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CAD (Computer Aided Design) – The production of drawings and plans for architecture and engineering systems. CAD systems are very high-performance personal computers that employ CAD software packages and input devices such as graphic tablets and scanners.
CGM (Computer Graphics Metafile) – An American National Standards Institute/International Standards Organization metafile format for images of pretty much any kind.
Cache – Small portion of high-speed memory used for the temporary storage of frequently used data.
Calender – To make the surface of paper smooth by pressing it between rollers during manufacturing.
Calibrate – To adjust the scale on a measuring instrument such as a densitometer to a standard for specific conditions.
Calibration – A process by which a scanner, monitor or output device is adjusted to provide a more accurate display and reproduction of images.
Caliper – (1) The thickness of paper, usually expressed in thousandths of an inch (mils). (2) A device on a sheetfed press that detects double sheets or on a binding machine that detects missing signatures or inserts.
Callout – A portion of text, usually duplicated from accompanying text, enlarged, and set off in quotes and/or a box to draw attention to what surrounds it.
Camera-Ready – Copy and all other printing elements are ready photography.
Carbon Footprint – A measure of the amount of greenhouse gas emissions (measured as carbon dioxide equivalents, CO2e) associated with the production, distribution and disposal of a product or service. Methods to determine carbon footprints of products, services and other organizational boundaries are still evolving.
Carbon Neutral – Achieving a net zero carbon footprint of a product, service or other organizational boundary by first reducing carbon emissions through reductions in energy and material use, switching to low or no carbon energy sources, recycling, reuse and then purchasing carbon offset credits to reduce the balance of the carbon footprint to zero. It is important to identify the scope and methodologies in making any carbon neutral claims as the methodology for measuring total carbon footprints is still evolving.
Case Bind – To bind using glue to hold signatures to a case made of binder board covered with fabric, plastic or leather. Also called cloth edition, hard bind or hard cover.
Cast-and-Cure – A holographic effect that uses a polypropylene film embedded with a nano-embossed pattern that is pressed into a wet UV coating and cured by a UV light source. After curing, the reusable film is removed from the substrate, leaving behind a holographic effect.
Cassette – (1) A portable housing or container for daylight transportation of either exposed or unexposed photographic materials, which makes it possible to operate an imagesetter in a daylight environment. (2) In magnetic tape applications, a plastic cartridge that contains tape which is 1/4 in. or narrower, takeup reels, and a read/record head pressure pad.
Cast Coated Paper – Paper dried under pressure against a heated, polished cylinder to produce a high-gloss enamel finish.
Catalog – (1) A list of items that records, describes, and indexes the resources of a collection, a library, or a group of libraries. Cataloging: the process of preparing a catalog or entries for a catalog. This includes the classification and assignment of subject headings for books and materials and determining all points of access to the record. (2) When the library and information community discuss metadata, the most common analogy given is the library catalogue record. Priscilla Caplan, for example, has defined metadata as a neutral term for cataloguing without the “excess baggage” of the Anglo-American
Cataloguing Rules or the MARC formats – The most well-known metadata initiative, the Dubin Core Metadata Element Set, has the specific aim of supporting resource discovery in a network environment.
CD-ROM – Compact disk–read only memory. A laser encoded optical storage disk that can store 650 Megabytes to over 1 Gigabyte.
Cell – A small etched or engraved depression in a gravure cylinder or flexo anilox that carries the ink.
Cell Volume – A measure of a flexo or gravure cell’s capacity to carry ink; calculated as theoretical volume, liquid volume.
Cells per Inch (CPI) – The number of cells per inch on a flexo anilox or gravure cylinder.
Centimeter – Metric measurement of length. 2.54 centimeters = 1 inch.
CEPS – Color Electronic Prepress System.
Chain-of-Custody (COC) – A third-party certified system that traces the path logs take from the forest, through the pulp manufacturing process, to the paper mill, all the way through to the certified product sold to an end-user.
Chalking – Refers to improper drying of ink. Pigments dust off because ink has been absorbed too rapidly into the paper.
Character Generation – Constructing typographic images electronically as a series of dots, lines, or pixels on the screen of a cathode-ray tube (CRT).
Character Recognition – The function of systems that automatically read or recognize typed, printed, or handwritten characters or symbols and convert them to machine language for processing and storing in electronic systems. See also: optical character recognition.
Charge-Coupled Device (CCD) – CCDs are analog devices. Their charges equate to shades of light for monochrome images or shades of red, green and blue when used with color filters. Devices may use three CCDs, one for each of the red, green and blue colors. Although mostly replaced by CMOS sensors to capture images in cameras, camcorders and scanners, CCDs are still used in astronomy, microscopy and biomedical imaging because of their excellent sensitivity during long exposures.
Chill Rolls – On a web offset press, the section located after the drying oven where heatset inks are cooled below their setting temperature.
Choke – A slight size reduction of an opening into which an image will print.
Chopper Fold – Conveying a signature from the first parallel fold in a horizontal plane, spine forward, until it passes under a reciprocating blade that forces it down between folding rollers to complete the fold.
