All-in-one - This refers to a
multifunction devise that can perfom more than
just printing. Printing, copying, scanning, and
faxing are usually standard capabilities of these
machines. Scanners can either be sheetfed or flatbed.
Anti-aliasing -This is used
to make graphics and text easy to read and appear
pleasing to the eye on-screen. It consists of
mathematical formulas that enables the detail
around the edges of each charater to be enhanced.
Auditing - A Windows NT feature
that enables the system administrator to monitor
printing activities for any user.
Autoanswer - A setting available
for most fax machines, fax modems, and multifunction
devices with fax capability. With autoanswer,
your all-in-one automatically picks up incoming
fax calls after a specified number of rings.
Automatic Document Feeder -
A tray or attachment that feeds one page at a
time into a printer or scanner.
Automatic Paper Sensing - An
optical sensor on a printer "reads"
the unique media "signature" of the
paper, or detecting the type of paper, by measuring
inherent physical properties and comparing them
with the signatures of other types of media. Once
the media is identified, the printer optimizes
printing for different media types.
Automatic Two-sided Printing
- The printer automatically outputs a two-sided
page without having to manually reverse and feed
the paper. Automatic Two-Sided Printing is an
option and does not have to be selected. It is
standard with some high-end HP printers.
Banner Lifter - An attachment
to help smoothly feed continuous banner paper
through your inkjet printer.
Bays - The physical frame of
a microcomputer case, a space for installing an
internal drive or a peripheral.
Bi-directional - A term for
a parallel printer connection or an external peripheral
in which the data flows regularly in both directions
between computer and printer.
Bit - The abbreviation for binary
digit: The smallest unit of digital information,
represented by 1 or 0. Computers and peripheral
devices usually use many bits to represent information
about each pixel of an image.
Bit Depth - A digital image
is represented as a bitmap (a grid of dots). The
bit depth is the number of color tones that can
be associated with each dot. A 1-bit color can
only contain 2 colors - black and white. But an
8-bit color contains 256 shades (color or gray),
while a 24-bit color contains 16.7 million shades.
Bitmap File - Usually carries
the file extension .BMP. The standard graphics
format for Windows images.
Black Copy Speed - The speed
at which the copier produces black text. Copy
speed is measured in copies per minute (cpm).
Black Print Resolution - The
degree of clarity with which a printer prints
black text, measured in dots per inch (dpi).
Black Print Speed - The speed
at which a printer prints black text. Print speed
is measured in pages per minute (ppm).
Brightness - An adjustment to
control the lightness and darkness of an image
measured by the percentage of light reflected.
Broadcast Faxing - A fax machine
feature, usually found on most all-in-ones, that
sends the same fax documents to multiple recipients.
Carriage - The fixture
in the print device that holds the print cartridge.
The carriage may slide on a carriage rod (or rods)
to scan (pass over) the media.
Centronics - Another name for
the standard PC printer cable design (also called
a parallel printer cable).
Charging Roller - One of the
complex system of rollers inside a typical laser
printer or all-in-one. The charging roller transfers
an electrical charge to the photoconductor, which
repels particles to the toner.
CMYK - An acronym to represent
Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black, the process colors
used in correct proportions to create the color
range of a digital image. These are general names
for the color hue of the colorants (dyes and pigments)
typically used in formatting (including inkjet
printing). These 4 colors are used to create all
colors in this type of digital image.
Coaxial Cable - The cable typically
used in Ethernet networks; also used to provide
cable TV service.
Collation - A feature offered
on some inkjet printers, laser printers and all-in-ones;
with collation turned on, multiple copies of a
document are printed as separate documents. Many
of these products have a box labeled "ordered
printing." With ordered printing turned on,
the pages in a multiple-page document are printed
in the correct order.
Color Balance - A print quality
attribute that refers to the overall color cast
of an image. Unbalanced images appear to have
an underlying color so that grays do not appear
Color Matching System - A system
of computer software, display hardware, cardboard
color wheels, and color filters. Used together,
these elements help guarantee that the colors
used on the monitor are the same colors that will
be printed in the final document.
Color Resolution - The resolution
at which a printer prints colored text, measured
in dots per inch (dpi)
Color Separation - A color printing
technique used to print full-color photographs
and mulit-color images and text. A standard set
of colors (usually cyan, magenta, yellow, and
black) is applied in separate layers, and the
combination of these layers creates the different
Color Wheel - A number of cardboard
or plastic cards held together by a wire or bolt;
each card carries a different color and an identifier
for that color in a particular color matching
system. A color wheel is useful for comparing
the actual color represented within the color
matching system with the color displayed on a
monitor or physical layout.
