Glossary of Terms

Content courtesy of Neenah Paper and Packaging.

Saddle Stitch
Binding process for pamphlets or booklets, which works by stapling through the middle fold of the sheets (saddle wire).
Saddle Wire Binding
To fasten a booklet by wiring the middle fold of the printed sheets of paper.
Sans Serif
Absence of the short cross line at the ends of the stroke of a Roman letter.
Optical scanner, also electric device used in making color separation.
Point-by-Point electronic scanning of color separations under computer control.
Schopper’s Tester
An instrument for testing the folding endurance of paper.
The process and the resulting line or crease mechanically impressed in the paper to facilitate folding while guarding against cracking of paper and board. Scoring is essential when heavyweight papers are to be folded.
The ruling used to determine the dots per unit area in developing tonal values in the printed piece. Screens from which letterpress halftones of photographs are made range from 60 lines-per-inch for printing on newsprint to 300 lines for printing...
Screen Angles
In color reproduction, angles at which the halftone screens are placed with relation to one another, to avoid undesirable moire patterns. A set of angles often used is: black 45°, magenta 75°, yellow 90°, cyan 105°.
Screen Process Printing
This printing process uses a screen of fine-mesh silk (thus the common name silk screen printing) taughtly stretched across a frame. A squeegee drawn across the screen forces ink through the open image areas which are cut-out by hand using...
Screen Range
The density difference between the highlight and shadow areas of copy that a halftone screen can reproduce without a flash exposure.
Screen Ruling
The number of lines or dots per inch on a halftone screen.
Screened Print
A print made from continuous-tone copy that was screened during exposure.
A halftone film having a uniform dot size over its area, and rated by its approximate printing dot size value, such as 20 percent, 50 percent, etc.; also called screen tint.
See rub-off, The disrupted appearance of an ink film as a result of abrasion to either the wet or dry ink film.
A term referring to the press plate picking up ink in the nonprinting areas for a variety of reasons, basically due to spots or areas not remaining desensitized.
Term often applied to cut size sheets which are packaged "ream sealed", 500 sheets to the package.
Process of allowing paper to adjust to atmospheric conditions of the plant in which it will be used.
Secondary Fiber
A term used for wastepaper, also referred to as paper stock.
Self Cover
A cover that matches the inside text pages.
Semi-Concealed Cover
A cover for mechanical binding that is a single piece scored and slotted or punched for combining with the mechanical binding device, formatting a closed backbone on bound units.
Sensitivity Guide
A narrow, calibrated continuous tone gray scale with each tone scale numbered.
Short cross line at the ends of the stroke of a Roman letter.
The undesirable transfer of ink from freshly printed sheets of paper to another. (Also called off-set).
Set-Up Sheet
A sheet drawn in Plate Prep on the Craftsman table from computer specifications; used as a master for the layout and positioning of pages on the job for which it was drawn.
In platemaking, the distance from the front edge of the press plate to the image area, to allow for clamping to the cylinder and also for the gripper margin.
Sewn Book
A popular style of bookbinding; in which the signatures are gathered in sequence and then sewn individually in 8s, 16s, or 32s. The sewing threads are visible at the center of each signature.
Sewn-On Tapes
Strips of reinforcing cloth sewn to the spine of the book sections and extending slightly past the edge of the spine; used to strengthen the binding of a casebound book.
The darkest parts in a photograph, represented in a halftone by the largest dots.
To decrease in color strength, as when halftone dots become smaller; opposite of dot spread or dot gain.
A photographic term for perfectly defined detail in an original, negative and reproduction.
To cut a slight trim from bound books or paper, printed or blank.
Term which may be applied to a single sheet, a grade of paper, or a description of paper, i.e. coated, uncoated, offset, letterpress, etc.
Sheet Delamination
Directly related to poor surface strength in that if the sheet has poor surface strength, delamination will occur in the printing process. Sheet delamination could also create a problem of a blanket smash. If the delamination is large enough and...
Any printing press requiring paper in a sheet form as opposed to printing in rolls.
In paper manufacture, rotary unit over which the web of paper passes to be cut into sheets. In printing, rotary knife at the delivery end of web press that slices press lengths.
The process of cutting a roll or web of paper into sheets.
To print one side of a sheet of paper with one plate, then turn the sheet over and print the other side with another plate using same gripper and opposite side guide.
(1) A slip case for holding bound volumes of a set. (2) The copper (or nickel) duplicate of type or engravings produced in the plating tanks on impressions in wax or other molding mediums.
Sheridan Saddle Stitcher-Trimmer
A machine used to gather, cover, stitch, and trim saddle stitch books.
Undercooked wood particles that are removed from the pulp before manufacture of paper begins. Sometimes shives will appear as imperfections in the finished sheets.
