Because people are at different levels in their publishing and computing experience, we have included this glossary page. Below you will find a few of the printing and publishing terms that you may encounter in our various articles.
If you run across terms in our articles you don't know, please tell us and we'll add them to this list.
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404 Error: The error message you get when a visitor lands on a Web site page that isn't available. It generally is because of a broken link or deleted page.
active voice In a sentence, if the subject acts, the voice is the active voice, as in "I wrote the presentation." (See also passive voice.)
active window In Windows, the window that is currently affected by user input such as mouse movements and keyboard actions. The title bar of the active window is generally highlighted.
adjustment handles, see handles
affiliate program A program that pays a commission to Web sites that drive visitors to another site. The business running the affiliate program may pay an affiliate for clicks, leads, or sales.
alignment The positioning of text or an object along a vertical line(such as top, middle, or bottom) or a horizontal line (such as left, center, or right).
alternative text/alt text Text you add to graphics or objects that appears while pictures are loading into a Web page.
animation: Visual effects you can add to a Web page using GIF animation or Flash.
aspect ratio The relationship between the height and width of an object. If you maintain an object's aspect ratio, the image is not distorted.
attachment A file you include with an e-mail message.
autoresponder: An email service that automatically responds to an email sent to it by sending out an automatic reply. A "sequential" autoresponder sends out a series of replies at specified intervals.
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background The underlying color, pattern, or texture that appears behind all of the objects on a page.
banner ad An image-based advertisement that is placed on a Web site encouraging people to click the link to take them to the advertiser's site.
bitmap An image made up of a collection of dots. Scanned images and certain image formats such as .BMP and .GIF are bitmap files. (See also vector line art.)
bleed Printing term that means the ink goes all the way to the edge of the paper. The trim size may be different from your original size if you have bleeds (because the edge needs to be cut off). Most printers will tell you how much space you need to leave for a bleed (it's often 1/8 - 3/8 of an inch or so). (See also trim size)
blog A date-based Web site where people can add comments.
bold A version of a typeface in which the letters appear with heavier or thicker lines.
borders The lines surrounding objects, graphics, or tables.
brainstorm A method of coming up with ideas that involves getting a group of people together, engaging in unfettered discussion, and writing down every idea (no matter how silly).
brightness The lightness of an image. When you adjust brightness, you lighten or darken all colors equally. (See also contrast.)
browser A software program used for viewing Web pages on the Internet. Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator are two popular browsers.
browser-safe color One of the 216 common colors that are shared across browsers, operating systems, and computer platforms.
button An icon on a toolbar that you press to perform a certain action. Other buttons such as the OK button in a dialog box are pressed to cause certain actions to occur (the action depends on the button).
bullet A dot or other special character used to set off items in a list.
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cache A temporary storage location on your hard disk used to store information that will be needed again. Browsers have a cache so that they can store elements of frequently accessed pages, so they load more quickly. Sometimes it is necessary to "clear" or "empty" the cache if the browser is storing outdated information.
cascade In Windows, to arrange all the windows so that only their title bars show.
case In text, the type of capitalization used. For example, upper case text is composed of all capital letters.
cell In a table or spreadsheet, the box created where a row and column intersect.
chart A graphical representation of data.
clip art Predrawn illustrations that generally can be used without paying an artist a royalty fee.
clipboard A memory area used by Windows to store a copy of the last item cut or copied into it.
close box The small button with an x on it at the upper right hand corner of a window that you use to close a window, file, or program.
CMYK Stands for cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. The color model used in four-color process printing. Tiny dots of these colors when combined create the illusion of a full color spectrum.
column A vertical row of cells in a table or spreadsheet.
contrast The difference between the lightest and darkest parts of an image. (See also brightness.)
copy To duplicate information. You can use the copy command in conjunction with the paste command to copy items from one place to another within a file or from one file or program to another. (See also cut and paste.)
cursor The arrow, vertical line, or four-headed arrow that indicates where your mouse is in relation to the screen.
crawler: See spider
crop To trim off the excess or unwanted portions of an image. Most cropping tools look like an inverted V with a bar across it. In many desktop publishing programs, cropping does not affect the actual file, only its appearance within the document.
cut To remove information. You can use the cut command in conjunction with the paste command to move items from one place to another within a file or from one file or program to another. (See also copy and paste.)
