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Desk Top Publishing Terminology

faqsAs we are not all experts in Desk Top Publishing we have produced this free guide to some of the most common terms used within the field.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W XYZ

A

AA Authors Alteration
Used in proofing as an indication that changes are requested and will usually be paid for by the client; changes are not due to printer's error.
Alley
The space between two columns of set type; sometimes also called a column gutter or column margin.
Ampersand
The symbol for ‘and’ (&).
Apex
Where strokes come together at the uppermost point of a character; examples of different types: rounded, pointed, hollow, flat, and extended.
Arabic number
A numeral from 0 through 9; can be set as Old Style or Lining Figures.
Arc of the stem
A curved stroke that is continuous with a straight stem, not a bowl; examples: bottom of j, t, f, a, and u. Also called a shoulder.
Arm
The short, upward sloping stroke or horizontal projection of characters such as 'X' and 'L'.
Ascender
The part of a lowercase letter that rises above the main body of the letter (as in b, d, h). The part that extends above the x-height of a font.
Ascent
A font's maximum distance above the baseline.
ASCII
(American Standard Code for Information Interchange) A universal format for representing alphanumeric characters, allowing for the exchange of information between operating systems. Consists of the text itself, stripped of all special codes for formatting, such as centre, bold, underline, and indents.
ATM (Adobe Type Manager)
A programme that improves your screen display by imaging fonts directly from their Type I PostScript language font files. ATM is recommended for Windows 98 and ME. Not required in Windows 2000 and XP, as they both have built-in support for Type 1 fonts.

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B

Back matter
The book information placed after the text copy; includes index, glossary, bibliography, and appendix.
Bad break
Refers to widows or orphans in text copy; or a break that does not make sense of the phrasing of a line of copy, causing awkward reading.
Banner
The type design of the name of a repetitive publication, such as a newspaper, newsletter, or magazine.
Bar
The enclosed horizontal stroke in characters 'A', 'H', and 'e'.
Baseline
The imaginary line upon which text rests. Descenders extend below the baseline. Also known as the "reading line." The line along which the bases of all capital letters (and most lowercase letters) are positioned.
Bitmap
A pattern used in forming paint-type graphic images or type characters with a series of dots, with a certain number of dots per inch.
Bitmap font
A font which is made up of pixels (or square dots). Bitmap fonts typically work in tandem with outline fonts, with bitmap fonts being used on the screen, and connected outline fonts automatically used in the printer. Also known as a ‘screen font’.
Bleed
An area of text or graphics that extends beyond the edge of the page. Commercial printers usually trim the paper after printing to create bleeds.
Body copy
The textual matter set in one face and point size, with a common leading and column width. (see text)
Body type
The specific typeface that is used in the main text.
Bold Italic
A typestyle in which the image face is both Italic (slanted from left to right) and boldened (darkened); used to create visual interest and emphasis.
Bold type
A typestyle in which the image face is darkened; used to call attention to the text on which it is used.
Bowl
The enclosed oval or round curve of letters like 'D', 'g', b', and 'o'. In an open bowl, the stroke does not meet with the stem completely; a closed-bowl stroke meets the stem.
Brackets
The symbols used in algebraic formulas, (,).
Break
The place where type is divided; may be the end of a line or paragraph, or as it reads best in display type.
Bullet
A typeset character (a large dot or symbol) used to itemize lists or to direct attention to the beginning of a line. (See dingbat.)