Compatibility - How well one
computer, attached device, data file, or program
can work with or understand the commands, formats,
or language of another. True compatibility means
that any operational differences are invisible
to people and programs alike.
Cost per page is the price you
pay to use and maintain your printer. Cost per
page for an inkjet printer can hit a dollar, and
rise, while the laser's cost per page stays below
a nickel. A photo-quality printer's cost per page
prohibits its use for simple monochrome text documents.
Corona Wires - A set of thin
wires inside the body of a laser printer that
transfers a static charge to each sheet of paper;
this charge in turn attracts the toner to the
Daisywheel - An early
letter-quality impact printer that used a typewriter-style
daisywheel or rotating ball.
Dedicated Print Server - A PC
in a network dedicated to managing the available
Defragmenting - The process
of optimizing a computer's hard drive by rearranging
files to make them contiguous. Defragmenting helps
speed up your computer's operation because all
tasks related to your hard drive run faster on
a defragmented drive.
Device Independent - A print
job saved as a file is a device independent when
it can be printed or displayed on any compatible
hardware platform and achieve the same results.
PostScript files are device independent because
the same PostScript file produces the same results
whether printed on a computer printer, a laser
etching system, or even when shown on a computer
Dictionary - As a PostScript
term, a file containing font descriptions. Each
description specifies how every character in a
font family is constructed, including derivatives
such as bold or italic versions.
Dot Matrix - A popular early
impact printer that used a grid of tiny pins to
transfer ink from a ribbon to the page. Dot matrix
printers can produce basic graphics but are inferior
compared to an inkjet printer's quality. They're
loud and slow and produce only one color.
Dots Per Inch - Usually abbreviated
as dpi. A measurement of print resolution, dpi
indicates how many individual dots a device can
create on a page per square inch of area. Dpi
is typically listed as horizontal resolution by
vertical resolution; the higher the dpi, the better
Driver - Software that comes
with a peripheral (i.e., printer, scanner, camera...)
that allows the peripheral to communicate with
Driver Software - The software
that enables your operating system to properly
build and format commands and data bound for your
printer; in effect, a print driver tells your
operating system all that it needs to know to
operate your printer.
Dual Cartridge - An inkjet printer
that can accommodate two ink cartridges at the
same time, one black and one color. Dual-cartridge
printers are more expensive than single systems,
but they are faster and can automatically switch
between monochrome and color.
Duplex - Printing both sides
of a two-sided document.
Duty-cycle - The maximum number
of printed pages per month that a printer can
Encapsulated PostScript File
- Usually abbreviated EPS. An EPS file is a stand
alone, self-contained PostScript file that describes
the contents of a printed page. EPS files can
be scaled to any size, and they are commonly exchanged
by desktop publishing and graphics professionals,
publishers and printing houses. Many clip art
libraries on CD-ROM and the Web offer graphics
in EPS format.
Enhanced Capability Port - Usually
abbreviated as ECP. An international specification
describing bi-directional communications using
your PC's parallel port. ECP focuses on printers
Enhanced Parallel Port - Usually
abbreviated as EPP. An international standard
documenting bi-directional communications using
your PC's parallel port. EPP focuses on peripherals
other than printers and scanners.
Ethernet Network - The simplest,
slowest, and least expensive network design, usually
well suited for home or small offices. An Ethernet
network broadcasts data packets to all computers
in the network simultaneously.
Family - In the world
of typesetting, a font family is a specific font
and all of its derivatives: italic, bold, small
caps, strikethrough, and such. A simple font might
include Times Roman but a font family includes
Times Roman in italic, bold, and so on.
Fax Forwarding - A fax feature
that enables your machine to automatically forward
any document it receives to another fax.
Fax Header - An informational
line of text printed at the top of every page
by a fax machine; it includes your full name,
your station ID, and your fax number. Depending
on your product, it may also include your company
name and telephone number.
Fax Polling - A fax machine
feature that enables your machine to automatically
distribute the documents you specify to other
fax machines that connect to it.
Fax Remote Retrieval - A fax
machine feature that enables you to retrieve faxes
from your machine remotely.
Feed Type - How paper products
are loaded into a printer or scanner. Many scanners
are sheet-fed, whereas a printer usually has a
cartridge that contains multiple sheets. Some
printers even have automatic document feeders
for unattended copying.
