Ascher Group, LLC

9457 S University Blvd #175· Highlands Ranch · Colorado · 80126

Phone (866)683-1994 · Fax (720)554-7988 · Email info@theaschergroup.com

© 2002 - 2009 Ascher Group, LLC


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Glossary of Copier Terms

Ascher Group, LLC

9457 S University Blvd #175· Highlands Ranch · Colorado · 80126

Phone (866)683-1994 · Fax (720)554-7988 · Email info@theaschergroup.com

© 2002 - 2009 Ascher Group, LLC



Glossary of Copier Terms





AFP stands for "Advanced Function Presentation." It is a hardware & software architecture and a language that

describes text & graphics. It is understood by many printers that are used in mainframe environments. It was invented by IBM.  AFP is also known as "AFPDS ("Advanced Function Presentation Data Stream").



Automatically adjusts the amount of light necessary to properly expose the selected original. (i.e.: colored paper, poor quality original)



Lens and mirrors are the components of the conventional analog copier that transfers the scanned image to a photoconductor. The mirrors direct the light through the lens and then to the drum.



A device that holds a stack of originals and feeds them automatically, one at a time to the exposure glass for scanning/copying.



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



Primarily used in legal applications, Bates Stamping is the numbering of the legal documents. This was done by hand in the past with a numbering machine manufactured by the Bates Manufacturing Company. The numbers on the documents came to be known by the name of the company and "Bates Stamping" came to mean the process of placing the "Bates Numbers" on the pages. When large numbers of documents are involved, this can be done automatically by printers or during the scanning process.



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.



Enables copier to continue producing photocopies until it runs out of paper.



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



The dimensions , weight or design of these units prohibit desktop support; consequently, these units are free standing and feature built-in consoles.



Copies Per Minute.



The dimensions , weight or design of these units allow them t be supported by a desk or optional stand.



The substance that carries the toner in the developer unit. Through the friction of the developer the toner particles are charged, which will cause attraction to the oppositely charged drum.



Process by which toner is applied to the image on the photoconductor drum.



Digital copiers scan and digitize originals before reproducing them (as opposed to using the analogue "light lens" method) essentially, they are converting images to computerized data.  All multifunctional copiers are digital, though not all digital copiers are multifunctional.  Digital copiers use an array of sensors that scan the image of a document and prepare it for digital processing.  


Scanners can utilize two types of scanning technologies, CCD (charge-coupled device) or CIS (contact image sensor).   A CCD scanner uses a series of mirrors and a lens to move the image onto a light-sensitive CCD chip, while a CIS scanner uses a single row of LED sensor that are positioned a millimeter or two below the document along the full width of the scanner.



Dynamic Job Descriptor Entry (DJDE) is a production printer language developed by Xerox Corporation primarily to map data to forms. It combines print data stream specification, variable data printing and forms development. The output is targeted at Xerox laser printers. Resources, including forms, fonts, graphics and logos were developed with a variety of tools provided by many different companies. These were stored at the printer. When the print data stream was sent from the host to the printer, commands in the data stream referenced resources stored at the printer. The printers were generally directly connected to the host computer usually via Channel.



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.



Duplexing is the process of printing, copying or scanning images on both sides of a piece of paper.



Sorting is done is accomplished by the computer within the copier so no external trays.  In other word if you are making two copies of a five page document a copier that does electronic sorting will produce pages 1,2,3,4,5 and then 1,2,3,4,5 unlike a copier that does not electronically sort that would produce pages 1,1,2,2,3,3,4,4,5,5.



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.



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



Encapsulated Post Script, a known file format usually used to transfer post script information from one program to another.



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



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.



Imposition is the process of:



IPDS stands for "Intelligent Printer Data Streams." It is a language that contains the information necessary to identify, monitor, and control the functions of certain kinds of printers that are used in mainframe environments. This information includes the characteristics of the printer, its resolution, what resources it has, whether it has sufficient memory, and whether it receives and prints a job.


IFPDS was invented by IBM. It is part of IBM's AFP architecture.



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



Largest original that can be placed on the glass and copied.



Largest size paper that can be put through the machine.



Paper weights that are recommended for use in the copier.



Metacode is a language that describes text & graphics and is understood by many Xerox printers, some current OCE and Heidelberg printers.  Metacode is the standard print language of Xerox LPS printers.



Greatest number of copies that the copier can be programmed to produce, from one original. Note: differs by model.



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.



NIC stands for “Network Interface Card”.  A NIC allows a digital copier or printer to become a network printer.



OCR stands for "Optical Character Recognition." It is a computerized process that enables you to convert a paper document into a computer file that you can search and manipulate using a word processor.