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C

Caching
The process that saves bitmaps in memory or on the printer's hard disk to minimize the amount of time spent generating bitmaps. The first time a particular letter is imaged, its bitmap is generated and cached. Subsequent uses of that letter can use the cached version for huge performance gains.
Calligraphic
In typography, this usually refers to Roman or Italic alphabets which appear to have been written with a pen or brush. Derived from the Greek word ‘kalligraphia’, which means ‘beautiful writing’.
Callout
A selection of type (word or phrase) that is set in larger or bolder type from the body copy font for emphasis.
Cap height
The height of the uppercase letters within a font.
Capital
The large letters of the alphabet; the original form of ancient Roman characters. The letters are based on a design within a square, with no ascenders or descenders; also called uppercase, majuscule, and caps.
Caps and small caps
The typesetting option in which the lowercase letters are set as small capital letters; usually 75% the height of the size of the innercase.
Caption
Text describing an illustration, photo, or other piece of artwork or graphic (see cutline).
Character
A symbol in writing. A letter, punctuation mark or figure.
Character count
An estimation of the number of characters in a selection of type.
Character set
A single font's characters, symbols, and numbers.
Colophon
An inscription at the end of a manuscript or book that contains facts about its production; identifies artists, designers, or printers, and specifies the typefaces and papers used.
Column rule
A line used between two columns of type.
Comp
Short for comprehensive layout; used to show a client how the printed piece will look.
Condensed
Characters which are narrower to fit into a compact space. A properly condensed character should fit into a smaller space without making it too thin or reducing the character's height.
Connotation
The associations a particular font brings to the readers interaction with it; what it reminds the reader of — the feelings or thoughts that arise when looking at it.
Contrast
An indication of the difference between the thicker and thinner parts of characters in a typeface.
Copy
All typeset words and/or text incorporated into the publication (as in art and copy).
Counter
The enclosed (or partially enclosed) space within letters such as 'c,' 'e,' S,' 'H,' and 'g.' Often confused with "bowl."
Cutline
Term used predominantly by newspapers to describe a photo (see caption).

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D

Denotation
An analytical descripton of a specific font, its serifs, bracketing, terminals, weight of strokes, etc.
Descender
The lowest portion of letters such as 'g,' 'j,' 'p' 'q,' and 'y' that extends below the baseline, or reading line of type.
Diacritic
A mark like a circumflex, accent mark, cedilla, or umlaut, which is added to a letter to give it a special phonetic value, or to distinguish words which are otherwise graphically identical. Also called ‘accent.’
Dingbats
Once known as ‘printer's flowers’, these are the small decorative marks, bullets, or symbols that usually make up a speciality face. Zapf Dingbats is a well-known example of a dingbat font.
Discretionary hyphens
A hyphen inserted in a word indicating where PageMaker can divide the word, if necessary, to fit the text on the line.
Display face
A larger and bolder version of a text face (14 points or more), used for headlines and sub-headlines.
Downloading
Transferring fonts from the computer to the printer's memory.
Dpi
(Dots per inch) The measure of resolution for a video monitor or printer. High-resolution printers are usually at least 1000 dpi. Laser printers typically have a resolution of 600 dpi; monitors are usually 72 dpi.
Drop cap
An oversized capital letter used at the start of a paragraph. Drop caps occupy two or more lines of body copy, usually introduced for design emphasis.

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E

Egyptian
A typeface style with slab or square serifs, these lack contrast (i.e. in a serif face, thick serifs and stems that are normally thin are fat). Also known as ‘Western’ faces as they are reminiscent of the old American West. They are sometimes made up of human forms and floral figures, and are one of the oldest reminders of the craftsmanship of the 19th century, before the arrival of modern journalism and printing techniques. Still with us today, some of these faces are so bold and condensed that they hardly have any white space between the letters.
Element
One of the distinguishable components of a layout: headline, subhead, body copy, illustration, logo, border, etc.
Em
A unit of measure, which is the square of a face's point size. Traditionally, the width of a face's widest letter, the capital 'M.' For instance, if the 'M' is 10 points wide, an em is equal to 10 points. By Microsoft: A unit of measurement equal to the current type size. For example, an em in 12-point type is equal to 12 points.
Em dash
One em wide, the em dash indicates missing material or a break in thought. Spaces may be added to both sides of the em dash.
Em square
A square the size of a capital letter 'M,' which extends to the descender line. The em square received its name from the capital 'M' that filled the piece of metal used to form the type body in early printing days.
Em space
A non-breaking space equal to the width of a typeface's point size, often used for paragraph indentions. Traditionally, it was created by non-printing blocks of metal used to add space between words.
Em unit
Dimensionless distance measuring units used in Altsys' software programme Fontographer.
Embedding
Process of importing into a file all of the data used to describe a graphic or font, in contrast to linking to the file or font.
En
A unit of measurement equal to half of one em.
En dash
One en wide, the en dash indicates duration, ‘to’ or ‘through’ such as, ‘refer to pages 4-9.’ It may also be used in compound adjectives (as in post-World War 1). A space can be added to both sides of the en dash.
En space
A non-breaking space equal to the width of the letter N in the font being used (one-half the width of an em space).
En square
A unit of measure which is equal to half of a typeface's point size. Traditionally, an en was half the width of an em.
EPS
(Encapsulated PostScript) A graphic file format jointly developed by Altsys, Aldus, Adobe, and Quark which expedites the exchange of PostScript graphics files between applications. Also known as ‘EPSF.’ Used for draw-type images, created with PostScript code.
Expanded
A typeface whose letters have been made wider without visually adding weight.
Extended
A typeface whose letters are stretched (or expanded) horizontally whilst retaining their original height.