Fire Wire - High-speed external
connection used for connecting peripherals, also
referred to as "IEEE 1394". See also
Firmware - Low-level software
that runs in a digital camera, printer, scanner,
etc., and controls the functionality and user
Font - A set of printing characters
that share the same distinctive appearance. Fonts
are used on your computer to display text on your
monitor and print documents on your printer.
Font Cartridge - A cartridge
(or in newer printers, an internal memory card)
that is plugged into a laser printer to add one
or more "built-in" resident fonts; these
resident fonts print much faster than fonts that
must be downloaded to your printer, and they don't
use any printer memory.
Freeware - A program distributed
free of charge by the author. Freeware programs,
fonts, and original clip art files are offered
on the Internet and computer bulletin boards.
Fuser Roller - One of the system
of rollers inside a laser printer. The fuser roller
heats the page after the toner is applied, so
the toner partially melts and sticks to the page
for a permanent bond.
GIF Image - Usually
carries the file extension.GIF short for Graphics
Interchange Format. The first truly universal
standard format for file images, originally developed
by Compuserve. Widely used on the Web, GIF files
are best used for small images with limited colors.
Hardware Conflict -
A situation where two adapter cards inside your
PC attempt to use the same hardware settings.
If one of these cards is your I/O adapter and
the conflict involves your parallel port, it will
likely lock your PC whenever you try to print.
IEEE-1284 Standard -
The international design specification for bi-directional
parallel printer cables. Most late model inkjet
and laser printers do not work properly unless
your printer cable meets this specification.
Impact Printer - A printer that
uses the force of an impact through an ink ribbon
to create a printed character on a page. This
impact is delivered by a rotating ball or wheel
or through a grid of pins. This type of printer
is generally slow and noisy.
Infrared - A type of connection
that allows data to be wirelessly transmitted
from the camera directly to another device when
the infrared window on the camera is lined up
with an infrared sensor on the other device.
Inkjet Printer - A printer or
an all-in-one unit that shoots fast drying ink
through tiny nozzles onto a page to form characters.
The inkjet is currently the standard for personal
computer printing. Inkjets are fast, affordable,
and relatively quiet, they provide high quality
graphics, and prints in color.
Input/Output Card - Usually
abbreviated I/O card. A standard PC adapter card
that typically provides two serial ports for your
modem and two parallel printer ports.
Interface - A connection standard
for transferring data that's recognized by all
PCs or Macintosh computers. For example, a parallel
printer port is a common interface found on virtually
all PCs for transferring data from the computer
to a printer.
Interpolated Resolution - An
enhanced resolution that is computed using a software
algorithm and makes an image appear as if it were
scanned at a higher resolution. Contrast with
optical resolution, which is the inherent physical
resolution of the device. Both resolutions are
given as dots per inch (dpi); thus a 2,400 dpi
scanner can be the true, optical resolution of
a machine or a computed, interpolated resolution.
Interrupt Request - Usually
abbreviated IRQ. A signal generated by an adapter
card in your PC that alerts your CPU to handle
incoming data from the keyboard, mouse, serial
port, or parallel port.
JPEG File - Usually
carries the file extension .JPG. The current favorite
image format among Web surfers and graphics professionals,
JPEG images are highly compressed to save more
space than a BMP or GIF file.
Label Stock - A thick
paper sheet carrying peel-off or perforated labels
arranged in a regular pattern.
Landscape Printing - Printing
where the longer length of the page runs from
side to side rather than top to bottom. Landscape
mode is often used to print spreadsheets and larger
Large-format Printer - An inkjet
printer that's designed to handle paper sizes
of 11x17 inches or larger sheets. Some large format
printers also use continuous rolls of paper. These
printers are especially designed to produce photo-quality
posters, blueprints, maps, and signs.
Laser Printer - A printer or
all-in-one unit that uses static electricity and
heat to bond particles of toner to a page to create
characters, the same technology used by a copy
machine. Laser printers are the current standard
for business correspondence, and they deliver
quality black text print.
Letter Quality - An old term
for a printer that produces text that looks as
if it were created with a typewriter.
Local Area Network - Usually
abbreviated as LAN. A group of computers in an
office or building connected to each other by
cable. A network computer can access files on
other computers in the network or enable others
to open and use its files. Printers, modems, and
CD_ROM drives are also typically shared peripherals
on a network.
Media - The material
that is printed upon, such as paper, glossy paper
or transparency film.
