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Harrower:The Newspaper Designer's Handbook
The Newspaper Designer's Handbook, 5/e
Tim Harrower


Agate  Small type (usually 5.5 point) used for sports statistics, stock tables, classified ads, etc.
Air  White space used in a story design.
All caps  Type using only capital letters.
Amberlith  An orange plastic sheet, placed over a pasted-up page, that contains shapes that the printer needs to screen, overprint or print in another color.
Anchor  An image, word or phrase (usually in color and underlined) that, when clicked, connects you to another Web page.
Application  A computer software program that performs a specific task: word processing, page layout, illustration, etc.
Armpit  An awkward-looking page layout where a story's banner headline sits on top of a photo or another headline.
Ascender  The part of a letter extending above the x-height (as in b, d, f, h, k, l, t).
Attribution  A line identifying the source of a quote.
Banner  A wide headline extending across the entire page.
Banner ad  An advertisement stripped across the top or bottom of a Web page.
Bar  A thick rule. Often used for decoration, or to contain type for subheads or standing heads.
Bar chart  A chart comparing statistical values by depicting them as bars.
Baseline  An imaginary line that type rests on.
Baseline shift  A software command that allows you to raise or lower the baseline of designated text characters.
Bastard measure  Any non-standard width for a column of text.
Bleed  A page element that extends to the trimmed edge of a printed page.
Blend  A mixture of two colors that fade gradually from one tint to another.
Body type  Type used for text (in newspapers, it usually ranges from 8 to 10 points).
Boldface  A heavier, darker weight of a typeface; used to add emphasis (the word boldface here is in boldface).
Border  A rule used to form a box or to edge a photograph.
Box  A ruled border around a story or art.
Broadsheet  A full-size newspaper, measuring roughly 14 by 23 inches.
Browser  A software program (such as Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator) that enables you to view Web pages.
Bug  Another term for a sig or logo used to label a story; often indented into the text.
Bullet  A type of dingbat, usually a big dot (·), used to highlight items listed in the text.
Bumping/butting heads  Headlines from adjacent stories that collide with each other. Should be avoided when possible. Also called tombstoning.
Byline  The reporter's name, usually at the beginning of a story.
Callouts  Words, phrases or text blocks used to label parts of a map or diagram (also called factoids).
Camera-ready art  The finished page elements that are ready for printing.
Caps  Capital or uppercase letters
Caption  A line or block of type providing descriptive information about a photo; used interchangeably with cutline.
CD-ROM  Computer disks (CDs) with huge amounts of memory, used for music, photo archives, font libraries, interactive games, multimedia programs, etc.
Centered  Art or type that's aligned symmetrically, sharing a common midpoint.
Character  A typeset letter, numeral or punctuation mark.
Clickable image map  A graphic or photo containing "hot spots" that, when clicked, link you to another Web location.
Clip art  Copyright-free images you can modify and print as often as you like.
CMYK  An acronym for cyan, magenta, yellow and black - the four ink colors used in color printing.
Column  A vertical stack of text; also called a leg.
Column inch  A way to measure the depth of text or ads; it's an area one column wide and one inch deep.
Column logo  A graphic device that labels regularly appearing material by packaging the writer's name, the column's name and a small mug or drawing of the writer.
Column rule  A vertical line separating stories or running between legs within a story.
Compressed/condensed type  Characters narrower than the standard set width; i.e., turning this M into M.
Continuation line  Type telling the reader that a story continues on another page.
Continuous tone  A photo or drawing using shades of gray. To be reproduced in a newspaper, the image must be converted into a halftone.
Copy  The text of a story.
Copy block  A small chunk of text accompanying a photo spread or introducing a special package.
Copyright  Legal protection for stories, photos or artwork, to discourage unauthorized reproduction.
Crop  To trim the shape or composition of a photo before it runs in the paper.
Cutline  A line or block of type providing descriptive information about a photo.
Cutoff rule  A horizontal line running under a story, photo or cutline to separate it from another element below.
Cutout  A photo where the background has been removed, leaving only the main subject; also called a silhouette.
Deck  A small headline running below the main headline; also called a drop head.
Descender  The part of a letter extending below the baseline (as in g, j, p, q, y).
Dingbats  Decorative type characters (such as bullets, stars, boxes, etc.) used for emphasis or effect.
Disk  Used to store computer information: hard disks are the internal memories for computers; floppy disks are small, square, removable cartridges; CDs, also removable, store vast amounts of information.
Display headline  A non-standard headline (often with decorative type, rules, all caps, etc.) used to enhance the design of a feature story, photo spread or news package.
