inDesign Glossary
Bring up the glossary entries by clicking on one of the letters below.


A/As Author's Alterations. Changes made to the copy by the author after typesetting, and thus chargeable to the author.
Acrobat A program developed by Adobe Systems, Inc. that allows the conversion of any document from any Macintosh or Windows application to PDF format. It is widely used for distributing documents online.
Acrobat Reader A stand-alone program or Web browser plug-in from Adobe that allows you to view a PDF file. Acrobat Reader is free and can be downloaded from the Adobe Web site.
additive color The process of mixing red, green, and blue light to achieve a wide range of colors, as on a color television screen.
Adobe Paragraph Composer The text composition engine present in Adobe InDesign. Loosely based on Donald Knuth's TeX composition algorithms, this is the only desktop product that can perform text composition on multiple lines of text at one time.
align panel A panel that provides a number of options for aligning objects, relative to each other or to the document.
alignment Positioning content to the left, right, center, top, or bottom.
anchor points The individual points that define the shape of a vector-based graphic element. Anchor points are connected by line segments.
anti-aliasing A graphics software feature that eliminates or softens the jaggedness of low-resolution curved edges.
ascender Part of a lowercase letter that exceeds the height of the letter "x". The letters b, d, f, h, k, l, and t have ascenders.
ASCII American Standard Code for Information Interchange. Worldwide, standard ASCII text does not include formatting, and therefore can be exchanged and read by most computer systems.
aspect ratio The width-to-height proportions of an image.
ATM Adobe Type Manager. A utility that causes fonts to appear smooth on screen at any point size. It's also used to manage font libraries.
attribute Information included in the start tag of an element.
automatic text box A text box that appears on the default master page; it snaps to the defined margin guides.
auxiliary dictionary A supplementary file that is used to store unusual, technical, or other words that do not appear in the built-in dictionary.
Click here to go to the top of the page


backslant A name for characters that slant the opposite direction from italic characters.
banding A visible stair-stepping of shades in a gradient.
baseline The implied reference line on which the bases of capital letters sit.
baseline shift A formatting option that moves selected characters above or below the baseline of normal text.
Bézier curves Vector curves that are defined mathematically. These curves can be scaled without the "jaggies" inherent in enlarging bitmapped fonts or graphics.
binding In general, the various methods used to secure signatures or leaves in a book. Examples include saddle-stitching (the use of staples in a folded spine), and perfect-bound (multiple sets of folded pages sewn or glued into a flat spine).
binding edge The edge of a page that is inserted into the publication's binding.
bitmap image An image constructed from individual dots or pixels set to a gridlike mosaic. The file must contain information about the color and position of each pixel, so the disk space needed for bitmap images can be very large.
bitmapped Forming an image with a grid of pixels whose curved edges have discrete steps because of the approximation of the curve due to a finite number pixels.
bitmapping The stairstepped appearance of graphics, caused by enlarging raster images.
black The absence of color. An ink that absorbs all wavelengths of light.
bleed Page data that extends beyond the trim marks on a page.
bleed allowance The extra portion of an element that extends beyond the page trim edge.
bleed size An element of page geometry; the trim size plus the bleed allowance.
BMP A Windows bitmap image format that features low-quality and large file sizes.
body copy The text portion of the copy on a page, as distinguished from headlines.
boldface A heavier, blacker version of a typeface.
border A continual line that extends around an element.
bounding box An area that defines the outer border of an object.
bullet A marker preceding text, usually a solid dot, used to add emphasis; generally indicates the text is part of a list.
by-line A short phrase or paragraph that names and gives credit to the author of a piece.
Click here to go to the top of the page


