Printing Terms Dictionary

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Backbone: A high-speed connection designed to interconnect multiple networks. A typical backbone connects only routers, normal network nodes occur only seldom if ever on backbones.

Background: (1) The simultaneous, non-interrupting, execution of an automatic program while the computer is being used for something else. (2) The portion of the Windows environment that falls behind the desktop panel. (3) The portion of microfilm that doesn't have anything recorded on it.

Background ink: A reflective ink used to print the parts of a document that are not meant to be picked up by a scanner or optical character reader.

Back Trimming: Cutting all edges of a sheet of paper with the back (non-beveled) edge of the trimming knife.

Back Up: The process of copying a file or program in the event the original is damaged, lost, or unavailable.

Backing Up: Printing the other side of a printed sheet.

Backlit: Any screen that has a light source which shines from the back of the image toward the viewer, making image sharper and easier to see in low ambient lighting conditions.

Backup: Copy of current and/or recent data for short-term storage in case of catastrophic loss. Only data changed or added since the backup was made will be lost. Backups should be made frequently. Their usefulness is over when a more recent backup is made. Contrast with Archive.

Bad Sector: Defective areas on a floppy or hard disk. The MS-DOS "Format" command recognizes bad sectors, and "locks them out" so the computer won't try to place any data on those sectors.

Bar Code: A system of portraying data in a series of machine-readable lines of varying widths. The "UPC" on consumer items is a bar code. In document management, a bar code is used to encode indexing information. In microfiche, bar codes allow the automatic control of the duplication process, plus contain indexing information. These bar codes usually appear in the last two or three title frames in the first title row of a microfiche.

Barrel Fold: Folding a sheet two or more times in the same direction.

Base Alignment: Arrangement that allows columns of text to fall on the same line across the page, regardless of varying sizes of the elements in the columns.

Baseline: The imaginary horizontal line upon which typeset characters appear to rest.

Base Color: A first color used as a background on which other colors are printed.

Base Font: Typeface that graphics software defaults to if no other font is specified.

BASIC: Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code. Basic is the computer language invented by Johhn Kemeny at Dartmouth College in the late 1960s. It's popular because it is easy to learn and use.

Basic Size: A standard, predetermined size for a particular type of paper.

Basis Weight Scale: An instrument used to measure basis weights in paper.

Basis Weight: The weight in pounds of a predetermined number of sheets of paper having a specific size for a specific type of paper.

Batch Processing: Conducting a group of computer tasks at one time, instead of throughout the day.

Baud: A unit of data transmission speed.

BCC Block Check Character: In data transmission, a control character appended to blocks in character-oriented protocols and used for figuring if the block was received in error. See CRC.

Beam Recording: Using an electron or laser beam to record directly onto film.

BER: Bit error rate. A measurement of the average number of errors which occur (or can occur) while writing or transmitting data.

Benchmark: (1) A technique to establish a point of reference from which tests can be made and guidelines determined for the existing performance of a process; for example, the use of a program to rate the performance of a computer. (2) A technique to evaluate your performance in specific areas when compared to recognized leaders. You may be comparing yourself to competitors or similar processes and functions at other geographic locations within your organization.

Ben Day Process: A method of mechanically transferring line, dot or texture patterns to paper, metal or glass by general or local pressure on the back of a Ben Day screen (film), the screen bearing the particular pattern in relief on one side of the film. Invented in 1879 by Benjamin Day for the introduction of shading effects in line drawings and reproduction therefrom.

Bernoulli Box: A storage disk system that uses the principles of fluid dynamics (discovered by 18th century Swiss scientist Daniel Bernoulli). When the disk is rotated at high speeds, a cushion of air is created, keeping the read/write head at the perfect distance from the disk surface.

Beta Testing: The second-stage test-version of a newly developed piece of hardware and/or software, which is distributed free to a limited sample of users so that they can subject it to daily use and report any problems to the manufacturer. After the "bugs" are fixed, the final version of the program is released to the general public.

Bezel: The metal or plastic part _ in short, the frame _ that surrounds a display tube.

Bezier Curve: Mathematically defined curve, used in CAD and graphics application software to create curved images. A Bezier curve is made up of only four points: the two ends and two other points that affect its shape. Contrast with spline.

BFT: Binary File Transmission. Standard for transmitting facsimile data between fax boards directly. Faster than conventional fax modems.

Bidirectional Printing: A typewriter always prints from left to right. So did the early computer printers. That's unidirectional printing. The newer computer printers will print from left to right, drop down a line, then print from right to left. Bidirectional. This increase the printer's speed.

Bilevel: A binary scan that assigns each pixel an attribute of either black or white _ no gray tones, no colors.