Chroma – The attribute of color that specifies its amount of saturation or strength.
Chrome – A slang term meaning the color transparency used as the original copy.
CIE – International Commission on Illumination. A standards institute most well known in the graphic arts for its work in color space definition.
CIE Color Spaces – These are three-dimensional color mapping systems such as CIELab, CIEL*a*b*, and CIELUV that are used to plot the three color attributes, X, Y, Z. They are an integral part of color management systems and color workflows.
Client – A networked personal computer or workstation that requests information or applications from a centralized server.
Client/Server Environment – A network system that uses a designated computer for centralized resource access.
Clipboard – A temporary electronic storage area in a computer software program where text or graphics can be held for reuse.
Cloning – A function on a CEPS used to duplicate a pixel or many pixels in another area of a picture. It can be used to add or remove detail. Some manufacturers call this function “pixel swopping”.
Closed Loop – A process in which all control functions have been automated, including sensing output errors and correcting the input to compensate for the error.
Cloud – A network of resources, software and information that resides on the Internet—“in the cloud”—rather than on the user’s computer or server.
CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) – The most widely used integrated circuit design. It is found in almost every electronic product from handheld devices to mainframes.
CMYK – Abbreviation for cyan, magenta, yellow and key (black), the four process colors.
Co-mail – Combine titles of publications on a pallet going to same destination to save you money when mailing. Typically used for Periodicals.
Co-palletize – Combine different companies’ trays of letter-size mail onto a pallet going to same destination. Saves you money. Must be done via an authorized consolidation company.
Coated Paper – Paper with a coating of clay or other substances that improves reflectivity and ink holdout.
Coating – An unbroken, clear film applied to a substrate in layers to protect and seal it, or to make it glossy.
Collate – In binding, the gathering of sheets or signatures.
Collotype – A screenless printing process of the planographic ink-water type in which the plates are precoated with bichromated gelatin, exposed to continuous-tone negatives, and printed on litho-graphic presses with special dampening.
Color Balance – Maintaining the ratio of cyan, magenta and yellow ink to produce a picture with the desired color and without an unwanted color cast or color bias.
Color Bars – The color strip on proofs that is used as a guide for the printer in determining the amount and density of ink needed.
Color Cast – Discoloration of an entire image or portion of an image caused by an overabundance of one color.
Color Channel – Color images on the computer are created by combining different color channels. In RGB, the most commonly used color model, the channels are red, green and blue.
Color Correction – The deliberate adjustment of one or more colors to achieve a desired result. With inks, process colors are not pure colors; each is contaminated with the other two colors and has a hue error that requires compensation in the separation images.
Color Electronic Prepress Systems (desktop) – Computer systems using microcomputers and software for high-quality color manipulation and preparation.
Color Electronic Prepress Systems – In digital prepress, a high-end, computer-based system that is used to color correct scanner images and assemble image elements into final pages. Dedicated computer work stations and systems designed exclusively for highest-quality color manipulation and preparation. They are device-dependent systems.
Color Fidelity – How well a printed piece matches the original.
Color Key™ – 3M’s negative overlay proofing films which visually simulate process printing inks.
Color Management Systems – Electronic characterization, calibration and control systems that help to assure color consistency and accuracy throughout the print production process from scanning through previewing on screen and proofing to reproduction on press.
Color Proof – A visual impression of the expected final reproduction produced on a substrate with inks, pigments or dyes. 3M Match Print™, DuPont Cromacheck® and Kodak Double Check® are examples of color proofing systems.
Color Reference – A set of process inks printed on standard paper and used for color control.
Color Scanner – An electronic piece of equipment that utilizes a laser or other high intensity light to make color separation negatives from either reflective prints or transparencies.
Color Separations – The four-color negatives or positives which are the result of changing full color photos or art into the four process colors (yellow, magenta, cyan and black) by the use of filters.
Color Sequence – The order in which the four-color process inks are printed on the plate.
Color Specification System – Charts or swatches of preprinted color patches of blended inks, each with a corresponding number, used to allow designers, printers and customers to communicate color with more accuracy.
Colorimeter – An instrument for measuring color the way the eye sees it.
Comb Bind – To bind by inserting the teeth of a flexible plastic comb through holes punched along the edge of a stack of paper.
Combination Folder – A bindery machine or in-line finishing component of a web press that incorporates the characteristic of knife and buckle folders.
Commercial Register – Color printing on which the misregister allowable is within ± one row of halftone dots.
Comingled Mailing – Combined mailing of magazines of the same size to the same address to save costs.
Composite Art – Mechanical on which copy for reproduction in all colors appears on only one surface, not separated into overlays. A tissue overlay is used to indicate color breaks.
Composite File – A PostScript file that represents color pages containing picture elements specified in terms of RGB (red, green and blue) color space as opposed to black and white “gray level” pages which represent separations.
Composite Proofs – Single test sheet showing position and color of all elements as stripped up.
Comprehensive – A detailed dummy or sketch of a design, intended to give a clear sense of how the finished piece should look.