calibration bars A strip of color blocks or tonal values on film, proofs, and press sheets, used to check the accuracy of color registration, quality, density, and ink coverage during a print run.
callout A descriptive label referenced to a visual element, such as several words connected to the element by an arrow.
cap line The theoretical line to which the tops of capital letters are aligned.
caps Abbreviation for capital letters.
caps and small caps A style of typesetting in which capital letters are used in the normal way, while the type that would normally be in lowercase is changed to capital letters of a smaller point size. A true small-caps typeface does not contain any lowercase letters.
caption The lines of text that identify a picture or illustration, usually placed beneath it or otherwise in close proximity.
center marks Press marks that appear on the center of all sides of a press sheet to aid in positioning the print area on the paper.
character count The number of characters (letters, figures, signs, or spaces) in a selected block of copy.
character style sheet A style sheet that defines only character formatting attributes, including font, type size, text color, and type style.
clip art Collections of predrawn and digitized graphics.
clipboard The portion of computer memory that holds data that has been cut or copied. The next item cut or copied replaces the data already in the clipboard.
clipping path A path that determines which parts of an image show on the page. Anything inside the path shows and prints; anything outside the path won't. The clipping path essentially knocks out the unwanted part of the image.
CMYK Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black. The subtractive primaries, or process colors, used in four-color printing.
coated Printing papers that have a surface coating (of clay or other material) to provide a smoother, more even finish with greater opacity.
collate To gather together separate sections or leaves of a publication in the correct order for binding.
color chart A printed chart of various combinations of CMYK colors used as an aid for the selection of colors during the design phase of a project.
color composition The ink components that are combined to make up a specific color.
color key An overlay color proof of acetate sheets, one for each of the four primary printing inks. The method was developed by 3M Corporation and remains a copyrighted term.
color mode A system for describing color, such as RGB, HLS, CIELAB, or CMYK.
color picker A function within a graphics application that assists in selecting or setting a color.
color proof A printed or simulated printed image of the color separations intended to produce a close representation of the final reproduction for approval and as a guide to the press operator.
color separation The process of transforming color artwork into components corresponding to the colors of ink being used, whether process or spot, or a combination of the two.
color space A three-dimensional coordinate system in which any color can be represented as a point.
column 1. A vertical area for type, used to constrain line length to enhance design and readability. 2. A series of cells arranged vertically.
column guides The guides that denote the location of gutters between columns.
commercial printing Typically, printing on high-capacity, high-resolution presses; processes include offset lithography, flexography, gravure, and screen printing. Offset printing is the most widely used commercial printing process.
comp Comprehensive artwork used to present the general color and layout of a page.
composite proof A version of an illustration or page in which the process colors appear together to represent full color. When produced on a monochrome output device, colors are represented as shades of gray.
contextual menu A menu containing options that are only relative to the object for which the menu is activated.
control handle Nonprinting lines that define the shape or segments that connect two anchor points.
coordinates Numbers signifying a place in a Cartesian plane, represented by (x,y).
copy 1. Written matter intended to be reproduced in printed form. 2. The text of a news story, advertisement, television commercial, etc., as distinguished from related visual material.
copyfitting Making sure you don't write more text than you have room to accommodate.
copyright Ownership of a work. Permits the owner of material to prevent its use without express permission or acknowledgement of the originator. Copyright may be sold, transferred, or given up contractually.
corner radius The distance between the anchor points that define the corners of beveled-, rounded-, or concave-corner boxes.
crop marks Printed lines used as guides for final trimming of the pages within a press sheet. Also called "trim marks."
cropping The elimination of parts of a photograph or other original that are not required to be printed.
curly quotes See smart quotes.
cursor A small symbol that can be moved around a video screen. Used to indicate the position where data will be entered or an action taken.
Click here to go to the top of the page


dash A short horizontal rule of varying lengths used to indicate a pause or clause in a sentence. See en dash, em dash.
dateline In a news release, the identification of the city where the company issuing the release is located, as well as the date on which the release was written.
decorative font Display type that is typically an artistic representation of some theme, which is commonly indicated in the font name (e.g., Eyechart or Papyrus).
default A specification for a mode of computer operation that occurs if no other is selected. The default font size might be 12 point, or a default color for an object might be white with a black border.
device-independent color Reproduction in which the output color is absolute, and is not determined by the output device characteristics.
DICColor A special-color library commonly used in Japan.
dictionary A collection of words used to determine appropriate spelling and hyphenation.
dingbat 1. A font character that displays a picture instead of a letter, number, or punctuation mark. There are entire font families of pictographic dingbats. 2. A printer's typographical ornament.
discretionary hyphen A hyphen coded for display and printing only when formatting of the text puts the hyphenated word at the end of a line. Also called a "soft hyphen."
display performance In InDesign, this option allows you to choose Optimized Display, Typical Display, or High-Quality Display. Optimized Display grays out images, so the pages repaint faster; High-Quality Display enhances the display quality of images, and the page repaints slower.
document The general term for a computer file containing text and/or graphics.
double-page spread A design that spans the two pages visible to the reader at any open spot in a magazine, periodical, or book.
draw-type pictures Pictures created from a series of instructions that tell the computer to draw lines, curves, rectangles, and other objects. Also called "objectoriented images" or "vector graphics." See bitmap image.
drop cap Text formatting in which the first one or more characters in a paragraph is enlarged to occupy more than one line in the paragraph.
drop-down menu A selection list.
duplicate Make a copy.
Click here to go to the top of the page