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F

Family
All the type sizes and styles of one typeface. A complete character set of a font. The group shares a common design but can differ in attributes such as character width, weight and posture (eg, Roman vs. Italic). A typical computer family unit frequently contains four fonts — Roman, Italic, Bold, and Bold ltalic in all sizes.
Fixed pitch
Any typestyle, such as Courier, that has the same amount of space allotted for each character (in contrast to proportional spacing).
Font
The complete set of characters for one typeface at one particular type size, excluding attributes such as bold or Italic. In modern usage, the term ‘font’ is often confused with ‘typeface’ and ‘family’. Traditionally, ’font’ represents a complete set of characters (including all the letters of the alphabet, punctuation, and symbols) which share the same typeface, style, and size. For example, 12 point Goudy Oldstyle Bold is a font. Fonts can be as small as the basic alphabet or have hundreds of characters. Some languages, like Japanese, have huge numbers, making them more difficult to access from the standard keyboard. Derived from the word ‘found’, from type foundry.
Font family
Group of typefaces with similar characteristics. For example, the sans serif typefaces Arial, Arial Bold, Arial Bold Italic, Arial Italic, Small Fonts, and MS Sans Serif are all part of the Swiss font family.
Font size
The size of type, measured in points between the bottom of the descender and the top of the ascender (the vertical point size of a font). Sometimes referred to as the Type or Point Size.
Font style
Refers to the specific characteristics of the font. The four characteristics that can be defined for fonts are Italic, Bold, Bold Italic, and Roman.
Fontographer
Specialized graphics editor designed by Altsys and now owned by Macromedia. It simplifies the editing and creation of high quality fonts, logos, typefaces and other intricate PostScript and TrueType artwork, in addition to generating EPS outlines for use in PostScript illustration programmes. Fontographer generates Type I PostScript language fonts (for the Macintosh, IBM-compatible PCs, and NeXT) as well as TrueType and Type 3 PostScript fonts (for IBM-compatible PCs and the Macintosh).
Footer
One or more lines of text appearing at the bottom of every page.

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G

Gothic
In modern usage, Gothic refers to sans serif monoweight letters (for example, Letter Gothic). These have little contrast of thick and thin lines, and no ornamentation, yet still retain the intensive boldness of the traditional Gothic. After the invention of typography by Gutenberg in AD 1450, the traditional Gothic style of lettering fell into the shadow of Venetian Old Style typography.
Geometric
Serif or sans serif designs composed of visually geometric character shapes. Some good examples are Lubalin Graph, Avant Garde, and Futura.
Glyph
A shape in a font that is used to represent a character code on screen or paper. A letter — but the symbols and shapes in a font like ITC Zapf Dingbats are also glyphs.
Greeked text
Simulated text used to show the position of the actual text on the page. Text is greeked to speed the screen display.
Gutter
The space between two facing pages (inside margins). The term is sometimes used to refer to the space between two columns (see alley).

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H

Hanging indent
A paragraph with the first line extending to the left of the other lines.
Header
One or more lines of text appearing at the top of every page.
Headline
The extra large opening statement used in a layout, used to grab the reader's attention. It sometimes summarizes the body copy.
Hints
Computer algorithms which enhance the appearance of characters printed or imaged at low resolutions (72-600 dpi). ATM can take advantage of hints in Type I PostScript fonts to render more uniformly shaped screen fonts across the character set.
Hyphenation zone
The area at the end of a text line where it is acceptable to hyphenate words.