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default The original preferences and settings within a software program, until you specify an alternative.
degree A unit of rotation relating to the fact that in geometry 360 degrees is a complete circle. In many programs, you specify rotation in degrees.
desktop icon, See icon
die cutting Cutting an irregular shape into paper. Again it requires the purchase of a die, unless the cut is a standard shape.
distribute To spread objects equally across a given space.
domain name A domain name is the name you select to represent your business on the Internet. For example, Logical Expressions, Inc. uses the domain name LogicalExpressions.com.
download To transfer a file from the Internet or other on-line service to your computer. (See also upload)
drag-and-drop A type of editing where you use your mouse to select an object and move or copy it to a new location.
drilling Printing/bindery process where a round hole like the type made by a three-hole punch is made in paper.
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ebook Short for electronic book. A downloadable copy of a book stored as a file, rather than printed and bound. Ebooks can be created in various formats, some of which require a special reader to view.
email Short for electronic mail. A system allowing you to send messages from one computer to another over some kind of communications network, such as a local area network, on-line service, or the Internet.
embed To bring an object into a desktop publishing program so it becomes part of the file without any link or connection to the originating source file.(See also link.)
emboss To make an object appear raised. Embossing is the opposite of engraving.(See also engrave.) You may need to purchase a die of the shape, which can be expensive. Debossing is another term for the opposite of embossing; the image is pressed into the paper, so it is depressed (not raised).
Encapsulated PostScript file (.EPS) A type of vector line art graphic format.
engrave To make an object appear depressed or pushed in. Engraving is the opposite of embossing.(See also emboss.)
EPS, See Encapsulated PostScript
export To save or convert information so that it can be used in another program. Exporting is the opposite of importing.(See also import.)
ezine A newsletter or other periodic publication sent by email. The word is a shortened form of "electronic magazine."
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FAQ Frequently Asked Questions. A page on a Web site or other document that answers the most common questions on a particular subject.
file A named collection of information. On Windows sytems, file names include a three letter extension that indicates the type of file. For example, text files are saved as files with a *.txt extension
fill The color added to a closed object, such as an object, text, or frame/box.
flame: To send a nasty email. Or the term for the nasty email itself.
flip Act of turning an object so it faces the opposite direction. (See also rotate.)
foil stamping printing process where metal foil is released from a backing when it is stamped with a heated die.
folding Printing/bindery task that involves folding paper. Note that not all printers can do all folds. Some printers charge extra fees for unusual folds that force them to reset their equipment.
footer Text that appears along the bottom of a page or slide and that is repeated on every page or slide. (See also header.)
font The characters of a given type size in a given typeface and style such as 10 point Times New Roman Italic. Often used interchangeably with typeface, typestyle, or type family. (See also typeface.)
formatting Attributes you apply to text or other objects to change their appearance. Text formatting may include style attributes such as bold or italic. Object formatting may include fill and line colors, for example.
FTP FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. You or your Web developer uses FTP to transfer files to and from your Web server.
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GIF, See Graphic Interchange Format
gradient A type of fill effect that gradually changes from one color to another color or from one shade of a color to another.
Graphic Interchange Format (.GIF) file A type of graphic file format that is often used for files being placed on Web pages that will be viewed over the World Wide Web. GIF files are saved with a .GIF extension.
grayscale A method of viewing and printing presentations in black and white, where the colors used are made up only of shades of gray ranging from black to white.
grid Invisible horizontal and vertical lines designed to help aid in aligning and placing objects.
group To combine a number of objects so they are treated as one. Grouping is the opposite of ungrouping. (See also ungroup.)
guides Non-printing lines you can display to aid in aligning and placing objects on a slide.
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handles Small boxes that surround an object when it is selected. Handles are used to change the size or scaling of an object. Adjustment handles are small yellow diamonds that let you change the appearance of an AutoShape in some way.
hanging indent The space resulting from outdenting text. When you outdent text, you make the first line of text extend farther to the left than the rest of a paragraph. Outdenting is the opposite of indenting.(See also indent and outdent.)
header Text that appears along the top of a page that is repeated on every page. (See also footer.)
home page The opening page of a Web site, often default.htm, default.html, index.htm, or index.html.
hosting company A hosting company (or simply "host") is an organization that operates Web servers and mail servers connected to the Internet through high-speed lines. For a fee, a hosting company sets up your Web site and email accounts on their servers so you can take advantage of their high-speed access and server maintenance expertise.
hotkey, See keyboard shortcut
HTML, See Hypertext Markup Language
hyperlink A graphic or underlined text that you click to jump to another point in a presentation, another file, or a location on the World Wide Web.
Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) The tagging language used to create pages that will be placed on a Web site that will be viewed over the World Wide Web
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icon A small drawing that appears on the Windows desktop, Windows Explorer, or other software to delineate a file, program, or other object on the computer.
import To bring information from another program into PowerPoint. Importing also may be referred to as inserting or opening a file in PowerPoint. Importing is the opposite of exporting. (See also export.)
indent As a verb, the act of moving a paragraph of text inward to set it off from other text. As a noun, the extra space at the beginning of a paragraph that results from indenting text. Indenting is the opposite of outdenting. (See also outdent)
insertion point When entering text, the flashing line is the insertion point.
Internet A communications network in which collections of computer networks and gateways are connected using a protocol called TCP/IP. Sending and receiving email and accessing the World Wide Web are common uses of the Internet.
intranet A communications network set up within an organization that uses a similar setup and protocols as the Internet.
italic A version of a typeface in which the letters appear slanted.
Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) file A type of graphics file format that supports compression and that is often used for files being placed on Web pages that will be viewed over the World Wide Web. JPEG files are saved with a .JPG extension.
JPEG See Joint Photographic Experts Group
justify To add extra space between words or letters to force a line of text to stretch to the width of the designated margins.
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keyboard shortcut Combination of keystrokes used to perform a certain action, such as Ctrl+C to copy an item.
keyword Descriptive term in Web page meta tags used by search engines. Also significant terms within the text of Web pages that search engines use to determine content. Keyword "optimization" is the rewriting of a Web page to focus on a particular word or phrase, in the hope that Web surfers will find the page using a search engine.
landscape A horizontal page orientation. Landscape is the opposite of portrait orientation. (See also portrait.)
leading See line spacing
legend A box placed near a chart to explain the meaning of colors or patterns used in the chart.
line art See vector line art
line spacing The vertical space between lines of type, measured in number of lines (1, 1.5, 2 etc.) or in points.
link 1. To bring an object into a desktop publishing program and retain a connection to the originating file. A linked file is a representation of the original file and can only be updated by changing the source file. (See also embed.) 2. In the context of the Internet, a graphic or underlined text that you click to jump to another point in a presentation, another file, or a location on the World Wide Web (See also hyperlink.)
logo A symbol or nameplate used to identify a business.
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macro A series of commands that is either recorded or written to automate tasks in a software program.
maximize To make a window fill the screen. You click the maximize button (a square) on any window to maximize it. You click the Restore button to return it to a window or minimize to reduce the window to a Taskbar button.(See also minimize.)
merge cells To turn two cells into one cell in a table. Merging cells is the opposite of splitting cells. (See also split cells.)
mind mapping A one-person brainstorming technique in which you write down and free-associate topics by drawing and connecting circled topics.
minimize To reduce a window to a Taskbar button. You click the minimize button (a dash) on a window to minimize it. Click the Taskbar button to return the window to the screen. (See also maximize.)
monospaced font Type in which the space occupied by each character is the same (in other words, a "w" takes up the same about of space as an "i."(See also proportional font.)
movie A common term for a multimedia video file, which may be some sort of animated or moving picture with or without sound.
multimedia A generic term for the combination of sound, graphics, animation, and video.
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nudge To move an object slightly. In many programs, you can nudge a selected object using the arrow keys on the keyboard.
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online help Information about how to use a program that is accessed from within the program itself.
opt-in/opt-out Opt-in is the process by which a subscriber requests to receive information or an ezine via email from a company. The converse is opt-out, where people are signed up automatically and have to specifically request not to receive information.
organization chart Graphic depiction of a company structure that shows people and their relationships to one another.
outdent As a verb, to make the first line of text extend farther to the left than the rest of a paragraph. As a noun, the space resulting from outdenting text. Also called a hanging indent. Outdenting is the opposite of indenting.(See also indent.)
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parallel construction A principle of grammar stating that words doing the same work within a sentence should be written using a similar grammatical construction.
passive voice In a sentence, if the subject is acted upon, the voice is the passive voice, as in "The presentation was written by me." (See also active voice.)
paste To place information from the clipboard into a given location. You use the cut or copy command in conjunction with the paste command to move or copy items from one place to another within a file or from one file or program to another.(See also cut and copy.)
pattern A type of fill effect that is composed of two colors in a particular arrangement.