editable text A text element that the user can modify by entering or deleting keystrokes.
editorial priority The order of importance for text in a document.
effective resolution The final resolution of an image, calculated by dividing the image resolution (pixels per inch) by the magnification percentage.
element The smallest unit of a graphic, or a component of a page layout or design. Any object, text block, or graphic might be referred to as a design element.
em A printers measurement; the height, in points, of the font size.
em dash A dash (—) that indicates the separation of elements of a sentence or clause.
em space A space that is of equal width in points to the point size. An em space in 10 point type is 10 points wide.
embedded font A font that is made part of a document.
embedding Including a complete copy of a text file or image within a document, with or without a link.
en dash A dash (–), half the width of an em dash, that often replaces the word "to" or "through," such as 9–5 or Monday–Friday.
en space A space that is equal to half the width of an em space.
EPS Encapsulated PostScript. File format used to transfer PostScript data within compatible applications. EPS files can contain text, vector artwork, and images.
expanded type A typeface in which the width of the letters is wider than that of the standard letters of the font. Expanded type can be a designed font, or the effect may be approximated using a horizontal scaling feature. Also called extended type.
expert set A font that includes "cut" small caps, meaning that they were specially designed from the start to be used as small caps, and they maintain the same weight as the regular cap.
export To save a file generated in one application into a format that is readable in another.
extended characters Characters that cannot be accessed directly from the keyboard; for the most part, characters with an ASCII value higher than 128.
Click here to go to the top of the page


facing pages A type of layout in which the pages of a design appear opposite each other, as in the pages of a book. See nonfacing pages.
fair use Using copyrighted work without obtaining permission from the copyright holder for purposes such as critique, education, or research.
fill To add a tone or color to the area inside a closed object in a graphic illustration program.
fill character The character that appears between the text at each tab location.
Focoltone A special-color library used in the United States.
folder The digital equivalent of a paper file folder, used to organize files in the Macintosh and Windows operating systems. Double-clicking the icon opens it to reveal the files stored inside.
folding dummy A template used for determining page arrangement on a form to meet folding and binding requirements.
font A font is the complete collection of all the characters (numbers, uppercase and lowercase letters, and in some cases, small caps and symbols) of a given typeface in a specific style; for example, Helvetica Bold.
font embedding The technique of saving font data as a part of a PDF file, which eliminates problems caused by missing font files.
font family In Web design, a grouping of (supposedly) similar fonts, which will be used to display text in the Web page.
font license The legal right to use a font you purchased; most licenses limit fonts to use on a single computer.
font metrics The physical characteristics of a font, as defined in the font data file.
font subsetting Embedding only the used characters of a font into the final file. The advantage of font subsetting is that it decreases the overall size of a file. The disadvantage is that it limits the ability to makes corrections at the printing service.
font substitution A process in which your computer uses a font other than the one you used in your design to display or print your publication. Usually occurs when a used font is missing on the computer used to output the design.
force justify A type alignment command that causes the space between letters and words in a line of type to expand to fit within a line.
four-color process Process color printer. See process colors.
FPO For position only. A term applied to low-quality images or simple shapes used to indicate placement and scaling of an art element on mechanicals or cameraready artwork.
frame The physical characteristics of a box edge.
full measure A line set to the entire line length.
Click here to go to the top of the page