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I

I-beam
The shape the pointer assumes when the text tool is selected.
Ideograph
The combination of two or more pictographs to represent a concept.
Indents
A temporary inward offset from the margin setting.
Initial cap
Large, capital letters (often ornamental) which are found at the beginning of paragraphs or chapters. These date back to the early days of European manuscripts where they were (and still are) considered works of art. Before printing presses replaced hand lettering, a few talented scribes drew the characters into spaces left in the manuscripts for that purpose.
Inline graphic
A graphic placed in text with the text tool. An inline graphic travels with the text block when moved.
Insertion point
A vertical bar in the text that indicates the location where any newly typed text will appear, or any deletions will be made. Also called the text cursor.
Italics
A type style with slightly slanted characters, used for emphasis. Best used to set off quotes, special phrases, and foreign words, Italic letters have a redesigned structure that allows them to slant to the right. The first Italic type was designed by Aldus Manutius in AD 1501 and was based on the handwriting style of that time. Furthermore, lowercase letters were in Italics while capital letters were Roman (or vertical stance).

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J

Jumplines
Text at the end of an article indicating on what page the article is continued; also, the text at the top of a continued article indicating from where the article is continued.
Justified
Text that is aligned at both the left and right margins.

K


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Kerning
The adjustment of spacing between letters. Also called Letter Spacing. The process of improving appearance and legibility by adjusting the white space between certain paired characters, such as 'Ty,' 'To,' or 'Ye,' which are known as ‘kerning pairs’. Manual kerning allows the desktop publisher to move letters either closer or farther apart to adjust and improve the space between them. Automatic kerning on the computer is achieved by using a kerning table (an AFM file) that contains pre-defined font-specific kerning pairs. Sometimes incorrectly referred to as ‘minus setting’.
Kicker
Short, underlined phrase introducing a headline. Also called a teaser.

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L

Leader
(Pronounced leeder) Rows of dots or dashes used to guide the eye to another area within the line.
Leading
(Pronounced 'ledding') The amount of vertical space between lines of type. The distance from the baseline of one line of type to the baseline of another line of type immediately above or below it; also known as line spacing and usually measured in points.
Legibility
The ease with which the reader can discern the type on the page, based on the tone of the type in relation to the background and the letter forms' shape in relation to each other.
Left justified
Type that is aligned with its left margin. Also called ‘flush left’.
Letter spacing
Extra space inserted between letters in a word. Also called kerning. Best used to modify headings, this should be applied with caution, since too much letter spacing makes copy difficult to read. Some programs automatically add letter spacing when the text is justified. (See tracking)
Ligated
A typeface that has connections between letters. Formal and informal scripts are the most common examples of ligated typefaces. Characters like 'fi,' 'fl,' or 'st' may be ligated in typefaces that are otherwise unconnected.
Ligature
A special double character in a font representing two letters as one. For example, ae and oe. One character that is made up of two or more letters.
Line spacing
The amount of vertical spacing, expressed in points, from the baseline of one line of text to the baseline of the next line.
Logo
A combination of characters and/or graphics to create a single design that is used to identify a company or organization. It is often trademarked and is always included on all company printed materials and ads.
Logotype
Usually refers to the type or font used in a logo.
Lowercase
These are the small letters of a typeface. Originally, small letters were stored in the lower section of the printer's typecase, hence the term ‘lowercase’. Once known as ‘minuscules’.

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M

Margin marker
A symbol on the ruler used to set the left and right margins for the text in word processing documents.
Margins
The area from the edge of the paper to the boundary of the layout area of the page.
Metrics
Font information such as ascent, descent, leading, character widths, and kerning.
Monospaced font
Like typewritten characters, these all have the same width and take up the same amount of space. Use of this type allows figures to be set in vertical rows without leaving a ragged appearance (in contrast to proportional type).

