As with many industries, reprographics has its own language. We try to use plain language as much as possible, but our glossary of terms is here to help with some of the technical terms and acronyms used in the industry. If you require further clarification on any terms or are struggling to find a term listed that you have come across please do not hesitate to contact us.
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
The process of making a physical object from a three-dimensional digital model, typically by laying down many successive thin layers of a material. We have a page about 3D printing.
A series of trimmed paper sizes from the ISO international paper size range e.g. A5, A4, A3 etc. More information can be found in our Size Guide.
Software made and distributed by Adobe for viewing PDF files. The PDF format was created by Adobe as a cross-platform file format that would allow documents to be easily shared between various users. Acrobat Reader is available free from Adobe's website. Adobe also produce premium software that allows you to edit PDFs. More details on PDFs can be found on our PDF Guide.
In printing, binding includes a variety of methods of fastening together printed pages. This can include stapling and comb binding, more details can be found on our finishing page.
Computer-Aided Design (CAD) is the use of computer technology for the design of objects, real or virtual. CAD software, such as AutoCAD, is used to produce many of the technical drawing files which we print.
The CMYK colour model, often referred to as process colour or four colour, is a subtractive colour model, used in colour printing, also used to describe the printing process itself. CMYK refers to the four inks used in most colour printing: cyan, magenta, yellow, and key (black).
The DOC file format is often used by Microsoft Word. DOC is short for Document and can contain charts, formatted text, graphs, images and tables. We accept doc files, however the files can appear differently when moving from one computer to another, this is why we recommend saving as pdf.
DPI stands for Dots Per Inch, DPI is how we measure resolution.
Printing on both sides of a sheet (Double Sided).
An abbreviation for Design Web Format, a secure file format developed by Autodesk for the efficient distribution and communication of rich design data to anyone who needs to view, review, or print design files. Because DWF files are highly compressed, they are smaller and faster to transmit than design files.
A file format for Drawings used to store two and three dimensional design data and metadata. It is the native format for several CAD packages including Autocad, IntelliCAD and Caddie.
DXF (Drawing Interchange Format, or Drawing Exchange Format) is a CAD data file format developed by Autodesk for enabling data interoperability between AutoCAD and other programs.
ECF (Elemental Chlorine Free) is a common definition for pulp bleached without using elemental chlorine.
FSC® (Forests Stewardship Council) an alliance of environmentalists, industry, foresters and indigenous and social groups. Together these groups have collectively set principles and standards to define exactly what is involved in good forest management. Products carrying the FSC® logo are made from wood that originates from well-managed, certificated forest.
Both stand for Grams per Square Metre, g/m2 is the correct definition but gsm is used more frequently. This is the primary measurement of weight of the paper.
GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) is a bitmap image format introduced in 1987 and has become widely used on the World Wide Web due to it wide support and portability. Quality is limited to a maximum of 256 colours so for print jobs JPEG file format tends to be used in preference for graphical images.
Process where ink dots are projected onto the media to form an image. The most common type would be a thermal inkjet printer, which heats ink in the printhead to boiling point and forces the ink through the printhead nozzles.
JPEG/JPG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) is a commonly used method of compression for photographic images. The degree of compression can be adjusted, allowing a selectable tradeoff between storage size and image quality. JPEG typically achieves 10:1 compression with little perceptible loss in image quality.
A surface coating applied after the printing process. People often refer to encapsulation as laminating, although encapsulating is a particular type of lamination. Encapsulation is when a plastic is applied to both sides of a document and extends beyond the limits of the original to stick together and create a protective seal.
Lithographic printing requires fashioning metal plates, traditionally this allowed for cheaper printing on large quantity printing.
A megabyte is a multiple of the unit byte for digital information storage and is equal to 1,000,000 bytes or 1,000 kilobytes. The megabyte is abbreviated with the symbol MB.
Mono or Monochrome is how we refer to images that use just one ink (black), whether that means it is black and white, or greyscale.
Mono is often referred to as 'Black and White' prints.
The pathname is used to specify the location of a file on a computer, example of this would be C:\user\docs\Letter.txt on a Windows based computer.
Abbreviated from Portable Document Format, a file format created by Abobe Systems. Each PDF file encapsulates a complete description of a fixed-layout 2D document that includes the text, fonts, images, and 2D vector graphics which compose the documents. We have a dedicated page about PDF format.
PPI is shorthand for Pixels Per Inch, the measurement of the density of pixels (dots) on a display.
The PPT file format is commonly used by Microsoft PowerPoint. Powerpoint is designed to make presentations and can include images, motion graphics, videos, graphs, tables, text and hyperlinks between pages.
The print margins are the area on the edges of a page left blank, usually for printer capabilities and to avoid risk of information being cut off the page..
A Quick Reference Code is a two-dimensional bar code frequently used for quick transfer of data to a mobile device. We have a page about QR codes with more information.
Reprography is the reproduction of graphics through mechanical or electrical means. Reprography is commonly used in the architectural, engineering, and construction industries.
A digital picture is made up of thousands of dots. The count of how many dots in an image is known as the resolution.
TCF (Totally Chlorine Free) refers to paper that is bleached using hydrogen peroxide instead of chlorine. This is the most enviromentally acceptable method of bleaching.
VAT stands for Value Added Tax, more information on which can be found here.
A computer process to scan a flat image file and create a vector file (CAD file with layers, text boxes and lines). Vectorisation is often used to save hours of redrawing by giving a head-start through converting a flat image to a layered one.
The ZIP file format is a data compression and archive format. A ZIP file contains one or more files that have been compressed to reduce file size, or stored as-is.