GASP Graphic arts service provider. A firm that provides a range of services somewhere on the continuum from design to fulfillment.
glyph Any character of a font.
gradient A gradual transition from one color to another. The shape of the gradient and the proportion of the two colors can be varied. Also known as blends, gradations, graduated fills, and vignettes.
grayed out Any option (menu selection, button, etc.) that is not available.
grayscale 1. An image composed in grays ranging from black to white, usually using 256 different tones. 2. A tint ramp used to measure and control the accuracy of screen percentages. 3. An accessory used to define neutral density in a photographic image.
Greeking 1. A software technique where areas of gray are used to simulate lines of text below a certain point size. 2. Nonsense text used to define a layout before copy is available.
grid A division of a page by horizontal and vertical guides into areas where text or graphics may be placed accurately.
gutter Extra space between pages in a layout. Sometimes used interchangeably with "alley" to describe the space between columns on a page. Gutters can appear either between the top and bottom of two adjacent pages or between two sides of adjacent pages.
gutter width The space between columns on a layout page.
Click here to go to the top of the page


H & J Hyphenation and Justification. Parameters used by a page-layout program to determine how a line of text should be hyphenated, or how its inter-word and inter-character space should be adjusted.
hairline rule The thinnest rule that can be printed on a given device. A hairline rule on a 1200-dpi imagesetter is 1/1200 of an inch; on a 300-dpi laser printer, the same rule would print at 1/300 of an inch.
halftone An image generated for use in printing in which a range of continuous tones is simulated by an array of dots that create the illusion of continuous tone when seen at a distance.
halftone tint An area covered with a uniform halftone dot size to produce an even tone or color. Also called flat tint or screen tint.
hanging indent Text in which the first line of a paragraph is placed farther left than the rest of the paragraph.
horizontal scale A technique used for creating artificially condensed type.
hyphenation exception A userdefined change to the way a specific word will be hyphenated in a layout.
hyphenation zone The space at the end of a line of text in which the hyphenation function will examine the word to determine whether it should be hyphenated and wrapped to the next line.
Click here to go to the top of the page


imagesetter A raster-based device used to output a digital file at high resolution (usually 1000–3000 dpi) onto photographic paper or film, from which printing plates are made, or directly to printing plates (called a "platesetter").
imposition The arrangement of pages on a printed sheet, which, when the sheet is finally printed, folded, and trimmed, will place the pages in their correct order.
impression cylinder In commercial printing, a cylinder that provides back pressure, thus allowing the image to be transferred from the blanket to the substrate.
initial caps Text in which the first letter of each word (except articles) is capitalized.
inline graphic A graphic that is inserted within a body of text, and may be formatted using normal text commands for justification and leading; inline graphics move with the body of text in which they are placed.
input An element, such as a text box, that receives information from the user.
insertion point A flashing bar that indicates the location at which text will be placed.
intellectual property Any product of human intelligence that is unique, novel, unobvious, and valuable (such as a literary work, idea, or invention).
international paper sizes The International Standards Organization (ISO) system of paper sizes based on a series of three sizes — A, B, and C. Each size has the same proportion of length to width as the others.
invisible characters See non-printing characters.
Click here to go to the top of the page


jaggies Visible steps in the curved edge of a graphic or text character that result from enlarging a bitmapped image.
job package The collected group of all elements that must be sent to a service provide or printer, including a desktop proof, the project file, any images or graphics placed in the layout, and all fonts used in the design.
job specifications Detailed information about a particular job; required to complete the design and print the final product. Includes page geometry, number of ink colors, type of paper being used, finishing requirements, delivery instructions, and other relevant information.
JPEG A compression algorithm that reduces the file size of bitmapped images, named for the Joint Photographic Experts Group, which created the standard. JPEG is "lossy" compression; image quality is reduced in direct proportion to the amount of compression.
justified alignment Straight left and right alignment of text — not ragged. Every line of text is the same width, creating even left and right margins.
Click here to go to the top of the page


keyboard equivalents User-defined shortcuts to style sheets.
Click here to go to the top of the page