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O

Oblique
A right slanted version of a Roman typeface without changes to the letter's design. Often confused with Italic.
Old Style
Characterized by variations in stroke width, bracketed serifs, high contrast, and a diagonal stroke. Some popular Old Styles include Bembo, Garamond, Janson, and Caslon. Originally developed during the Renaissance and adopted by Venetian printers in the 15th century, these were based on pen drawn forms.
Orphan line
A single line of a paragraph at the top of a page or column.
Outline font
A font that is defined by drawing the black contour of the white space that makes up each character. It is made up typically of Bezier curves for PostScnpt fonts and quadratic splines for TrueType fonts. Both these fonts can be scaled to any size — therefore, one set of outlines can be used for any size in a typeface.
Overprinting
Printing one colour over another, instead of knocking out the background colour.

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P

Paragraph tags
Style names included in a word-processed document that can be retained when the file is placed into a PageMaker document.
Permanent font
A font which is downloaded to the printer, onto a hard disk or in ROM, and resides there until the power is turned off.
Petroglyph
An elemental sign or pictograph carved or drawn on a rock.
Pica
A unit of measurement equal to one-sixth of an inch. There are 12 points to a pica. A typographic measurement that has survived the digital revolution. 12 points = 1 pica; 6 picas = 1 inch; 72 points = 1 inch.
Pictograph
An elementary picture symbol that represents an object (noun).
Pitch
Refers to the amount of horizontal space used for each character of fixed-width fonts. This is often specified in characters-per-inch (CPI), typically where 10 pitch equals 12 point, 12 pitch equals 10 point, and 15 pitch equals 8 point.
Pixel
(Stands for PICture ELement) Pixels are square dots that represent the smallest units displayed on a computer screen. The standard Macintosh monitor displays about 72 pixels per inch. Characters or graphics are created by turning pixels on or off.
Point
A unit of measurement, often used to measure type size, equal to 0.013837 inch (approximately equal to 1/72"). The traditional point measurement was slightly more or less than 72 points to the inch (depending on the typesetting measurement system).
Point size
The height of the type body. A standard type measurement system was originally developed by the Parisian type founder Pierre Fournier le Jeune in 1737. In the days of metal type, the point size was the total number of points in the height of metal type, including the ascent and descent of the letters and the metal above and below the letters (ie. Built-in leading).
PostScript
Adobe System's page description language. Programmes like Macromedia FreeHand and Adobe Illustrator use PostScript to create complex pages, text, and graphics onscreen. This language is then sent to the printer to produce high quality printed text and graphics.
Printer font
A font (i.e. Helvetica or Times) that can be down-loaded to the printer, onto a hard disk or in ROM, and then resides in the printer.
Proportionally spaced type
Type whose character widths vary according to the features of the letters (in contrast to monospaced type).
Proportional spacing
Spacing for type in which characters are not all the same width (i.e. an i would take less space than an m).
Pull quotes
Short excerpts from text that are enlarged and set off from the page with boxes or lines. These are used for emphasis or to fit text copy into columns.

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R

Ragged
The uneven alignment of text lines. Ragged is the opposite of flush. A text block may be formatted to be evenly aligned (flush) on one side and unevenly aligned (ragged) on the other.
RAM
(Random Access Memory) The computer or printer’s temporary place for storing data. When the computer or printer is turned off, the information in RAM is erased.
Rasterization
The process of converting Outlines into bitmaps. The outlines are scaled to the desired size and filled by turning on pixels inside the outline. (See pixel)
Readability
The overall appearance of how the type is spaced in the column.
Rebus
The use of pictures and/or pictographs together to represent the syllables of a word.
Recto
The right page of a spread. The left page is called Verso.
Rendering
The actual placement of rasterized pixels on the monitor's display. Refers both to graphic objects and type, particularly for fonts using hints. Also called ‘rasterization’.
Resolution
The number of dots in an image's screen display or printed output. A monitor's resolution refers to the number of pixels per linear inch. Printed resolution refers to dots per linear inch. (See dpi.)
Resonance
The overtone of a typeface design based on our connotative experience with it: historic, romantic, business-like, exotic, etc.
Reverse type
White characters on a dark background. A good way to grab the reader's attention.
Right justified
Type aligned with its right margin. Also known as ‘flush right’.
RIP
(Raster Image Processor) Converts fonts and graphics into raster images, which are used by the printer to draw onto the page.
Roman
In Macintosh font menus, this is called Plain, meaning text that has no style applied to it (i.e. Italic, Bold, Bold ltalic). Roman fonts are upright thick-and-thin weighted, and usually serifed type. The classical Roman letter style began in A.D. 114 with letters chiselled in the stone of the Trajan Columns in Rome.