Binders: Additives in the paper making process which increase strength and hardness while decreasing surface fuzz.

Binder's Creep: The slight but cumulative extension of the edges of each inserted spread or signature beyond the edges of the one that encloses it in a saddle stitch bind.

Binding: The fastening of the assembled sheets or signatures along an edge of a publication.

BIOS: Basic Input/Output System, the portion of the program in some operating systems that tailors it to a specific computer.

Bit: Contraction for Binary DigiT. The smallest unit of data a computer can process. Represents one of two conditions: on or off; 1 or 0, mark or space; something or nothing. Bits are arranged into groups of eight called bytes. A byte is the equivalent of one character.

Bit Map: Representation of characters or graphics by individual pixels, or points of light, dark or color, arranged in row (horizontal) and column (vertical) order. Each pixel is represented by either one bit (simple black & white) or up to 32 bits (fancy high definition color).

Bit-mapped Font: A set of dot patterns that represent all the letters, characters and digits in a type font at a particular size.

Bit-mapped Graphics: Graphic images which are formed with sets of pixels, or dots, with a specific number of dots per inch. Also called raster graphics and paint-type graphics. Contrast with vector graphics.

Bit Specifications: Number of colors or levels of gray that can be displayed a one time. Controlled by the amount of memory in the computer's graphics controller card. An 8-bit controller can display 256 colors or levels of gray. A 16-bit can show 64,000 colors. A 24-bit controller can display 16.8 million colors or gray levels.

BITNET: Because It's Time Network. A network that communicates via the Remote Jargon Entry (RJE) protocals that work over serial lines as well as TCP/IP. Bitnet mail is sent through a gateway to the Internet.

Black and White: Originals or reproductions in a single color, as distinguished from multicolor. When color separations are made, the result is four black and white negatives, each representing a process printing color.

Black Liquor: Spent cooking chemicals from the paper making process.

Black Printer: The plate used with the cyan, magenta and yellow plates; often used to enrich the contrast of the final reproduction.

Blade Coating: A paper coating method which results in a very smooth surface.

Blanket: A fabric coated with natural or synthetic rubber which is clamped around the blanket cylinder and which transfers the ink from the press plate to the paper.

Blanks and Boards: Paperboards (more than 0.012 in thickness) produced on a cylinder machine.

Bleed: A printed image(graphic) that extends beyond the trim edge of the paper.

Blistering: Oval or round bubbles visible on coated web sheets.

Block: The amount of data recorded contiguously on magnetic tape or disk in a single operation. Blocks are separated by physical gaps, or identified by their track/sector addresses.

Blueline: A blue-toned photoprint produced from film negatives which is prepared as a proof to check placement of elements of an image or portion of an image on a layout.

Bottling: The process of skewing pages to compensate for paper thickness as it is folded. Primarily used on signitures designed for large web or large sheet-fed presses.

Blow Up: A photographic or lithographic term used to explain the enlargement of an original to another larger size.

Boot: A common expression used to describe the process of starting a computer with a bootstrap program.

BPI: Bits Per Inch. Measurement of the number of bits stored per linear inch on magnetic tape. Measures density.

BPS: Bits Per Second. Measurement of the number of bits transferred in a data communications system. Measures speed.

Brainstorming: A technique used to generate numerous ideas using the composite talent and experience of a group in a facilitated meeting environment.

Brightness: In color, the difference in range from white when compared to dark tones and colors. Could also be considered to be contrast. In photography, brightness is dependent upon correct exposure. Overexposures will be very bright but will have lost highlight density details. Underexposures will be very dense and show little brightness. In paper, the reflectance or brilliance of the paper.

Brownstock Washing: In the chemical pulping operations during the paper making process, the process of seperating fibers after cooking.

Browser: An Internet application that lets users access WWW servers and surf the net.

Bubble: One technique for recording data on optical discs. A laser strikes the non-image areas of the recording medium, causing bubbles to form and leaving the image area clear to reflect the reading laser's light.

Buffer: Device or allocated memory space used for temporary storage. Printers commonly use buffers, for example, to hold incoming text because the text arrives at a much faster rate than the printer can output.

Bulletin Board: An electronic information and data transfer service that can be accessed through the telecommunications network from any computer terminal configured with a modem and telecommunication software.

Bursting Strength: The amount of uniformily applied pressure required to rupture a sheet of paper or corrugated product.

Bus: Signal path or line shared by many circuits or devices. Information is often sent to all devices throughout the same bus; only the device to which it is addressed will accept it. this makes designing system architecture much easier; devices can be plugged in "anywhere on the bus."

Byte: Common unit of computer storage. A byte is eight bits of information, one of which may be a parity bit. Generally, eight bits equal one character. Also called an "octet.'