L*a*b* The lightness, red-green attribute, and yellow-blue attribute in the CIE L*a*b* color space, a three-dimensional color mapping system.
laser printer A printing system using a laser beam to produce an image on a photosensitive drum. The image is transferred to paper by a conventional xerographic printing process. Current laser printers used for desktop publishing have a resolution of 600 dpi.
lasso tool A selection tool in graphics applications.
layer A function of graphics applications in which elements may be isolated from each other, so a group of elements can be hidden from view, reordered, or otherwise manipulated as a unit, without affecting other elements in the composition.
layout The arrangement of text and graphics on a page, usually produced in the preliminary design stage.
layout space Another term for layout.
leading Space added between lines of type. Named after the strips of lead that used to be inserted between lines of metal type. In specifying type, lines of 12-pt type separated by a 14-pt space is abbreviated "12/14," or "twelve over fourteen."
left alignment Text having a straight left edge and a ragged or uneven right edge.
letter spacing The insertion or addition of white space between the letters of words.
ligature Letters that are joined together as a single unit of type such as and fi.
line art A drawing or piece of blackand- white artwork with no screens. Line art can be represented by a graphic file having only 1-bit resolution.
line coordinates The location and length of a line; defined according to the position and type of anchor points that comprise the line.
line segment The part of a line between two anchor points.
line style The physical appearance of a line; can be plain (solid), dotted, dashed, thin-and-thick, etc.
lithography A mechanical printing process based on the principle of the natural aversion of water to grease. In modern offset lithography, the image on a photosensitive plate is first transferred to the blanket of a rotating drum, and then to the paper.
live area One of the elements of page geometry; the area of a page that can be safely printed without the possibility of being lost in the binding or cut off when the job is trimmed.
lpi Lines per inch. The number of lines per inch used when converting a photograph to a halftone. Typical values range from 85 for newspaper work to 150 or higher for high-quality reproduction on smooth or coated paper. Also called "line screen."
Click here to go to the top of the page


margin guides Guides that denote the live area of a layout page.
margins The non-printing areas of a page, or the line at which text starts or stops.
master font The primary font in a font family, from which variations are derived.
master pages Page-layout templates containing elements common to all pages to which the master is applied.
mechanical A pasted-up page of camera- ready art that is photographed to produce a plate for the press.
menu A list of choices of functions or items, such as fonts.
menu bar The strip across the top of your screen that contains the names of the menus available to you.
menu styling Artificial type styling, typically applied by choosing shortcuts from a menu or palette, or by using a keyboard shortcut.
misregister The unwanted result of incorrectly aligned process inks and spot colors on a finished printed piece. Misregistration can be caused by many factors, including paper stretch and improper plate alignment. Trapping can compensate for misregistration.
monospace A font in which all characters occupy the same amount of horizontal width regardless of the character. See also proportional spacing.
Click here to go to the top of the page


named colors A set of colors specifically designated for reference by name, rather than by RGB or hexadecimal values.
nesting Placing graphic files within other graphic files. This practice often results in errors in printing.
non-breaking space A typographic command that connects two words with a space, but prevents the words from being broken apart if the space occurs within the hyphenation zone.
non-facing pages A type of layout in which the pages of a design do not appear opposite each other. See facing pages.
non-printing characters Formatting characters (such as paragraph returns and tabs) that do not appear in the final printed piece.
nudge To move a graphic or text element in small, preset increments, usually with the Arrow keys.
Click here to go to the top of the page


object A reference to a collection of properties and methods.
object-oriented art Vector-based artwork composed of separate elements or shapes described mathematically, rather than by specifying the color and position of every point. This is in contrast to bitmap images, which are composed of individual pixels.
oblique A slanted character; often used when referring to italic versions of sans-serif typefaces.
offset The distance at which rules are placed above or below paragraphs of text; can be defined as a specific measurement or as a percentage of paragraph spacing.
offset lithography A printing method whereby the image is transferred from a plate onto a rubber-covered cylinder, from which the printing takes place. See lithography.
OpenType A font format developed by Adobe and Microsoft that can be used on both the Windows and Macintosh platforms, can contain over 65,000 distinct glyphs, and offers advanced typographic features.
optical margin alignment In InDesign, with the Optical Margin Alignment option selected, certain characters are placed to the left or right of the escapement of a text frame, "hanging" into the margin.
ordered list A list of numbered items.
orphan A single or partial word, or a partial line of a paragraph appearing at the bottom of a page. See widow.
output device Any hardware equipment, such as a monitor, laser printer, or imagesetter, that depicts text or graphics created on a computer.
outset The distance at which text flows around the edge of a picture or box.
Click here to go to the top of the page


