Home > Help & Tips > Typesetting Glossary

Typesetting Glossary

A set of letters or other characters that are used to write words in languages.
The character (seen as &) that represents the word and.
The part of a letter that extends above the body of the letter (the x height); i.e., a part of the letter that climbs up from the body of the letter.
The line on which the bases of capital letters (uppercase letters) sit.
When any image or element on a page touches the edge of the page–extending beyond the trim edge, leaving no margin–it is said to bleed. It may bleed or extend off one or more sides. Photos, rules, clip art, and decorative text elements can bleed off the page.
Bold type
Type with a heavier, darker appearance.
A part that forms the outer edge of something, such as a decorative strip around the edge of an invitation or a note card.
Broken letter
A letter that has part of it missing.
A heavy dot ( • ) used to highlight a particular passage or list of elements.
Capital letter
The larger of two choices of letter when creating a word. Capital letters are the first letter in a proper noun or first word of a sentence. (Also see uppercase letter.)
An abbreviation for capital letters.
The text that accompanies a photo in a catalog or newsletter.
Composing type
The act of accomplishing the artistic goal when typesetting a page.
Arranging letters, objects, or other elements into an artistic form.
A style of typeface in which the characters appear taller and narrower.
To cut out or trim unneeded portions of an image or a page. Cutting lines–known as crop –may be indicated on a printout of the image or page to show where to crop. An image is trimmed on one, two, three, or four sides to create more emphasis on one part of the image. The aim of cropping is to eliminate dead space around the four sides of a photographic image. Also known as: trim.
The part of a letter that hangs down "below the line."
Display type
Larger type used for headings and titles, normally 18 point or higher. The names on personalized stationery are created with display type.
A style of typeface whereby letters are stretched to the left and right, so that it is lower and longer in appearance.
An abbreviation for the word typeface.
An ornamental stroke in writing or printing.
The term for type that is not to be indented, but is to be set flush with the margin. A flush cover of a book, magazine, catalog, manual, or other publication is cut to the same size as the pages within. In a flush paragraph, all the sentences–except perhaps the last one–are of equal width across the page, and there is no beginning paragraph indentation. Flush left or flush right indicates that type is to be set so as to line up at the left or right margin. To flush the margin in this manner also is referred to as justified.
An assortment or set of type, all of one size and style. In recent usage, the word font has come to describe a typeface without regard to size.
A style of type design that relates to European architecture from the 12th century to the 16th century. Gothic type has broad, even strokes, and is without serifs.
The thinnest stroke in a typeface or drawing or page layout.
Hairline rule
The thinnest rule that can be printed (Also see rule).
A typestyle with characters that slant upward and to the right.
To flush the margin (Also see flush).
Kerning constitutes the space between letters, and the horizontal space adjustment between the letters of words or names.
In typesetting usage, the word leading rhymes with sledding. Leading constitutes the space between lines of type.
The smaller size of a letter, also known as a small letter.
Open face
A typestyle that features open "white space" inside the outline of each letter.
A unit of measurement in typesetting, a point is 1/72 of an inch.
Roman letters
Letters that derive from the Latin alphabet, whereby the letters are vertical with serifs.
Originally a metal strip that was inked to print straight lines in the letterpress process. In the present day, in printing, a rule is any printed straight line.
Sans serif
A style of typeface without serifs.
A term applied to any face cut to resemble handwriting.
A smaller line used to finish off a main stroke of a letter, as at the top and bottom of M.
Setting type
The act of placing type in a chase. (A chase is a metal frame in which letterpress type is "locked up" prior to printing.)
This word should be avoided when speaking of type; see leading or kerning.
One of the lines of the letter of an alphabet.
The main body of printed or written matter on a page.
Text type
Typefaces used for the main text of written material, usually no larger than 14-point size.
All type of a single design.
To set in type.
Variations in the thickness and stroke–such as light, bold, italic–that lend flexibility and emphasis in the appearance of characters constituting a typeface.
The larger size of a letter that begins a name or sentence; Also known as capital, as in: The first letter of his name is a capital letter.
Vertical versus Horizontal emphasis (in the typeset page)
Today, because of email and the 8.5 x 11 format usually used in word processing programs, most composition looks too horizontal. Applying a more vertical look with wide margins is more eye-catching.
A small illustration not enclosed in a definite border.
The degree of boldness or thickness of a letter or font.
x height
The height of the main body of a letter, excluding the ascenders and descenders. For example, the letter x has an x-height identical to itself because it has no ascenders or descenders.