Printing Terms Dictionary


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Safelights: In photography and lithography, the use of special dark room lights for illumination which the materials being used are not sensitive to: Example: orthochromatic film is blue sensitive, therefore red safelights containing no blue spectrum are used.

Sans Serif: Describes typefaces that have the same weight and thickness throughout.

Saturation: In color, the nature of colors in terms of density. A color with heavy saturation will have a higher densitometric values when compared to a color having less saturation and lower densitometric values. In photography, a saturated color original would show colors at their maximum reproduction density without reproduction as a shadow. Color will tend to appear pure in nature when heavy with nature.

Scale Compression: The shortening of the tonal scale used in conventional lithographic processes to compensate the ink and paper press gains often found in the printing process. It can also effectively lighten a dark original when scanning. This scale compensation always takes place, we don't have any choice, it is part of the color reproduction process.

Scaled Point Size: A point size that approximates a specific point size for use on the screen.

Scaling: Determining the proper size of an image to be produced (or reduced/enlarged). It is important that both directions be scaled in order to ensure proper fit in the final reproduction.

Scan: To convert human-readable images into bit-mapped or ASCII machine-readable code.

Scanner: An electronic device used in making color separations. Originals are placed on drums, which are rotated, reproduce the original via digital and electronic signals transferred to the finished film size through fiber optics. Scanners utilize electronic circuits to correct color, compress the tones and enhance the detail.

Scanner Screen Angles: The screen angles differ from standard screen angles in that all angles have been advanced by 6 degrees. The reason for this is that if a standard yellow screen set at 90 degrees when scanned would create an objectionable screen pattern, thus creating an interference pattern that would be noticeable in the final reproduction as a moiré.

Scanning Direction: During set up on an electronic scanner, the operator determines whether or not to run an original right reading or wrong reading. There are several reasons for doing this. 1. The layout indicates the client wants it this way. 2. In order to save money on film at the composite stage, all stripping is done RREU emulsions and duped to a final negative which is correctly oriented for platemaking.

Scatter Proof: See random proof.

Screen Angles: In lithography, it is necessary to rotate the angles of the screens in order to create a rosette pattern. Using a horizontal line as a base plane, the first angle would be found at 45 degree angle from the base, 75 degrees would be the next, 90 degrees and finally 105 degrees.

Screen Font: A raster font designed to duplicate a printer font on the screen. See also raster font.

Screen Ruling: The number of lines or dots per inch in both directions on a contact screen to make halftones or separations. Screen rulings are available from 65 lines per inch to 200 lines per inch. For color separations, however, it is best to use 150 line screens for best press control and visual resolution.

Scroll: To move text or graphics up or down, or left or right, in order to see parts of the file that cannot fit on the screen.

Scroll Bars: The bars at the bottom and right edge of a window whose contents are not entirely visible. Each scroll bar contains a small box, called a scroll box, and two scroll arrows to allow different types of scrolling.

SCSI: Small Computer System Interface. pronounced "scuzzy." An industry standard for connecting peripheral devices and their controllers to a microprocessor. The SCSI defines both hardware and software standards for communication between a host computer and a peripheral. Computers and peripheral devices designed to meet SCSI specifications should work together.

Sectors: Divisions on magnetic media used for storing digital information: a single sector is the smallest contiguous unit of information; multiple sectors make up a track.

Sequential Storage: Recording data in a linear mode, stringing codes sequentially on a magnetic tape. Although it is often less expensive than random access storage, sequential storage requires more access time because the central processing unit must read more data, whatever is in the string between memory areas accessed, to find the area requested.

Serial Communication: See asynchronous communication.

Serial Interface: An interface on a computer, usually COM1, where you plug in a cable for a serial printer or other serial communication device such as a modem.

Serif: Short cross-lines appearing at the ends of the main strokes of characters in a typeface.

Server: A computer which is dedicated to one task. A database or directory server would be responsible for responding to a user's search request, returning the list of stored documents that meets with the parameters of the request.