Modular Ink Delivery System - Usually abbreviated
as MIDS. A next-generation ink, cartridge, and
print head design from HP that separates the ink
supply from the print heads. In an MIDS printer,
the ink is stored in single color, stationary
tanks inside the body of the printer, and four
print heads are used instead of one. This improves
the speed and quality of the output and prolongs
the life of the print heads. MIDS also have a
sensor on each print head that alerts the user
when the ink or print head needs changing.
Monochrome Printer - A printer
that prints in only one color, usually black.
Some monochrome printers can also produce text
and graphics in shades of gray as well as strict
black and white.
Near Letter Quality
- A description of advanced 9-pin and 24-pin dot
matrix printers, where the text produced by the
printer is hard to distinguish from a letter-quality
Network Interface Card - Usually
abbreviated as NIC. An adapter card installed
in a computer that enables it to connect to a
network; most NIC's support several different
types of networks and network cabling.
Network Printer - A printer
available for use by workstations on a network.
A network printer either has its own built-in
network interface card, or it's connected to a
printer on the network.
Page Description Language
- A language recognized by computers and printers
that defines the physical characteristics of a
page, including fonts, graphics, margins, spacing,
Page Memory - The number of
pages your fax will hold in its memory, in case
it runs out of paper.
Pages Per Minute - Usually abbreviated
as PPM. A measurement of printer speed, indicating
how many finished pages a printer can produce
in 60 seconds. PPM speeds are typically listed
for both monochrome only and color documents.
Page Storage - The number of
pages (text or graphics) that can be stored internally.
Pantone - A spot color matching
system supported by most computer desktop publishing
and graphics design software.
Paper Capacity - Refers to how
much paper (including envelopes, transparencies,
etc.) a printer tray can accommodate.
Paper Guides - Adjustable plastic
dividers that help hold paper in the proper alignment
in a printer's paper feed tray. These guides can
be moved to fit different dimensions, such as
international sizes, envelopes, or custom-sized
Parallel Communications - A
method of sending data from one computer to another
over several wires simultaneously, which results
in faster transfer rates. Almost all printers
available today use parallel data communications.
Parallel Port - The common name
for the printer connector on the back of a typical
PC. I/O adapter cards are available that can provide
your PC with up to four separate parallel ports
but most computers come with one as standard equipment.
Peer-to-peer Network - A simple
network design that uses no file or printer servers.
All workstations on the network are connected
by cabling, enabling users to share files and
hardware, such as printers.
Peripheral - A computer term
for any external hardware device you can connect
or attach to your computer system, like a printer
or CD-ROM drive.
PhotoREt - A technology from
HP that improves the appearance of high-resolution
color images printed on an inkjet at any resolution,
using any type of paper. The system uses an enhanced
microprocessor and an ink cartridge with smaller
nozzles, which enables finer control over ink
application. A PhotoREt cartridge can apply more
dots and smaller dots to paper with more precision,
resulting in a high-quality, high-definition image.
PhotoREtII - Has a ink drop
size of 10 picoliters. As a result, more drops
of ink can be placed on an individual pixel, creating
more colors per printed dot. PhotoREtII places
16 drops of ink on a single dot and delivers13
levels of color intensity or shades per primary
color. (See PhotoREt.)
PhotoREtIII - Has a ink drop
size of 5 picoliters. As a result, even more drops
of ink can be placed on an individual pixel than
in PhotoREtII, creating even more colors per printed
dot. PhotoREtIII places 29 drops on a single dot
and delivers 17 levels of color intensity or shades
per primary color. (See PhotoREt.)
Port Connection - A communication
link between hardware components. Types of connection
include Fire Wire, Parallel, USB, Serial, and
SCSI. See also Fire Wire, USB, SCSI.
Port Polling - A procedure performed
by Windows 98 each time you boot your computer,
and each time you send a print job from an application.
The operating system automatically checks your
parallel port to make sure your printer is ready
to receive a print job. You can turn the port
polling off in many cases to improve your printing
Print Buffer - A separate, stand-alone
print spooler with its own built-in memory that
connects your computer and your printing hardware.
The print buffer can spool print jobs, freeing
up all your computer's resources for your applications.
Print Cartridge - The device
that integrates the printhead, ink container,
and ink delivery systems.
Print Driver - The software
that enables your operating system to properly
build and format commands and data bound for your
printer; in effect, a print driver tells your
operating system all that it needs to know to
successfully operate your printer.