Short-Grained Paper
Paper in which the predominant fiber orientation is parallel to the shortest sheet dimension.
In printing, the undesirable condition in which the printing on the reverse side of a sheet can be seen through the sheet under normal lighting conditions.
Decrease in the dimensions of a sheet of paper or loss incurred in weight between the amount of pulp used and paper produced.
Side Guide
On sheet-fed presses, a guide on the feed board to position the sheet sideways as it feeds into the front guides before entering the impression cylinder.
A method of binding in which the folded signatures or cut sheets are stitched with wire along and through the side, close to the gutter margin. Pages cannot be fully opened to a flat position; also called side wire.
Section of book obtained by folding a single sheet of printed paper in 8, 12, 16 or 32 pages.
Halftones from which the screen around any part of the image has been removed.
Print from a stencil image maker where the ink is applied by squeegee through a silk screen.
Silk-Screen Printing
Another name for screen process printing.
Size or Sizing
Additive substances applied to the paper either internally through the beater or as a coating that improves printing qualities and resistance to liquids. Commonly used sizes are starch and latex.
Size Press
Part of the paper machine, near the end, where sizing agents are added.
Size Tub
Container holding sizing material during the tub sizing process.
(1)A reusable platform support, made of wood, on which sheets of paper are delivered, and on which printed sheets or folded sections are stacked. Also used to ship materials, usually in cartons which have been strapped (banded) to the skid....
Slack Size
A paper that is slightly sized and therefore will be somewhat water resistant.
Placing pieces of paper between folded sections prior to trimming four sides, to separate completed books.
A sharp disk which cuts a paper into pre-determined widths.
Cutting printed sheets into two or more sections by means of cutting wheels on a folder.
Slur-Gauge (The GATF Slur Gauge)
A combination dot gain and slur indicator supplied in positive or negative form. It is a quality control device that shows at a glance dot gain or dot loss. It also demonstrates whether the gain or the loss occurs in...
The smearing or elongation of halftone dots or type and line images at their trailing edges.
Watery suspension of pigments, etc…which is used in coating or papermaking.
Smashed or Weak Blanket
An area of a blanket that is no longer firm and resilient, and that gives a light impression in the center of a well printed area. Usually caused by physical damage of the blanket at impression.
Smashing (nipping, compressing)
The binding operation following sewing in which the folded and sewn sheets are compressed to tighten the fold free of air to make the front and back of the sheets the same thickness.
A press condition in which the impression is slurred and unclear, because too much ink was used or sheets were handled or rubbed before the ink was dry.
Smooth Finish
A finish on paper that has been made smooth by passing through various rollers.
Smoothing Press
Prior to reaching the driers, the paper web is smoothed, if necessary, by two rolls working together.
The flatness of a sheet of paper, which generally determines the crispness of the image printed upon it.
Smyth Sewing
A method of fastening side-by-side signatures so that each is linked with thread to its neighbor, as well as saddlesewn through its own centerfold. Smyth-sewn books open flat. The stitching is on the back of the fold.
Soft Dot
A camera term describing halation or fringe around the edge of a dot which is excessive and almost equals the area of the dot itself.
Soft Ink
A term that describes the consistency of lithographic inks.
Another term for paperback or paperbound books.
Wood from coniferous trees having long fibers.
An area completely covered with ink, or the use of 100% of a given color. In composition, type set without space (leading) between the lines.
Intervals between lines of type.
Spec’d (specified)
Spec'd copy gives details of items such as paper, bindery techniques, type, etc., which have been determined for a given job.
Specialty Papers or Boards
Paper or board that is manufactured, or subsequently converted, for a specific use. These grades usually cannot be used for anything other than their intended special purpose.
The designer or printing production worker who determines the types of paper to be used under various circumstances.
Sophisticated instrument that measures color across a visible spectrum and produces data describing the color of a given sample in terms of the three parameters in color space.
The complete range of colors in the rainbow, from short wavelengths (blue) to long wavelengths (red).
Backbone of a book.
Spiral Binding
Wires in a spiral form inserted through specially punched holes along the binding edge.
An overlapping joint used to join the ends of webs together.
Splice Tag
Tab or marker giving the location of a splice.
Split Fountain
A technique for simultaneously printing two colors from the same ink fountain.
Smallest visible point that can be displayed or printed. The smallest diameter of light that a scanner can detect, or an image-setter or printer can image. Dot should not be confused with spot.
Spot Varnish
Press varnish applied to a portion of the sheet, as opposed to an overall application of the varnish.
Spotting Out
Fine opaquing such as in removing pinholes or other small transparent defects in a negative; also called Opaquing.
Spray Powder
A powder used at press to prevent setoff (offset) of wet ink; also called anti-offset spray.