Set Solid: Describes lines in which leading equals point size and which appears to be almost flush with the lines above and below.

SGML: Standard Generalized Markup Language. A metalanguage suitable for describing all kinds of markup languages, including HTML.

Shadow: The darkest parts of a photograph, which receive little or no light, represented in a halftone by the largest dots and greatest printing density. In photography, it is extremely important not to include an significant information in the shadow area because when separations are made, the tones and ranges of the original are compressed, making it difficult or impossible to maintain shadow details having no contrast.

Share: A partition of a network disk drive.

Sharpen: The electronic manipulation of an image to alter the edge contrast of its elements.

Shortcut Key: A key combination that carries out some action in a software program. For example, in Windows, pressing ALT + ESC switches among loaded applications.

Shrink: The contact manipulation of litho film due to the intentional over exposure of a film positive made from a film negative. The width is determined by the amount of trap necessary to visually trap two areas together.

Signature: In printing, the name given to a printed sheet which is to be folded. In stripping, the name given to the stripped flats to be printed and folded.

Silhouette: An electronic filtering function that can outline an area or object in an image and extract the background.

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP): The application layer protocol that supports messaging functions over the Internet.

Skew: To slant a selected item in any direction; used in graphics and desktop publishing.

Soft Dot: In lithography, a dot is called "soft" when a halation or fringe around the dot is evident or excessive. On the other hand the reverse would be true if the dot had little or no fringe noticeable and the dot is very sharp, this would be considered a "hard" dot. A hard dot can be made by etching or contact work.

Soft Font: A font that is downloaded to your printer's memory from a disk provided by the font manufacturer.

Soft Proof: A proof that is seen on a color video monitor, as opposed to a hard proof on paper.

Spectrum: The complete range of colors in light in a rainbow, from short wavelengths (ultraviolet) to long wavelengths (infrared) red.

Spooler: A method by which a computer can store data and feed it gradually to an external device, such as a printer, which is operating more slowly than the computer.

Spot Color: A specific color in a design, usually designated to be printed with a specific matching ink, rather than through process CMYK printing.

Spread: In lithographic image assembly, the use of exposure manipulation in order to alter the size of the original mask (enlarge slightly) so it will trap against a positive (reverse) of the mask so that a slight overlapping of the two images is the result. (See Shrink.)

Square Dot: Differs from an elliptical dot in that the dots have a square appearance instead of round or elongated. Best used for commercial web printing.

Staging: Often called stopping out, in color correction it is the application of opaque to litho negatives, or the application of special mastoid material to protect areas in the negatives (or positives) in order to prevent reduction of dot sizes during etching.

Standard Screen Angles: 45 degrees, 75 degrees, 90 degrees and 105 degrees. Screen angles vary 30 degrees from one to another except for the yellow printer which will always be at 90 degrees. This angle causes an objectionable moiré but is not apparent because the human eye is not sensitive to the yellow dot information, only its hue and chroma.

Storage Media: The physical device itself, onto which data is recorded. Mag tape, optical discs, floppy disks are all storage media.

Stripping: In offset-lithography, the positioning of negatives (or positives) on a flat (mylar, plastic, rubylith, etc.) prior to platemaking. (See Image Assembly).

Subdirectory: A directory contained within another directory. All directories are subdirectories of the root directory.

Swap File: An area of your hard disk that is set aside for exclusive use by Windows in 386 enhanced mode, or any other program that requires additional memory. This area is used only when your system runs low on memory.

SWOP: Specifications for Web Offset Publications. A standard set of specifications for color separations, proofs, and printing to encourage uniform standards in the industry.

SyQuest Drive: A product of SyQuest Co., it is a removable mass storage system that comes in 44 Mb and 80 Mb sizes. The mechanism is assembled by several companies under different names using different drives although the interior technology is compatible with all SyQuest disks.

System Time: The time set by your computer's internal clock.