Doglegs  L-shaped columns of text that wrap around art, ads or other stories.
Dot screen  A special screen used to produce tiny rows of dots, thus allowing newspapers to print shades of gray.
Dots per inch (dpi)  The number of electronic dots per inch that a printer can print - or that a digital image contains. The higher the dpi, the more precise the resolution.
Double burn  The process by which two different elements are overlapped when printed (for instance, printing type on top of a photo); also called overprinting.
Double truck  Two facing pages on the same sheet of newsprint, treated as one unit.
Download  To retrieve a document or image from the Web.
Downstyle  A headline style that capitalizes only the first word and proper nouns.
Drop head  A small headline running below the main headline; also called a deck.
Drop shadow  A thin shadow effect added to characters in a headline.
Dummy  A small, detailed page diagram showing where all elements go.
Duotone  A halftone that uses two colors, usually black and a spot color.
Dutch wrap  Text that extends into a column alongside its headline; also called a raw wrap.
Ear  Text or graphic elements on either side of a newspaper's flag.
Ellipsis  Three periods (...) used to indicate the omission of words.
Em  An old printing term for a square-shaped blank space that's as wide as the type is high; in other words, a 10-point em space will be 10 points wide.
En  Half an em space; a 10-point en space will be 5 points wide.
Enlarge  To increase the size of an image.
EPS  A common computer format for saving scans, especially illustrations (short for Encapsulated PostScript).
Expanded/extended type  Characters wider than the standard set width: i.e., turning this M into M.
Family  All the different weights and styles (italic, boldface, condensed, etc.) of one typeface.
FAQ  Frequently asked questions.
Feature  A non-hard-news story (a profile, preview, quiz, etc.) often given special design treatment.
Fever chart  A chart connecting points on a graph to show changing quantities over time; also called a line chart.
File size  The total number of electronic pixels needed to create a digital image, measured in kilobytes. The more pixels an image uses, the more detail it will contain.
Filler  A small story or graphic element used to fill space on a page.
Flag  The name of a newspaper as it's displayed on Page One; also called a nameplate.
Float  To dummy a photo or headline in an empty space so that it looks good to the designer, but looks awkward and unaligned to everyone else.
Flop  To create a backward, mirror image of a photo or illustration by turning the negative over during printing.
Flush left  Elements aligned so they're all even along their left margin.
Flush right  Elements aligned so they're all even along their right margin.
Folio  Type at the top of an inside page giving the newspaper's name, date and page number.
Font  All the characters in one size and weight of a typeface (this font is 10-point Times).
Four-color  The printing process that combines cyan (blue), magenta (red), yellow and black to produce full-color photos and artwork.
Frames  Web design tools that divide pages into separate, scrollable modules.
Full frame  The entire image area of a photograph.
GIF  Graphic Interface Format, a common format for compressed Web images, especially illustrations and graphics.
Graf  Newsroom slang for "paragraph."
Graph  Statistical information presented visually, using lines or bars to represent values.
Grayscale  A scan of a photograph or artwork that uses shades of gray.
Grid  The underlying pattern of lines forming the framework of a page; also, to align elements on a page.
Gutter  The space running vertically between columns.
H and J  Hyphenation and justification; the computerized spacing and aligning of text.
Hairline  The thinnest rule used in newspapers.
Halftone  A photograph or drawing that has been converted into a pattern of tiny dots. By screening images this way, printing presses can reproduce shades of gray.
Hammer head  A headline that uses a big, bold word or phrase for impact and runs a small, wide deck below.
Hanging indent  Type set with the first line flush left and all other lines in that paragraph indented (this text is set with a 10-point hanging indent).
Header  A special label for any regularly appearing section, page or story; also called a standing head.
Headline  Large type running above or beside a story to summarize its content; also called a head, for short.
High-resolution printer  An output device capable of resolution from 1,200 to 5,000 dots per inch.
Hit  The term used for counting the number of visitors to a Web page. (Technically, it refers to the number of elements on each Web page; accessing a page with text and three images would count as four hits.)
Home page  The main page of a Web site, providing links to the rest of the site.
HTML  HyperText Markup Language, the coding used to format all Web documents.
Hyperlink  An image, word or phrase (usually in color and underlined) that connects you to another Web page.
Hyphenation  Dividing a word with a hy-phen at the end of a line (as in these hy-phenated lines here).
Image  In Web design, any photo, illustration or imported graphic displayed on a page.
Image size  The physical dimensions of the final scanned image.
Import  To bring an electronic image into a computer software program.
Indent  A part of a column set in a narrower width. The first line of a paragraph is usually indented; columns are often indented to accommodate art, logos or initial caps.