page geometry The physical attributes of a layout page. See trim size, live area, bleed size.
palette 1. As derived from the term in the traditional art world, a collection of selectable colors. 2. Another name for a dialog box or menu of choices.
PANTONE Matching System PMS. A system for specifying colors by number for both coated and uncoated paper; used by print services and in color desktop publishing to assure uniform color matching.
paragraph style sheet A style sheet that defines the appearance of the paragraph, combining the character style to be used in the paragraph with the line spacing, indents, tabs, rules, and other paragraph attributes.
parent style sheet The style sheet on which other styles are based; changing the definition of the parent affects any style sheet that is based on the parent.
pasteboard In a page-layout program, the desktop area outside the printingpage area.
PDF Portable Document Format. Developed by Adobe Systems, Inc. (read by Acrobat Reader), this format has become a de facto standard for document transfer across platforms.
PDF workflow A workflow in which PDF files are used to transmit designs to a service provider for output.
pi fonts A collection of special characters, such as timetable symbols and mathematical signs. Examples are Zapf Dingbats and Symbol. See dingbat.
pica A traditional typographic measurement of 12 points, or approximately 1/6 of an inch. Most applications specify a pica as exactly 1/6 of an inch.
placeholder text In InDesign, a utility for placing nonsense text into a text box. Used to experiment with formatting and layout before the actual job text is ready.
pop-up menu A menu of choices accessed by clicking and dragging the current choice.
portrait Printing from left to right across the narrow side of the page.
PostScript 1. A page-description language, developed by Adobe Systems, Inc., that describes type and/or images and their positional relationships on the page. 2. A computer-programming language.
preferences A set of modifiable defaults for an application.
preflight check A final check of a page layout that verifies all fonts and linked graphics are available, that colors are properly defined, and that any necessary traps have been applied.
prepress All work done between writing and printing, such as typesetting, scanning, layout, and imposition.
preproduction Preparation of all production details.
printer driver The device that communicates between the software program and the printer. When using an application, the printer driver tells the application what the printer can do, and also tells the printer how to print the publication.
printer fonts The image outlines for type in PostScript that are sent to the printer.
printer's marks See trim marks, registration marks.
printer's spread The two pages that abut on press in a multi-page document.
process colors The four inks (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) used in four-color process printing. A printing method in which a full range of colors is reproduced by combining four semitransparent inks. See color separation, CMYK.
proof A representation of the printed job that is made from plates (press proof ), film, or electronic data (prepress proofs). It is generally used for customer inspection and approval before mass production begins.
proportional spacing A method of spacing whereby each character is spaced to accommodate the varying widths of letters or figures, thus increasing readability. For example, a proportionally spaced "m" is wider than an "i."
pt. Abbreviation for point.
pull quote An excerpt from the body of a story used to emphasize an idea, draw readers' attention, or generate interest.
pull-down menu A menu that displays additional options.
Click here to go to the top of the page


range kerning Another term for tracking.
raster A bitmapped representation of graphic data.
raster graphics A class of graphics created and organized in a rectangular array of bitmaps. Often created by paint software or scanners.
raster image A type of picture created and organized in a rectangular array of bitmaps. Often created by paint software, scanners, or digital cameras.
reader's spread The two (or more) pages a reader views when the document is open.
registration Aligning plates on a multicolor printing press so the images superimpose properly to produce the required composite output.
registration color A default color selection that can be applied to design elements so they will print on every separation from a PostScript printer. "Registration" is often used to print identification text that will appear outside the page area on a set of separations.
registration marks Figures (often crossed lines and a circle) placed outside the trim page boundaries on all color separation overlays to provide a common element for proper alignment.
resolution The density of graphic information expressed in dots per inch (dpi) or pixels per inch (ppi).
resolution dependent A characteristic of raster images, in which the file's resolution is determined when the file is created, scanned, or photographed.
resolution independent A characteristic of vector graphics, in which the file adopts its resolution at the time of output based on the capabilities of the device being used.
RGB 1. The colors of projected light from a computer monitor that, when combined, simulate a subset of the visual spectrum. 2. The color mode of most digital artwork. See also CMYK, additive color.
right alignment Text having a straight right edge and a ragged or uneven left edge.
robust kerning A feature of professionally designed fonts, in which kerning values for specific letter pairs are built into the font metrics.
ruler Similar to a physical ruler, a feature of graphics software used for precise measurement and alignment of objects. Rulers appear in the top and left edges of the document window. See grid.
ruler guides Horizontal and vertical guides that can be placed anywhere on the page by dragging from the rulers at the edge of the document window.
rules 1. Straight lines. 2. Lines that are placed above or below paragraphs of text.
runaround A technique used to flow text around the outside of another shape; text can be wrapped around the edges of a box, or contoured to the shape of a placed image. Also called text wrap.
running head Text at the top of the page that provides information about the publication. Chapter names and book titles are often included in the running head. Also called a "header."
Click here to go to the top of the page