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S

Sans serif
A typeface without serifs. For example, Helvetica or Modern. Sans serif type is more legible in headings than in a long passage of text. Helvetica is an example of a sans serif typeface. First designed by William Caslon IV in 1816, it was originally referred to as ‘English Egyptian’. Also known as ‘Gothic’ in the United States and ‘Grotesque’ in Europe.
Screen font
A font used to display characters on the screen. Screen fonts are created as bitmaps in the same resolution as the monitor.
Script
Script letters are joined and should not be confused with cursive, which are not connected. Since script is difficult to read, its use should be limited to a few lines at a time. Early script typefaces were developed in the sixteenth century, and were based upon formal cursive handwriting.
Serif
Small, finishing strokes on the arms, stems, and tails of characters. Serif typefaces are usually used for text since the serifs form a link between letters that leads the eye across a line of type.
Serif type
A font that has accents at the end of character strokes. (e.g. Times or Roman).
Set-width
The width of a letter and its surrounding space; the space, needed to set a line of text in a specific typeface. Some programmes have tracking to adjust the typeface to make it set looser or tighter. Also known as ‘advance width’.
Semiautomatic flow text
Placement in which the text flows to the bottom of the column and stops with the text icon loaded with the rest of the text.
Sidebars
Boxes of text at the side of a document presenting material related to, but not necessarily a part of, the text.
Side bearing
The space between the origin of a character and its leftmost point (left side bearing), or the space between the rightmost point and width line (right side bearing).
Slant
Refers to the angle of a font's characters, which can be Italic or Roman (no slant).
Slug
A line of type cast as a single piece of metal from a linotype machine; strips of metal (lead) sandwiched between lines of type used in letterpress printing which create the vertical spacing between lines knowing as leading.
Soft font
A typeface file that is stored on the computer's hard drive and sent to the printer when needed. Also called a downloadable font.
Spacing
The amount of unused space that exists between words, letters, and lines in text. Spacing provides a way of avoiding overlapping shapes and letters to improve readability. Can be either fixed or proportional. In a fixed font, such as Courier, every character occupies the same amount of space. In a proportional font, such as Arial or Times New Roman, character width varies.
Spread
Facing pages; made up of an even-numbered page on the left (verso) and an odd-numbered page on the right (recto).
Spur
A finishing stroke like the ones on certain uppercase 'G's.
Square serif
Originally designed at the beginning of the 19th century, these typefaces have squared-off serifs on the characters' end strokes. Also called 'slab serif' or ‘Egyptian’.
Standoff
The distance between the edge of the graphic and the graphic boundary. Determines how close text will flow.
Stem
The upright element of a letter or character.
Stet
Proofreader mark that means ‘let it stand’: used to direct retention of a word or passage previously ordered to be deleted or omitted from a manuscript or printer's proof by annotating it usually with the word 'stet'.
Stress
The vertical, horizontal, or diagonal emphasis on the stroke of a letter.
Stretched text
Widening text characters, not the spacing between the characters.
Style
A set of formatting information applied to a paragraph that causes text to reformat according to the specifications of that style. (Not to be confused with typestyle.)
Style sheet
The collection of all the styles used for one publication.
Subhead
May be either a display line enlarging on the main headline (usually in smaller size) or a short heading inside the copy used to break up long patches of grey.
Substrate
The base or material on which communication is written (e.g. rock, clay, bark, paper, parchment, etc.)
Swash capitals
Uppercase letters that have flourishes added to them. Originally designed to go with Italic typefaces.

