographic specifications.
Stress.
The gradual variation in the thickness of a curved character part or stroke; often used for any variation in the thickness of a character part or stroke.
Style sheets.
In several word-processing and page-layout programs, style sheets are special files containing formatting instructions for creating standardized documents.
Subscript.
A small character beneath (or adjacent to and slightly below) another character.
Superscript.
A small character above (or adjacent to and slightly above) another character.
Swash letters.
Letters ornamented with flourishes or flowing tails.
Syntax.
In grammar, the way in which words or phrases are put together to form sentences. In design, the connecting or ordering of typographic elements into a visual unity.
System.
A related group of interdependent design elements forming a whole. In computer science, a complete computing operation including software and hardware (Central Processing Unit, memory, input/output devices, and peripherals or devices required for the intended functions).
System software.
Computer files containing the operating system program and its supporting programs needed to make the computer work, interface with peripherals, and run applications.

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Tag Image File Format (TIFF).
A computer format forencoding pictures as high-resolution bitmapped images, suchas those created by scanners.
Telecommunications.
Sending messages to distant locations;usually refers to communicating by telephone lines.
Terminal.
See Video display terminal.
Text.
The main body of written or printed material, as opposedto display matter, footnotes, appendices, etc.
Text type.
See Body type.
Thumbnail.
A miniature image of a page, either a smallplanning sketch made by a designer or a reduction in a page-layout program.
TIFF.
See Tag Image File Format.
Tracking.
The overall tightness or looseness of the spacing between all characters in a line or block of text. Sometimes usedinterchangeably with kerning, which more precisely is the reduction in spacing between a specific pair of letters.
Transitional.
Classification of type styles combining aspects ofboth Old Style and Modern typefaces; for example, Baskerville.
Type family.
The complete range of variations of a typeface design, including roman, italic, bold, expanded, condensed, andother versions.
Typeface.
The design of alphabetical and numerical charactersunified by consistent visual properties.
Type-high.
The standard foot-to-face height of metal types;0.9186 inches in English-speaking countries.
Typescript.
Typewritten manuscript material used as copy fortypesetting.
Typesetting.
The composing of type by any method orprocess, also called composition.
Type specimen.
A typeset sample produced to show the visualproperties of a typeface.
Typo.
See Typographical error.
Typographer.
A firm specializing in typesetting. Sometimesused to denote a compositor or typesetter.
Typographical error.
A mistake in typesetting, typing, orwriting.
Typography.
Originally the composition of printed matter frommovable type. Now the art and process of typesetting by anysystem or method.

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U.C. and l.c.
Abbreviation for uppercase and lowercase, used to specify typesetting that combines capitals with lowercase letters.
Undo.
A standard computer command that “undoes,” or reverses, the last command or operation executed.
Uniform Resource Locator (URL).
A location pointer name used to identify the location of a file on a server connected to the World Wide Web.
Unit.
A subdivision of the em, used in measuring and counting characters in photo- and digital typesetting systems.
Unitization.
The process of designing a typeface so that the individual character widths conform to a typesetter’s unit system.
Unitized font.
A font with character widths conforming to a typesetter’s unit system.
Unit system.
A counting system first developed for Monotype, used by most typesetting machines. The width of characters and spaces are measured in units. This data is used to control line breaks, justification, and interword and interletter spacing.
Unit value.
The established width, in units, of a typographic character.
Unjustified type.
Lines of type set with equal interword spacing, resulting in irregular line lengths. Also called ragged.
Uploading.
Sending information from your computer to a distant computer. See Downloading.
Uppercase.
See Capitals.
URL.
See Uniform Resource Locator.
User interface.
The way a computer system communicates with its user; the “look and feel” of the machine as experiencedby the user.

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Vector-based software.
Software using computer instructionsthat specify shapes by defining linear elements by specifyingstarting and ending locations.
Verso.
In publication design, the left-hand page. Page two (andall even-numbered pages) always appear on a verso. The right-hand page is called the recto.
Virus.
A computer program that invades computers andmodifies data, usually in a destructive manner.
Visual display terminal.
A computer input/output deviceutilizing a cathode ray tube to display data on a screen.Information from memory, storage, or a keyboard can bedisplayed.

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Web browser.
A utility viewer used to display documents onthe World Wide Web, which are usually written in HTML.
Web page.
A document written in HTML, typically stored on aWeb site and accessible through a Web browser.
Web site.
A collection of files on a Web server computersystem that are accessible to a Web browser or by Web TV.
Weight.
The lightness or heaviness of a typeface, which isdetermined by ratio of the stroke thickness to character height.
White space.
The “negative” area surrounding a letterform.See Counter and Counterform.
White-space reduction.
A decrease in the amount ofinterletter space, achieved in typesetting by reducing the unitvalue of typeset characters. See tracking.
Widow.
A very short line that appears at the end of aparagraph, column, or page, or at the top of a column or page.These awkward typographic configurations should be correctededitorially.
Width tables.
Collections of information about how much horizontal room each character in a font should occupy, often accompanied by information about special kerning pairs or other exceptions.
Windows.
An area of a computer screen in which a single document is displayed.
Woodtype.
Hand-set types cut from wood by a mechanicalrouter. Formerly used for large display sizes that were notpractical for metal casting, woodtype has been virtuallyeliminated by display photographic typesetting.
Word.
In computer systems, a logical unit of information, composed of a predetermined number of bits.
Word-processing program.
A computer application used to type in text, then edit, correct, move, or remove it.
Wordspacing.
The spatial interval between words. In settingjustified body type, space is added between words to extendeach line to achieve flush left and right edges. See Interwordspacing.
World Wide Web.
A global graphic media system used toexchange data between computer users.
WORM.
Acronym for “Write Once Read Many,” usually appliedto storage media such as CD-ROMs, which can only be writtenonce but read many times.
WYSIWYG.
Abbreviation for “what you see is what you get”;pronounced Wizzywig. This means the image on the screen isidentical to the image that will be produced as final output.

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x-height.
The height of lowercase letters in a font, excluding characters with ascenders and descenders. This is most easilymeasured on the lowercase x.