sans serif Fonts that do not have serifs. See serif.
scaling The means within a program to reduce or enlarge the amount of space an image occupies by multiplying the data by a factor. Scaling can be proportional, or in one dimension only.
script font Typefaces that appear to have been created with a pen or a brush, whether the letters are connected or unconnected.
select Place the cursor on an object and click the mouse button to make the object active.
select option A potential choice listed in a select list.
selection The currently active object,s in a window. Often made by clicking with the mouse or by dragging a marquee around the desired object/s.
serif A line or curve projecting from the end of a letterform. Typefaces designed with such projections are called serif faces.
serif font Font characterized by a stroke at the top or base of letters, or the ear or spur on some letters.
service bureau An organization that provides services, such as scanning and prepress checks, that prepare your publication to be printed on a commercial printing press. Service bureaus do not, however, print your publication.
service mark A legal designation that identifies and protects the ownership of a specific term or phrase.
service provider Any organization, including a commercial printer, that processes design files for output.
shade A color mixed with black: a 10% shade is one part of the original color and nine parts black. See tint.
shortcut 1. A quick method for accessing a menu item or command, usually through a series of keystrokes. 2. The icon that can be created in Windows to open an application without having to penetrate layers of various folders.
silhouette To remove part of the background of a photograph or illustration, leaving only the desired portion.
small caps A type style in which lowercase letters are replaced by uppercase letters set in a smaller point size.
smart quotes The curly quotation marks used by typographers, as opposed to the straight marks on the typewriter. Use of smart quotes is usually a setup option in a word-processing or page-layout application.
snap-to An optional feature in graphics applications that drives objects to line up with guides, margins, or other objects if they are within a preset pixel range. This eliminates the need for very precise manual placement of an object with the mouse.
soft return A return command that ends a line but does not apply a paragraph mark that would end the continuity of the style for that paragraph.
special color Colors that are reproduced using premixed inks, often used to print colors that are outside the CMYK gamut.
spine The binding edge at the back of a book that contains title information and joins the front and back covers.
spot color Any pre-mixed ink that is not one of the four process-color inks.
spot-color printing The printing method in which special ink colors are used independently or in conjunction with process colors to create a specific color that is outside the gamut of processcolor printing.
spread 1. Two abutting pages. 2. A trapping process that slightly enlarges a lighter foreground object to prevent white paper gaps caused by misregistration.
stacking order 1. The order of elements on a PostScript page, where the topmost item can obscure underlying items. 2. The order in which elements are placed on a page; the first is at the bottom and the last is at the top. 3. The order of layers, from top to bottom.
stripping The act of manually assembling individual film negatives into flats for printing. Also referred to as "film assembly.
stroke The width and color attributes of a line.
style A defined set of formatting instructions for font and paragraph attributes, tabs, and other properties of text.
style sheet A defined set of formatting instructions for font and paragraph attributes, tabs, and other properties of text.
subhead A second-level heading used to organize body text by topic.
subscript Small-size characters set below the normal letters or figures, usually to convey technical information.
superior Small characters set above the normal letters or figures; set as a percentage of the defined type size and aligned to the top edge of ascenders in that type size/font combination.
superscript Small characters set above the normal letters or figures, such as numbers referring to footnotes; similar to superior characters, but raised in percentages from the baseline instead of aligned to the ascender height.
SVG Scalable Vector Graphics. A language for the creation of graphics using only tags.
Click here to go to the top of the page