PDF Stands for Portable Document Format and is a cross-platform file format that is based on the Postscript page description language (see also PostScript) and is designed to preserves layout. PDF files can be read using the free Adobe Acrobat reader on multiple operating systems, such as Windows, Mac and Unix. Printers often want files in PDF format and many ebooks are also saved in PDF format.
perfect binding type of binding used for hardback or paperback books that are too large for saddle stitching. Many different types of perfect binding exist (book printers can explain options to you). (See also saddle stitching.)
perforations the little holes you find on items that are supposed to be torn out.
pica A typographic measurement. Twelve points equal one pica.
picture In desktop publishing, a general term for a graphic that can be inserted, such as a illustration, clip art, photograph, or bitmap.
pixel The smallest dot in an image or on a screen. Pixels are related to resolution. The more pixels in an image of a given size, the higher the resolution. (See also resolution.)
placeholder Boxes on a slide that appear with a border made up of dots or slashes. Slide objects such as text, charts, tables, and graphics can be inserted in placeholders.
POD/print on demand A type of book printing where the book file is stored and printed "on demand" only when someone orders a copy
points Units of measure used to specify type sizes, line width, and line spacing. One point is approximately 1/72 of an inch.
pop-up menu A menu that appears when you right-click on an item.
portrait A vertical page orientation. Portrait is the opposite of landscape orientation. (See also landscape.)
PostScript A page description language developed by Adobe Systems. It is a programming language designed to instruct a device such as a printer how to print a file on paper.
proof a preliminary copy of your printed piece. A blueline is a somewhat generic term for a copy of your printed piece where all the colors are represented in blue. You can proof the text and graphics to make sure they output correctly, but you can't tell what the color looks like. Color proofing methods vary in accuracy and cost. Historically printers used expensive color proofs called chromalins or color keys, but more printers are switching to digital methods.
proportional font Type in which the space occupied by each character varies according to the width of the character (in other words, a "w" takes up more space than an "i." (See also monospaced font.)
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ratio See aspect ratio
resize handles See handles
resolution The number of pixels in an image, generally indicated in dots per inch. The more pixels (dots) in an image of a given size, the higher the resolution. Higher resolution images are better quality but result in larger file sizes. (See also pixel.)
RGB Stands for Red, Green, Blue. The color model in which colors are made up of different values of the component colors red, green and blue. Because RGB is used by computer monitors, it is used to specify colors that will be viewed over the Internet.
Rich Text Format (RTF) file RTF is a type of text file format that can be imported into Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Adobe InDesign, or other applications.
rotate Act of turning an object so it is facing a different direction. (See also flip.)
row A horizontal row of cells in a table or a spreadsheet.
RTF See Rich Text Format
ruler Calibrated guide designed to aid in aligning and moving objects. Also used to set tabs or indents.
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saddle stitching printing/binder process where folded pages are stapled on the spine. It is limited to reasonably small numbers of pages. Larger books are perfect bound (See also perfect binding)
sans serif Typefaces without serifs, the little strokes or "tails" on the end of characters. Arial and Helvetica are sans serif typefaces.
scale To change the size of an image while maintaining its aspect ratio.
scoring printing/bindery method of creasing heavy paper stock so that it will fold more easily.
scroll To move around the page so you can see different areas.
scroll bar Narrow bars on the side of a window or pane you use to scroll different parts of an area into view.
selection handles See handles
self publishing Approach to book publishing where the author produces a book himself. The author and publisher are one and the same.
serif Small ornamental strokes or "tails" on the ends of characters in certain typefaces. Also refers to typefaces containing serifs. Times New Roman and Garamond are two serif typefaces.
server A computer running special software that is connected to the Internet. Depending on the software, servers may "serve" Web pages (Web server), email (mail server), and other types of data.
shadow An effect you can add to an object to make it appear as if the object were casting a shadow.
shortcut key See keyboard shortcut
skew To distort an object so it is slanted.
smart quote Typographic or "curly" quotation mark (as opposed to straight quote).
snap Act of dragging an object so it aligns with the underlying grid, a guide, or other object.
spam Unsolicited email that is broadcast to people who did not ask to receive it.
spider Spiders (or crawlers) are software search engines use to find pages on the Internet. The program "crawls" from page to page, adding pages into the search engine index
split cells To turn one cell into two cells in a table. Splitting cells is the opposite of merging cells. (See also merge cells.)
