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Home > Printers > Copiers > Glossary




Analog Copier - Uses lights, lenses and mirrors to reflect the image of a document onto a photo receptor for printing. (See Digital Copier)

Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) - A device that holds a stack of originals and feeds them automatically, one at a time to the exposure glass for scanning/copying.

Automatic Power Save Mode - There are 2 user settings for power off or sleep mode (low heat) after 90 seconds of no copier activity.

Automatic Start - Allows the user to enter copy functions/commands during the warm-up period. After warm-up is completed, copying will begin automatically.


Cartridge Exchange System - Some copiers use an easy to replace, single cartridge system, for the toner and developer.

Connectivity - Connectivity refers to the method by which you connect your printer to your computer. These connectivity options include USB, FireWire, Parallel and Ethernet.

Continuous Copies - Ability to make copy after copy without the operator having to press the start key at the end of each copy cycle. The number of continuous copies, varies by model.

Contrast - A manual adjustment on a fax machine that compensates for very dark or very light documents by lightening dark documents and darkening light documents.

Copy Size - Both the minimum and maximum copy area, and paper size that the copier can utilize.

Cost Per Page - This is the total cost of each page printed. Things like ink cartridges, other consumables and media cost is all factored in to give you a per page estimate of cost.


Digital Copier - Uses an array of sensors that scans a document into an image processor which prepares and manipulates it for printing. (See Analog Copier)

Document Feeder - A device which feeds documents into a fax machine without operator assistance.

Dots Per Inch (DPI) - Dpi is an abbreviation for dots per inch. 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 the resolution.

Drivers - This software allows your computer to communicate with your printer to produce quality, accurate prints.

Drum - The heart of a copier on which the image is formed. It consists of an aluminum core with multiple layers of light and charge sensitive material such as selenium, or an organic based material. Sharp only uses the environmentally friendly organic based material in the Z-series of copiers.

Duty Cycle - This is the number of pages that a printer is designed to handle per month.


Energy Save Mode - An energy conserving feature where after copying and a preset time period, the copier automatically goes into a standby mode in which partial fusing heat is maintained so that a full warm-up period is not necessary for the next copy job.

Enlargement - Ability to increase the size of the image of the original on a photocopy.


Fiber Optics - Some copiers use fiber optics - layers of Lucite fibers sandwiched together which transmit light to the drum to form an image. Fiber optics are less expensive and easier to manufacture than optical lenses, and they allow for the production of smaller-sized copiers.

First Copy Time - Time required from when the start key is pressed to the time the first copy arrives at the exit tray.

Fusing - Process used to permanently affix the toner particles to the copy paper. Most commonly, heat and pressure applied by a heat lamp inside two rollers.


Graphical Device Interface (GDI) - Allows the copier to become a printer.


LCD - "Liquid Crystal Display" provides information to the operator when either using or programming the facsimile unit.


Manual Bypass - Allows the user to copy on to different paper stock, without changing paper cassettes or trays. Also used for two-sided copying.

Maximum Copy Size - Largest original that can be placed on the glass and copied.

Multi-Copy - Greatest number of copies that the copier can be programmed to produce, from one original.

Multi-Copy Speed - Number of copies per minute produced from one original in a continuous run after the first copy exits. This is also the maximum copy output speed of the machine.


Paper Capacity - Defines how much paper any given paper tray can handle.

Paper Handling - This refers to the number of pages that a printer can store prior to printing. It also usually details how this paper is handled (document feeder, tray, automatic document feeder, etc.).

PPM - 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.


Resolution - Resolution refers to the individual number of samples that are taken in the space of one inch. This is commonly referred to as dpi (dots per inch) or spi (samples per inch). In fax, the resolution is expressed in the number of lines per inch scanned and recorded, such as normal, fine and superfine.


Serial Interface - Can transfer only one bit of information in one direction at a time but can transmit data over greater distances.

Substitute Reception - Also called paper-out reception to memory, this feature allows documents to be automatically received into memory when the unit runs out of paper. Some models also allow documents to be received into memory when other supplies, such as ink or toner, are depleted.


Thermal Dye Sublimation - Dyes are infused into the paper which will create slightly blurry edges. However, these images are less susceptible to fading and distortion over time.


USB - Universal Serial Bus. 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.


Zoom - "Zoom" reduction or enlargement modes may be selected by the operator in 1% increments. Magnification percentages (+/-) typically range from 65% to 155%.

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