tabloid 11 x 17-inch paper.
tags The various formats in a style sheet that indicate paragraph settings, margins and columns, page layouts, hyphenation and justification, widow and orphan control, and other parameters. An indication of the start and end of an element.
template A document file containing layout, styles, and repeating elements (such as logos) by which a series of documents can maintain the same look and feel. A model publication you can use as the basis for creating a new publication.
text The characters and words that form the main body of a publication.
text attribute A characteristic applied directly to a letter or letters in text, such as bold, italic, or underline.
text box A box into which users can type.
text converters/filters Tools that convert word-processing and spreadsheet documents created in other programs into files that can be imported into another program.
text editor An application used to create or make changes to text files.
text effects Means by which the appearance of text can be modified, such as bolding, underlining, and italicizing.
text inset The distance from the edge of the box to the position of the placed text.
text string Any sequence of alphanumeric characters that are not code commands.
text-overflow icon An icon at the end of a text box that indicates more text exists at the end of the story, but does not fit into the box (or chain of boxes).
thin space A fixed space, equal to half an en space or the width of a period in most fonts.
TIFF Tagged Image File Format. A common format used for scanned or computer-generated bitmapped images.
tint 1. A halftone area that contains dots of uniform size; that is, no modeling or texture. 2. A percentage of a color; a 10% tint is one part of the original color and nine parts substrate color. See shade.
toggle A command that switches between either of two states at each application. Switching between Hide and Show is a toggle.
tool tip Small text explaining the item to which the mouse is pointing.
tracking Adjusting the spacing of letters in a line of text to achieve proper justification or general appearance.
trademark A legal designation that identifies and protects the ownership of a specific device (such as a name, symbol, or mark).
transformation A change in the shape, color, position, velocity, or opacity of an object.
trapping The process of creating an overlap between abutting inks to compensate for imprecise registration in the printing process. Extending the lighter colors of one object into the darker colors of an adjoining object.
trim marks Printer's marks that denote the edge of the layout before it is printed and cut to final size.
trim size Area of the finished page after the job is printed, folded, bound, and cut.
TrueType An outline font format used in both Macintosh and Windows systems that can be used both on the screen and on a printer.
Trumatch A special-color library used in the United States.
Type 1 fonts PostScript fonts based on Bézier curves encrypted for compactness.
type family A set of typefaces created from the same basic design, but in different variations, such as bold, light, italic, book, and heavy.
type size Typeface as measured (in points) from the bottom of descenders to the body clearance line, which is slightly higher than the top of ascenders.
typeface A unique and distinctive design of a font alphabet; the combined group of all the letters, figures, and punctuation of a specific font.
typesetting The arrangement of individual characters of text into words, sentences, and paragraphs.
typo An abbreviation for typographical error. A keystroke error in the typeset copy.
typographer's quotes See smart quotes.
typography The art and process of placing, arranging, and formatting type in a design.
Click here to go to the top of the page


uppercase The capital letters of a typeface as opposed to the lowercase, or small, letters. When type was hand composited, the capital letters resided in the upper part of the type case.
Click here to go to the top of the page


vector graphics Graphics defined using coordinate points and mathematically drawn lines and curves, which may be freely scaled and rotated without image degradation in the final output.
vertical justification The ability to automatically adjust the interline spacing (leading) to make columns and pages end at the same point on a page.
Click here to go to the top of the page


weight 1. The thickness of the strokes of a typeface. The weight of a typeface is usually denoted in the name of the font; for example, light, book, or ultra (thin, medium, and thick strokes, respectively). 2. The thickness of a line or rule.
white space Areas on the page that contain no images or type. Proper use of white space is critical to a well-balanced design.
widow A short line ending a paragraph that appears at the top of the page. See orphan.
word break The division of a word at the end of a line in accordance with hyphenation principles.
word space The space inserted between words in a desktop publishing application. The optimal value is built into the typeface, and may usually be modified within an application.
wrap Type set on the page so it wraps around the shape of another element.
Click here to go to the top of the page


x-height The height of the lowercase letter "x" in a given typeface, which represents the basic size of the bodies of all of the lowercase letters (excluding ascenders and descenders).
Click here to go to the top of the page


zero point The mathematical origin of the coordinates of the two-dimensional page. The zero point may be moved to any location on the page, and the ruler dimensions change accordingly.
zooming The process of electronically enlarging or reducing an image on a monitor to facilitate detailed design or editing and navigation.