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T

Tab marker

Small symbols on the ruler in word processing applications that can be placed at intervals for tab stops. Tab stops locate the positions where the insertion point moves when the Tab key is depressed.
Tab (stop)
A location set along the horizontal ruler to show where text should be aligned.
Tail
A character's downward projection, such as on the letter 'Q'.
Terminals
Not serifs, but ends of certain letter shapes such as the letters 'f', 'j', 'y', 'r', and 'a'.
Text
The main body of words or copy in any type of documents (also called body, copy, body copy).
Text block
The amount of text confined within windowshade handles when selected with the pointer tool.
Text box
A rectangular area on a dialogue box where text can be typed.
Text cursor
(see insertion point)
Text face
Usually serifed fonts set in sizes from 9 to 12 points, these typefaces are easier to read in large sections than display faces. Some examples include Times and Goudy Oldstyle. Also called ‘bookface’.
Text wrap
in keyboarding text: automatic placement of a word on the following line when the entire word will not fit on the current line. In graphics: the PageMaker command for flowing text around a graphic, jumping over it, flowing through it, or jumping to the next column.
Thin space
A space equal to one-fifth of an en space.
Threaded text
Blocks of text that are connected across the columns of a page and across pages from the beginning to the end of a story. Allows insertions or deletions without losing information.
Track kerning
Adjusting the letterspacing for a block of text.
Tracking
The overall letter spacing in text. Tracking can also be used to tighten or loosen a block of type. Some programmes have automatic tracking options which can add or remove small increments of space between the characters. (See letterspacing.)
Transient font
A font which stays in the printer's memory until the current document has finished printing.
Transitional
A typestyle which is characterized by moderate variations in stroke weight, smoothly-joined serifs, high contrast, and an almost vertical stress. First introduced in the late 18th century by John Baskerville.
TrueType
An outline font format developed by Apple Computer (for use with System 7) and adopted by Microsoft Corporation (for use with versions of the Windows graphical user interface). These fonts can be used for both the screen display and printing, eliminating the need to have two font files for each typeface.
Type
Printed or typewritten letters or characters. As early as AD 400, the Chinese printed entire pages of characters through the use of wooden blocks. Johann Gutenberg cast the first metal type in the 15th century.
Typeface
A set of characters that share common characteristics, such as stroke width and the presence or absence of serifs. Type of a uniform design, often named after a designer, a typeface or ‘face’ (e.g. Goudy Oldstyle) is an interpretation of a character set that shares a similar appearance and design. The character set includes letters, numbers, punctuation, and symbols. On computers. ‘typeface’ is used interchangeably with the term ‘font’, although they are not synonymous.
Typography
Typography is the study and process of typefaces; how to select, size, arrange, and use them. In modern terms. typography includes computer display and output. Traditionally, typography was the use of metal types with raised letterforms that were inked and then pressed onto paper.
Typestyle
Variations within a typeface. Plain, Bold, Italic, Underline, Outline, and Shadow are styles found in the Style menu for almost all applications used for creating text or graphic documents.

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U

Uppercase
The large, capital letters of a typeface. Once called ‘majuscules’, these letters were stored in the upper section of the printer's typecase, hence the term ‘uppercase’.

V

Verso
The left hand page on a spread. The right page is called Recto.

W

Weight
The measurement of a stroke's width. Common names for weights include demibold, light, and bold. Some typeface families have several weights, including ultra-bold and extra-light. Refers to the heaviness of the stroke for a specific font, such as Light, Regular, Book, Demi, Heavy, Black, and Extra Bold.
Widow line
A single line of a paragraph at the bottom of a page or column.
Width
Refers to whether the standard typeface has been extended or compressed horizontally. The common variations are Condensed, Normal, or Extended.
Word processing programme
A software application package that aids in creating, editing, and printing documents such as letters, memos, and reports.
Word spacing
In a line of text, this is the amount of space between each word. It can be varied to adjust line length without affecting readability, unlike letterspacing.
Word wrap
A word in a line of text automatically moves to the next line as it approaches the right-hand margin of the text block.
WYSIWYG
(What You See Is What You Get) Refers to a relatively accurate screen representation of the final printer output.

X

X-height
The height of lowercase letters such as ‘x’, which do not have ascenders or descenders. The lowercase 'x' is used for measurement since it usually sits squarely on the baseline.
X line
A line marking the top of those lowercase letters, such as ‘x’, having no ascenders. The upper boundary of x-height.

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