An OCR system reads text from paper, translates the images of letters, numbers, punctuation marks, etc. into a text-based form, and creates a computer file that contains the translated information. The computer file that gets created contains fonts and ASCII codes.


All OCR systems include a machine called a "scanner." This is a device with a clear glass surface on it and a camera inside it. You put a document face-down on the glass and the camera inside the scanner takes a picture of the document and stores that picture in the form of a bitmap file (also known as an "image file"). Then, the OCR software in your computer uses its intelligence to examine the patterns of dots in the image file and creates a file that contains text that is represented as fonts and ASCII codes.


With most OCR systems, the image file that is created by the scanner is discarded after the final file (the file containing the fonts and ASCII codes) has been created.



A method of printing in which the image on the plate is transferred to the final substrate via an intermediate surface.



Lens and Mirrors: These are the components of the conventional analog copier that convey the scanned image from the glass to the photoconductor drum. The mirrors direct the light through the lens (for focusing or magnification) to the drum.



Maximum amount of paper, copier can store in the paper tray.



Removable cassette, where blank paper is stored for copying.



BRIGHTNESS - In relation to paper quality, this provides a measurement of the luminosity and degree of whiteness of a sheet. It is expressed as a percentage representing the proportion of light reflected compared to the amount of light emitted.


CALIPER - The distance between one surface of a paper and the other.  It is measured in micrometers.


CARBONLESS COPY PAPER - This consists of two sheets of paper; the underside of the top sheet is coated with

colorless dye in minute gelatin capsules; the underneath sheet is coated with a reactive chemical which turns blue or black when mixed with the colorless dye; pressure from a pen or typewriter on the top sheet causes the gelatin

capsules to break, the dye and chemical mix and the blue or black copy appears on the bottom sheet.


COATED PAPER - Special type of paper which has undergone a specific surface treatment to give it a good

smoothness. In general it is covered with a thin layer of clay or chalk which gives it a better printing quality and avoids the fuzziness that is associated with some papers.


CUT SIZES - Paper sizes used with office machines and small presses.


GLOSS - Gloss can refer to the reflectivity of paper itself or of the printed result on it. Gloss of paper is measured by using a Gardner gloss meter, which measures reflected light at an angle of 75°, and is expressed in Gardner gloss

units - the higher the number, the glossier the paper surface.


GRAIN  - The fibers in a web of paper naturally take up an alignment roughly parallel to the direction of travel of the web on the paper making machine; this becomes the grain direction. When cut, the paper’s grain direction may be parallel either to the long edge of the finished sheet (when it is called long grain) or the short edge (short grain).

Papers are normally stocked in long grain form, short grain being supplied to special order. The grain direction affects the stiffness in a particular dimension and must be taken into account when planning a job which needs to be folded, as paper usually folds easier with the grain.


NCR - No Carbon Required. This expression, which was introduced by the National Cash Register company (which

formerly owned the patents), has now been superseded by the term Carbonless (q.v.).


OPACITY - The extent to which a paper is capable of obscuring matter printed on the verso or on an underlying page or other surface.


PERFECTING - Printing both sides of the substrate at the same pass through a printing machine.


REAM  - A unit of measurement for sheets of paper; normally 500.


SIZING  - This process can either be applied on the surface of the sheet or in the sheet: in the first case starch is

applied to the surface to increase its strength and to resist the penetration of oil-based inks (this process is carried out at the size press, which is about two-thirds of the way down the dry end); in the second case chemicals are added to the stock at the pulping stage before the sheet is formed: this is called internal or engine sizing and its purpose is to stop penetration of water-based inks into the sheet.


SMOOTHNESS - The surface smoothness of paper is measured by the Bendtsen smoothness test. Also know as

Sheffield.  The test measures the amount of air escaping between an annular ring and the material surface, and results are measured in ml/min. Papers having a value higher than 50 are usually referred to as Matt, below 50 as Silk (sometimes called Satin or Velvet).


VELLUM PAPER  - Vellum paper - strong, tough and of high class appearance - is made to imitate the fine smooth

finish of a parchment made from animal skin. Vellum paper is often used for certificates.



US and Canada Paper Size (Inches)

Invoice         5 1/2 x 8 1/2

Letter         8 1/2 x 11

Legal         8 1/2 x 14

Ledger         11 x 17



PCL stands for "Printer Control Language." PCL was invented by Hewlett-Packard Corporation, and it is a language

that is used for describing the text and graphics in documents. Technically, PCL is known as a "page-description

language."  Because PCL was invented by Hewlett-Packard Corporation, it is also known as "HP-PCL."  Files that

contain documents described in the PCL language are normally called "PCL files"; hence, PCL is known as a file format as well as a language.