Compression – Reducing the size of a file for storage purposes or to enhance the speed of data transfer by eliminating the redundancies and other unnecessary elements from the original. See also: data compression.
Computer-to-plate (C2P) – Describes a system in which the use of desktop publishing software, electronic prepress workstations and platesetters allows the imaging of metal plates for any format of press without the use of film, stripping or traditional platemaking. This process results in lower costs while shortening the amount of time needed to get a job on the press. Sometimes also called C2P to distinguish it from CTP, or computer-to-press.
Computer-to-plate (metal) – Producing metal plates directly from digital files without producing a set of film negatives.
Computer-to-plate (polyester) – Producing polyester plates directly from digital files without producing a set of film negatives.
Computer-to-press (CTP) – Describes a printing system that includes desktop publishing software, electronic prepress workstations and a new type of press which is capable of rapidly changing the images it is printing without the use of removable plates. Sometimes called CTP, to distinguish it from C2P, or computer-to-plate.
Concept Creation – Selecting images and generating and approving ideas from thumbnails and rough layouts during the graphic design process.
Condensed Type – Type whose width has been reduced without affecting its height.
Condition – To keep paper in the pressroom for a few hours or days before printing so that its moisture level and temperature equal that in the pressroom.
Conductivity – A property of fountain solutions that must be controlled along with pH.
Contact Print – A photographic print made from a negative or positive in contact with a sensitized paper, film or printing plate.
Contract Proof – A color proof of the job representing an agreement between the printer and the customer regarding how the printed product will look.
Content Proof – A proof that shows the customer the correct text and position of image elements but does not necessarily show accurate color reproduction.
Content Provider – One who owns or is licensed to sell content.
Continuous Tones – Commonly identified as the film for the four colors of a separation before it is broken into dots.
Continuous-Tone Digital Proofing (Contone) – Producing a proof with reliable color but no halftone pattern (photorealistic) directly from a digital file, usually by inkjet or dye sublimination process, without producing a set of film negatives.
Contrast – The amount of difference between the lightest and the darkest areas in a photo or artwork.
Conventional Dot – A halftone dot with the classic square format: middle tone dots are square, while the extremely small black dots or white openings are round.
Conversion – The process of preparing documents, capturing, and indexing current files for use on an imaging system.
Cookie – A collection of information, usually including a username and the current date and time, stored on the local computer of a person using the Web, used chiefly by web sites to identify users who have previously registered or visited the site.
Cooperation for the Integration of Processes in Prepress, Press and Postpress (CIP4) – CIP4 is the committee responsible for turning JDF (Job Definition Format) into a workable specification. CIP4, and its predecessor CIP3, define a set of protocols for automated workflows for printing.
Copy – Original job material (paste-ups, film, photos and other graphics) furnished for the print job.
Copyfitting – Adjusting copy to the allotted space, by editing the text or changing the type size and leading.
Corrigendum – Error in a printed work discovered after printing and the separate sheet containing the correction. Plural is corrigenda.
Coverage – The amount of ink on a page or sheet, usually given in percentages.
Crash – Coarse cloth embedded in the glue along the spine of a book to increase strength of binding.
Creep – The shifting position of the page in a saddle-stitched bind. Creep moves the inside pages or signatures away from the spine.
CREF – Computer-ready electronic files.
Cromacheck® – DuPont’s negative overlay color proof.
Cromalin® – DuPont’s one piece proofing system in both positive and negative forms.
Crop – To opaque, mask, mark, cut, or trim an illustration or other reproduction to fit a designated area.
Crop Marks – Symbols placed in the margin outside the image area that indicates to the printer and bindery the area to be printed and/or trimmed from the image.
Cropping – (1) Indicating what portion of the copy is to be included in the final reproduction. (2) Trimming unwanted areas of a photograph film or print.
Cross Direction – In paper, the direction across the grain. Paper is weaker and more sensitive to humidity in its cross direction.
Crossmarks – Register marks.
Crossover – A reproduction that extends across two facing pages in a book or magazine and crosses over the binding.
CTP – Computer-to-press.
Cure – To dry inks, varnishes or other coatings after printing to ensure good adhesion and prevent set-off.
Curl – The distortion of paper due to differences in structure or coatings from one side to the other or from absorption of moisture on the press.
Cursor – The blinking line approximately the length of one character that, as displayed on a computer screen, marks the current working position in a file and can be moved to any other point in the file by shifting the position of the mouse and clicking on the new position, by clicking on a command in a dialog box, or by executing function key commands.
Cutoff – Circumference of the impression cylinder of a web press, therefore, the length of the printed sheet on roll to sheet presses or the length of the repeat pattern on roll to roll presses.
Cutscore – A sharp-edged knife, several thousandths of an inch lower than the cutting rules in a die, made to cut part way into the paper or board for folding purposes. Scoring reduces paper cracking.
Cyan – One of the three subtractive primary colors used in process printing. It is commonly known as “process blue.”
Cylinder Gap – In printing presses, the gap or space in the cylinders of a press where the mechanism for plate (or blanket), clamps, and grippers (sheetfed) is housed.