Square Halftone (square-finish halftone)
A halftone whose four sides are straight and perpendicular to one another.
Square Sheet
A sheet which is equally strong and tear resistant with and against the grain.
A term used to describe paper that has been seasoned so that the moisture content is the same as the air surrounding it.
Device attached to delivery conveyor to collate, compress and bundle signatures.
Pressing a design onto a book cover using metal foil, colored foil, or ink, applied with metal dies.
Standards (paper)
Terms used to indicate the manufactured specifications of a paper. Includes color, basis weight, sheet dimensions, and grain direction.
Material used as a sizing agent for paper. Usually made from corn.
Static Electricity
An electrical charge frequently found in paper which is too dry or which has been affected by local atmospheric conditions.
Static Neutralizer
In printing presses, an attachment designed to remove the static electricity from the paper to avoid ink setoff and trouble with feeding the paper.
Steel Engraving
An engraved plate used in relief printing.
Technique of affixing multiple images on a film or plate to extremely close tolerances.
In multiple imposition on a lithographic press plate, the procedure of repeating the exposure of a flat by stepping it back from the gripper edge of the plate; up-and-down exposure.
In multiple imposition on a lithographic press plate, the procedure of repeating the exposure of a flat by stepping it along the gripper edge; side-by-side exposure
An ink with too much body.
Property of paper and paperboard to resist bending.
Stitched Book
A popular method of sewing the signatures of a book together by stitching all the sheets at one time, either through the center of the inserted sheets or side-stitched from front to back. A very strong style of binding but...
Use of wire fastenings as a permanent fastening for continuous forms.
Stochastic Screening
A digital screening process that converts images into very small dots (14-40 microns) of equal size and variable spacing. Second order screened images have variable size dots and variable spacing. Also called Frequency Modulated (FM) screening.
General term with many meanings. (1) Paper or board that is on hand in inventory. (2) Paper or board that has been designated for a particular use and only awaits the printing or converting process. (3) Pulp which has been...
Stock Sizes
Standard sizes of paper or board.
Stock Weights
Weights of papers stocked by mills and merchants.
Stocking Items
Papers manufactured in popular sizes, weights, colors, etc. on a regular basis to maintain adequately stocked inventories in mill warehouses.
Stocking Merchant
Paper distributor that stocks in his own warehouse facilities enough paper to immediately fill anticipated orders in the market. This eliminates the delay of ordering from the paper manufacturer, taking delivery, and delivering to the customer.
Stopping Out
An application of opaque to photographic negatives; also the application of special lacquer to protect areas in positives in dot etching; staging of halftone plates during relief etching; protecting certain areas of deep-etched plates so that no ink will be...
Stream Feeder
A type of press feeder that keeps several sheets of paper, overlapping each other, moving toward the grippers.
Describes the "give" of a sheet of paper when it is subjected to tensile pressure.
Stretch Resistance
Stretch properties are essential for paper to fold well and to resist stress in use. Stretch resistance is measured on tensile testing instruments.
Penetration of printing ink into a sheet of paper.
Penetration of printing ink through a sheet of paper.
String and Button Envelope
An envelope made with two reinforced paper buttons, one on the flap and the other on the back of the envelope. To close, a string which is locked under the flap button is wound alternately around the two buttons.
Substance Weight
Same as basis weight.
A rubber suction cup on machine feeding devices.
Suction Box
Device that removes water from the paper machine by a suction action located beneath the wire at the wet end.
Suction Feed
A term applied to suction grippers which feed paper.
Alkaline process of cooking pulp also known as the kraft process. Wood chips are cooked to a high brightness without fiber degradation in a substance of sodium sulfate and sodium sulfide.
Acid process of cooking pulp. Wood chips are cooked in a solution of bisulphite.
Super Calender
Off machine calender rolls that heat and iron paper to provide a high gloss finish.
Super Calendering
Alternating rolls of highly polished steel and compressed cotton in a stack. During the process the paper is subjected to the heated steel rolls and "ironed" by the compressed cotton rolls. It imparts a high, gloss finish to the paper....
Surface Plate
One of the two basic types of lithographic press plates; a colloid image is formed on the light-sensitized metal plate by the action of actinic light passing through photographic negatives.
Surface Sized
Term applied to paper that has been sized by applying a sizing agent when the web of paper is partially dry. Purpose is to increase resistance to ink penetration.
Surface Texture
The relative roughness, smoothness or unevenness of the paper surface.
An additional printing over the design areas of previously printed matter to produce such overprints as "Sale," "$1.98" "Sample," etc. Also called overprint.
Same as sample book. A grouping of papers, usually in bound form, that displays the weights, colors, finishes and other particulars of a collection of papers to aid in the selection of grades.