PDF stands for Portable Document Format. It is a file format that describes the text and graphics in documents. It was invented by Adobe Systems Incorporated.  Because it describes the text and graphics in documents, PDF is considered to be a page-description language. Note, however, that PDF is quite different from other page-description languages (such as PostScript and PCL) because — unlike other page-description languages — PDF can do much more than simply describe the appearance of a document. Software that supports PDF viewing (such as the Adobe Acrobat software) understands the PDF format.



A page-description language (PDL) is a computer language that describes the text and graphics in a document.

Printers and RIPs  understand page-description languages.  There are only a few page-description languages that are in widespread use today. Perhaps the best-known page-description languages are:

Usually, AFP, PostScript, or PCL is used when you are printing a document on paper; and PDF is used when you want a file that can be viewed on the screen by using 1) the Adobe Acrobat software, 2) a Web browser that is capable of displaying PDF files, or 3) some other software application that lets you view PDF files. However, you can also print PDF files on paper; and these days, more and more people are generating PDF output (as opposed to AFP, PCL, or PostScript output) for printing hard-copy documents.



The ability of the copier to copy halftones or photographs more clearly



The platen (or exposure glass) is the plate of glass upon which the original is placed for copying. There are two types of platens:



The platen moves from side to side, carrying the original over the optics. Copiers with moving platens usually have speeds of less than 20 copies per minute.



The platen remains stationary while an internal scanning device moves from side to side to copy the original. This feature usually makes a machine physically larger but gives user the option of adding a document feeder, which cannot be used on a copier with a moving platen.



PPML stands for Personalized Print Markup Language.  PPML is an XML-based language for variable-data printing.  

PPML was developed by The Digital Printing Initiative (PODi).  PODi, formerly known as the Print On Demand Initiative, is a not-for-profit multi-vendor initiative that's working to develop the market for digital printing.



PostScript is a language that is used for describing the text and graphics in documents. PostScript was invented by

Adobe Systems Incorporated. Technically, PostScript is known as a "page-description language."  Files that contain

documents described in the PostScript language are normally called "PostScript files"; hence, PostScript is known as a file format as well as a language.  Most laser printers and imagesetters understand the PostScript language. The

Adobe Acrobat Distiller software also understands the PostScript language.



Rasterization is the process of converting code that describes text and graphics into the format that is required by a printer's "print engine," which is the machinery that actually puts marks on a page.  Rasterization is performed by a "raster image processor," also known as a RIP.  With some systems, the RIP is a computer that is inside the printer itself. If you print your documents on a desktop printer such as a Hewlett Packard LaserJet or a Lexmark Optra, your RIP is probably inside the printer.  With other systems, the RIP is separate from the printer. For example, if your company uses a Xerox DocuTech printer, the RIP is probably a software program that runs on a Unix computer or a Windows computer that is separate from but connected to the printer.  The code that gets converted (i.e., rasterized) is known as "page-description-language code."



Function which allows the operator to decrease the size of the image on the copy paper.



RIP stands for "Raster Image Processor." A RIP is a device or a software program that converts page-description-

language code to the format required by the print engine in a printer or imagesetter. (The print engine is the machinery that actually makes marks on a page.)



Single scan systems scans the document once and prints multiple copies.



The document must be manually pulled through the feed mechanism each time a copy is needed.



A device which is added to the copier for use when producing collated copies.



Plastic-carbon based substance that forms the image on the paper. Toner is part of a mono-component, or dual-

component developing system. It has the appearance of a dry powder.



"Variable-data printing" is a form of on-demand printing in which all the documents in a print run are similar but not

identical. For example, if you are printing personalized letters to be mailed to your customers, each document probably has the same basic layout, but there is a different customer name and address on each letter.


When you use your word-processing software to do a mail merge, you are doing a simple form of variable-data printing.


These days, variable-data printing can go far beyond printing different names and addresses on a document. There

are systems that let you insert different graphics into a document, change the layout and/or the number of pages, print a unique bar code on each document, use color extensively. . . and more.


The concept of creating variable-data documents has been extended to non-paper documents such as PDF

documents and HTML documents. The term "variable-data printing and publishing" (or just "variable-data publishing")

encompasses both paper documents and on-line documents.


Variable-data printing and publishing is known by several other names. Some of them are:


Because variable-data printing/publishing systems are often used to create documents for promoting and selling

products & services, the terms are often used in connection with variable-data printing/publishing technology.



Amount of time required for the copier to become operable after being switched on.



"XML" stands for "Extensible Markup Language. You can think of XML as a method for describing information so that

computers (and humans) can understand it easily.



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