subscribe To request to receive information by email, such as an ezine or autoresponder sequence. To stop receiving information, you "unsubscribe."
subscript Character or characters printed slightly below the surrounding text. Often used in mathematical or chemical formulas.
subsidy press/publisher Type of publishing where the author pays a company a fee to publish their book. Like traditional publishing, the author receives "royalties" but in contrast to traditional publishing, the author also pays fees for design, typesetting, printing and distribution. Unlike self publishing, where the author also pays his own production costs, the subsidy publisher owns the ISBN and rights to the book; the author does not.
superscript Character or characters printed slightly above the surrounding text in smaller type. Often used in mathematical or technical notation or to indicate footnotes or endnotes.
symbol Special characters often accessed from special symbol typefaces that can be inserted into a document.
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tab As a verb, to move text to the left a specified amount to align columns or lines of text. As a noun, the character used to add a certain amount of space. Setting tabs is the act of indicating the amount of space a tab character occupies.
Tagged Image File Format (TIFF) file A type of bitmap graphic file format that can be read on both Macintoshes and PCs. TIFF files are saved with a .TIF extension.
Taskbar The horizontal bar at the bottom of the Windows desktop that includes the Start button and buttons indicating which programs or documents are currently open. By clicking the program buttons, you can switch from one to another.
template A file that contains design elements and placeholders that can be reused for new files or documents.
text box A desktop publishing a frame or box that contains text.
thermography method of raised printing that uses a resin powder that takes on the color of the underlying ink. Often used on business cards or on invitations to imitate letterpress printing, which is an older style of printing that is rarely used anymore because it uses raised lead type.
three dimensional (3-D) An effect you can add to objects to make them appear as if they are being depicted in three dimensions (height, width, and depth).
thumbnail A miniature view that shows a rough layout of a design.
title Placeholder used to hold the heading text that appears at the top of a slide.
title bar The long colored bar that extends across the width of the browser window. It includes the text you included in the HTML title tag.
toolbar Bars on the screen filled with buttons you can press to run PowerPoint commands. Toolbars may be movable "floating" toolbars or fixed "docked" toolbars.
traditional publishing Approach to book publishing where the author submits a proposal or manuscript to a big publisher and the publisher produces the book. (See also subsidy publishing and self publishing)
trim size to print ink to the edge of the paper, printers generally need to print on an oversize sheet and cut off the excess. The final size is the trim size. The trim size may be different from your original size if you have bleeds because the edge needs to be cut off. (See also bleed)
typeface One design of type, such as Times New Roman. A type family includes all the variations of a particular typeface, such as Times New Roman, Times New Roman Bold, and Times New Roman Italic.
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ungroup To break apart a group of objects into its component parts so the individual objects can be edited separately. Ungrouping is the opposite of grouping. (See also group.)
unsubscribe See subscribe
upload To transfer information from your computer "up" to the Internet, such as uploading files to your Web site. (See also download)
URL Stands for Uniform Resource Locator. On the World Wide Web, a URL is the address of a Web page or other destination on the Internet.
vanity press/publishing See subsidy press
varnish type of liquid coating that is applied after printing that makes the paper shiny. Spot varnish means that the varnish is applied just to certain areas. Designers will often use this technique to emphasize a design element to make it "pop" off the page.
vector line art Graphic generated by a mathematical expression and stored as lines and curves instead of as a series of dots as in a bitmap. Windows metafiles (.WMF) and Encapsulated PostScript (.EPS) are two vector line art file formats. (See also bitmap.)
Web page A page that is written in HTML and designed to be viewed over the World Wide Web.
Web script See script
white space The empty space in a layout. Leaving sufficient white space generally makes a layout easier to read.
Windows clipboard See clipboard
Windows Metafile A vector line art graphic format used in Microsoft Windows. The files have a .WMF extension.
web site A group of related Web pages that generally are linked together. Also refers to the files stored in a particular location on a Web server that is connected to the Internet. The Web site is generally owned or maintained by the person or company that also owns the domain name.
web server See server
World Wide Web (WWW) One part of the Internet that is made up of Web pages written in HTML and that is viewed using a browser. (See also browser, HTML, Internet, and URL.)
wrap To force text to conform to a particular shape. In desktop publishing, you can force text to wrap around a box.
x height The height of a lowercase letter x in a given font.
Zoom To change the magnification level of a view or pane.
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