Index  An alphabetized list of contents and their page numbers.
Infographic  Newsroom slang for "informational graphic"; any map, chart or diagram used to analyze an event, object or place.
Initial cap  A large capital letter set at the beginning of a paragraph.
Inset  Art or text set inside other art or text.
ISP  An abbreviation of Internet Service Provider; a company that provides a connection to the Internet.
Italic  Type that slants to the right, like this.
Java  A programming language that features animation.
JPEG  A common format for compressed Web images, especially photos. Created by the Joint Photographic Experts Group and pronounced "jay-peg."
Jump  To continue a story on another page; text that's been continued on another page is called the jump.
Jump headline  A special headline treatment reserved for stories continued from another page.
Jump line  Type telling the reader that a story is continued from another page.
Justification  Mechanically spacing out lines of text so they're all even along both right and left margins.
K  An abbreviation for "kilobyte," a unit for measuring the size of a computer file.
Kerning  Tightening the spacing between letters.
Kicker  A small, short, one-line headline, often underscored, placed above a larger headline.
Kilobyte  A unit for measuring the size of a computer file equal to 1,024 bytes; abbreviated as "K."
Laser printer  An output device that prints computer-generated text and graphics, usually at a lower resolution than professional typesetters.
Layout  The placement of art and text on a page; to lay out a page is to design it.
Leader  A dotted line used with tab stops.
Lead-in  A word or phrase in contrasting type that precedes a cutline, headline or text.
Leading  Vertical spacing between lines of type, measured in points.
Leg  A column of text.
Legibility  The ease with which type characters can be read.
Letter spacing  The amount of air between characters in a word.
Liftout quote  A graphic treatment of a quotation taken from a story, often using bold or italic type, rules or screens. Also called a pull quote.
Line art  An image comprised of solid black and white - no gray tones, as opposed to a grayscale image.
Line chart  A chart connecting points on a graph to show changing quantities over time; also called a fever chart.
Lines per inch (lpi)  The number of lines of dots per inch in a halftone screen. The higher the lpi, the more precise the image's resolution will be.
Logo  A word or name that's stylized in a graphic way; used to refer to standing heads in a newspaper.
Lowercase  Small characters of type (no capital letters).
Margin  The space between elements.
Masthead  A block of information, including staff names and publication data, often printed on the editorial page.
Mechanical  The master page from which printing plates are made; also called a paste-up.
Measure  The width of a headline or column of text.
Modular layout  A design system that views a page as a stack of rectangles.
Moire  An eerie pattern that's formed when a previously screened photo is copied, then reprinted using a new line screen.
Mortise  Placing one element (text, photo, artwork) so it partially overlaps another.
Mug shot  A small photo showing a person's face.
Nameplate  The name of a newspaper as it's displayed on Page One; also called a flag.
Offset  A printing process, used by most newspapers, where the image is transferred from a plate to a rubber blanket, then printed on paper.
Orphan  A short word or phrase that's carried over to a new column or page; also called a widow.
Overlay  A clear plastic sheet placed over a pasted-up page, containing elements that the printer needs to screen, overprint or print in another color.
Overline  A small headline that runs above a photo; usually used with stand-alone art.
Pagination  The process of generating a page on a computer.
Paste-up  A page assembled for printing where all type, artwork and ads have been placed into position (usually with hot wax). To paste up a page is to place those elements on it.
Photo credit  A line that tells who shot a photograph.
Pica  A standard unit of measure in newspapers. There are 6 picas in one inch, 12 points in one pica.
Pixel  The smallest dot you can draw on a computer screen (short for "picture element").
PMT  A photographic paper used for shooting halftones. Short for photomechanical transfer; also called a velox.
Point  A standard unit of measure in printing. There are 12 points in one pica, 72 points in one inch.
Pork chop  A half-column mug shot.
Process color  One of the four standard colors used to produce full-color photos and artwork: cyan (blue), magenta (red), yellow or black.
Proof  A copy of a pasted-up page used to check for errors. To check a page is to proofread it.
Pull quote  Another name for liftout quote.
Pyramid ads  Advertisements stacked up one side of a page, wide at the base but progressively smaller near the top.
Quotes  Words spoken by someone in a story. In page-design jargon, a liftout quote is a graphic treatment of a quotation, often using bold or italic type, rules or screens.
Ragged right  Type that is not justified; the left edge of all the lines is even, but the right edge is uneven.
Raw wrap  Text that extends into a column alongside its headline; also called a Dutch wrap.
Refer (or reefer)  A line or paragraph, often given graphic treatment, referring to a related story elsewhere in the paper.
