3 min read |  Posted Oct 28, 2015

Common Print and Web Terms Defined

Helpful Web Vocabulary Terms

Bits, bytes, pixels, and GIFs—oh my!


A basic unit of information that can have only one of two values, a value of either 1 or 0 (i.e., on/off, true/false, yes/no).


8 bits


Using more than one dot to create a pixel.


An abbreviation for dots per inch, a measure of the resolution of a printed photograph.

File size

The amount of space an image (such as a photograph) takes up on a storage device. Expressed as kilobytes (one thousand bytes) or megabytes.


An acronym for Graphics Interchange Format. A graphic file format suited for flat color images and drawings. Created by CompuServ and often used for animated images on the Web.

Image size

The dimensions of the image, such as an 8×10 photograph.


An acronym for Joint Photographic Experts Group. A lossy graphics format best suited for photographs and images with a lot of colors.

Kilobyte (KB)

1,024 bytes

Megabyte (MB)

1,024 kilobytes (1,048,576 bytes). A megabyte of storage will hold 873 pages of plain text or about 4 books.

Megapixel (MP)

One million pixels

Model release

A legal release signed by the subject of a photograph granting permission to publish the photograph. Also known as a liability waiver.

Photo resolution

The number of pixels in an image, usually expressed as the width x the height, or by the total number of pixels in the image (width in pixels x height in pixels).


A contraction of picture element. A square containing a series of numbers that describe color or intensity.


A curve or diagonal line made up of stair-stepped pixels, sometimes referred to as “Jaggies.” The result of insufficient resolution of a photo print.


An acronym standing for Portable Network Graphics. A graphics format for lossless, highly compressed raster images.


An abbreviation for pixels per inch, a measure of the resolution of a photo or image file.

Helpful Print Vocabulary Terms

You may be familiar with JPEGs and TIFFS, but how about “raster image processing” or “printer spreads”?


An image that extends to or past the edge of the sheet or page.


To eliminate portions of the image, usually on a photograph. Often indicated by crop marks that print on the press sheet.


A general term for post-print operations; includes trimming, folding, binding, stitching, drilling, and padding.

Folding dummy

A sheet or sheets assembled and folded to finished size. Can be actual size or miniature.


The layout of images or pages on a press sheet.


An acronym for Joint Photographic Experts Group. A lossy graphics file format best suited for photographs and images with a lot of colors.

Line art

Drawings, illustrations, sketches or pictures that use no tones (i.e., black and white areas only with no shades of gray).


Checking a document file to be certain it is ready for raster image processing.


Preparing digital files for output to a printer, copier or imagesetter.

Printer spread

Pages of a booklet or book arranged on a press sheet in an order that minimizes the number of press sheets and simplifies binding.


A dot or line of dots.

Raster image processing

The conversion of images into dots.

Reader spread

Pages of a booklet or book appearing in consecutive order as they will be read.


In booklet or book making, a group of pages on a single press sheet that have been positioned so that after folding, binding and trimming, the pages appear in proper sequence. Placement of pages in a signature is determined by using a folding dummy.


Tagged Image File Format. A loss-less graphic image file format used for both bitmap and vector images. Originally created by Aldus for use in Postscript printing.

Trim marks

Marks placed on the copy to indicate the edge of the page or image.

Still confused?

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