Print Head - In an inkjet device,
the print head contains the printer's ink cartridges
and the nozzles that control the flow of ink.
This electro-mechanical functionality allows the
delivery of ink dots.
Print Quality - Today's printing
hardware enables you to adjust the quality of
print; the lower the quality the faster the print
speed, and less ink or toner used. The higher
the quality, the slower the print speed, and the
better the printed results.
Print Quality Problems -
Bleeding - Two ink colors run into each other.
Blooming - Ink absorbs into the paper, spreading
beyond the ink dot size applied to the page.
Cockling - Paper ripple due to ink moisture.
Haloing - Lightening of black ink when it is next
Wicking - Ink spreads along the fibers in the
paper, creating a "spider web" effect.
Print Zone - The portion of the paper the printer
is capable of printing.
Print Resolution - The number
of dots per square inch (dpi) required to produce
a high-quality image in printing or on a computer
display screen. The higher the resolution, the
finer the image quality.
Print Zone - The portion of
the paper the printer is capable of printing.
Printer Booth - A box made of
fiberglass or plexiglass that encloses a printer.
A printer booth is insulated to reduce noise;
and opened to add paper and retrieve your printed
Printer Command Language - Usually
abbreviated as PCL. The page description language
developed by HP for use in its laser and inkjet
Printer Emulation - A printer
emulation enables a newer printer to "act
like" an older, widely used printer so it
can recognize and print documents formatted for
that older model.
Printer Server - A computer
completely dedicated to supporting a network printer.
The server's system RAM and hard drive are used
to store print jobs in the queue, and print jobs
can be reordered, paused, or deleted from the
Privileges - A Windows NT feature
that enables the system administrator to change
the user privileges for a specific printer. Privilege
settings can prevent other users from using a
printer, deleting a job, or pausing the print
Properties - Under Windows you
can display the properties for most printers by
right clicking the unit's icon in the Printer's
folder. Doing so enables you to change the configuration
or default settings.
Queue - A sequence of
documents sent to a printer to be processed sequentially,
usually in the order in which they sent by the
computer. Some multi-operating systems such as
Linux and Windows enable you to set privileges
or delete print jobs from the queue.
RAM Cartridge - A cartridge
that can be plugged into a laser printer to add
more RAM. The more RAM a laser printer has, the
faster it can print documents.
Random Access Memory - Usually
abbreviated as RAM. RAM built into your printer
can store data from a print job temporarily until
the printer is ready to print the data.
Reduction - With HP's digital
reduce/enlarge features, you can specify the exact
reduction or enlargement percentage you need (anything
between 25% and 400%).
Resolution - A measure of image
clarity based on the number of pixels used to
reproduce the subject. For example, camera resolution
is the number of pixels in the captured image.
See also Pixel.
RGB (Red, Green, Blue) - All
colors defined as percentages of red, green, and
blue. 2. Light is comprised of just three colors:
red, green and blue. Varying percentages of these
colors create all colors seen in the full color
spectrum. To help understand the concept of RGB,
look very closely at a color TV screen (not too
long though, remember what Mom always said...),
and see that the color is comprised of a variation
or combination of individually colored dots (like
Send Time - The time
it takes to send a message or file through an
infrared (IR) or serial port. Measured in seconds
per letter-sized page.
Serial Port - A socket on a
computer that is used to connect a modem, mouse,
scanner, or serial printer. Sometimes two computers
are connected together by their serial ports to
send data between them. A serial port sends information
through a cable one bit at a time, whereas a parallel
port sends eight bits at a time along parallel
wires. A parallel port sends data faster but a
serial port is reliable for transmission over
a longer distance.
Special Features - Refers to
the features that differentiate a product from
others, including double-sided printing accessories,
Special Functions - Refers to
the number of special functions a product performs.
For example, some All-in-Ones fax, some don't.
Speed - The speed at which black
or color text is printed or copied. Copy speed
is measured in copies per minute (cpm). Print
speed is measured in pages per minute (ppm).
Universal Serial Bus (USB)
- An input/output (I/O) bus capable of data transfer
at 12 megabits (1.5 megabytes) used for connecting
peripherals to a microprocessor. Typically, each
device connected to a computer uses its own port.
USB can connect up to 127 peripherals through
a single port by daisy-chaining the peripherals
together. USB devices may be hot plugged, which
means that power does not have to be turned off
to connect or disconnect a peripheral. It is expected
that USB will become a primary means of connection
in IBM-compatible PCs. Most major hardware, software,
and telecommunications providers support USB.