Register  To align different color plates or overlays so they're perfectly positioned when they print
Resolution  The quality of digital detail in an image, depending upon its number of dots per inch (dpi).
Reverse  A printing technique that creates white type on a dark background; also called a dropout.
RGB  An acronym for Red, Green, Blue - a color format used by computer monitors and video systems.
Roman  Upright type, as opposed to slanted (italic) type; also called normal or regular.
Rule  A printing term for a straight line; usually produced with a roll of border tape.
Runaround  Text that wraps around an image; also called a wraparound or skew.
Sans serif  Type without serifs: This is sans serif type.
Saturation  The intensity or brightness of color in an image.
Scale  To reduce or enlarge artwork or photographs.
Scaling  The overall spacing between characters in a block of type.
Scanner  A computer input device that transforms printed matter (photos, illustrations or text) into electronic data.
Screen  A pattern of tiny dots used to create gray areas; to screen a photo is to turn it into a halftone.
Serif  The finishing stroke at the end of a letter; type without these decorative strokes is called sans serif.
Server  A computer used for storing and sending users the pages that make up a Web site.
Shovelware  A condescending term for dumping information onto your Web site without changing its format or enhancing its content.
Sidebar  A small story accompanying a bigger story on the same topic.
Sidesaddle head  A headline placed to the left of a story, instead of above it; also called a side head.
Sig  A small standing head that labels a regularly appearing column or feature.
Silhouette  A photo where the background has been removed, leaving only the main subject; also called a cutout.
Site map / storyboard  A visual outline of a Web site showing the page-layout plan.
Skew  Text that wraps around a photo or artwork; also called a wraparound or a runaround.
Skyboxes, skylines  Teasers that run above the flag on Page One. If they're boxed (with art), they're called skyboxes or boxcars; if they use only a line of type, they're called skylines.
Solid  A color (or black) printed at 100% density.
Spot color  An extra color ink added to a page; also called flat color.
Spread  Another term for a large page layout; usually refers to a photo page.
Stand-alone photo  A photo that doesn't accompany a story, usually boxed to show it stands alone; also called wild art.
Standing head  A special label for any regularly appearing section, page or story; also called a header.
Style  A newspaper's standardized set of rules and guidelines. Newspapers have styles for grammar, punctuation, headline codes, design principles, etc.
Style sheets  Coding formats (size, leading, color, etc.) that can be applied instantly to selected text in desktop publishing programs.
Subhead  Lines of type, often bold, used to divide text into smaller sections.
Summary deck  A special form of deck, smaller and wordier than most decks, that capsulizes the main points of a story.
Table  A graphic or sidebar that stacks words or numbers in rows so readers can compare data.
Tabloid  A newspaper format that's roughly half the size of a broadsheet newspaper.
Tab stops  Predetermined points used to align data into vertical columns.
Tags  HTML codes, enclosed in brackets, containing formatting information, anchors, etc.
Teaser  An eye-catching graphic element, on Page One or section fronts, that promotes an item inside; also called a promo.
TIFF  One of the most common computer formats for saving scans (an abbreviation of Tagged Image File Format).
Tint  A light color, often used as a background tone, made from a dot screen.
Tombstoning  Stacking two headlines side by side so that they collide with each other; also called bumping or butting heads.
Trapped white space  An empty area, inside a story design or photo spread, that looks awkward or clumsy.
Trapping  A slight overlapping of color plates to prevent gaps from appearing during printing.
Tripod  A headline that uses a big, bold word or phrase and two smaller lines of deck squaring off alongside.
Typeface  A family of fonts - for instance, the Futura family, which includes Futura Light, Futura Italic, Futura Bold, etc.
Underscore  To run a rule below a line of type.
Uppercase  Type using capital letters.
URL  Uniform Resource Locator; the address used to locate a site on the World Wide Web.
Velox  A photographic paper used for shooting halftones. Also called a photomechanical transfer, or PMT.
Web  Short for the World Wide Web, or WWW.
Web page  A single document, with text and/or images, viewed with a browser.
Web site  One or more linked Web pages, accessed via a home page.
Weight  The boldness of type, based on the thickness of its characters.
Well  Ads stacked along both edges of the page, forming a deep trough for stories in the middle.
White space  Areas of a page free of any type or artwork.
Widow  A word or phrase that makes up the last line of text in a paragraph. (See orphan.)
Wraparound  Text that's indented around a photo or artwork; also called a runaround or skew.
WYSIWYG  "What You See Is What You Get"; used to describe software that shows you exactly how documents should look when printed or viewed on a browser.
X-height  The height of a typical lowercase letter.