Important Printer Terminology

By: James Kara Murat

Understanding printer terminology helps one to search for, select and operate printers in a better and effective way. One of these important printer terms is DPI which stands for Dots per inch. It is a quantity used to define the resolution of printer images. The higher the DPI, the greater will be the details with which the image is displayed. The term used to measure the printing speed is known as PPM. PPM stands for pages per minute and defines the number of pages printed by a machine in one minute.

Another important term used to define the performance of a printer is bit depth. It defines the number of various color tones linked with a dot. A bit depth of 1 implies 2 colors, a depth of 8 implies 256 colors and that of 24 implies 16.7 million colors. Color balance is a term used to describe the print quality. It is a measure of an image color cast. Duty cycle is the number of printed pages a printer can produce as an output.

AIO and MFP stand for All in one and Multifunction Printer respectively. These terms refer to machines that are a combination of printer, copier and scanner. An inkjet printer terminology is CYMK which defines the inkjet colors. In CYMK, C stands for cyan, Y stands for yellow, M stands for magenta and K stands for black. A term used as an alternative for printer brand name is OEM ink cartridges or printers which stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer.

Different terms used to explain types of printing are duplex printing, 4x6 printing, 6 ink printing, 7 ink printing and 8 ink printing. Of these, duplex printing refers to two sided printing whereby the printer itself reverses the page after one of the sides has been printed. 4x6 printing produces photograph of snapshot size, while 6, 7 and 8 ink printing technologies employ multiple inks to produce high quality, clear and bright results.

Anti aliasing is an important technology whereby a printer applies mathematical formulae to improve the resolution of character edges.Letter Quality refers to a printer that is able to produce text similar to that produced by a type writer. Near letter quality refers to dot matrix printers which produce text almost similar to that produced by a letter quality printer.

Paper capacity indicates the maximum number of printer papers or other media a printer tray is able to contain. Print zone refers to the part of the sheet on which the printer is supposed to print.

Borderless printing is a terminology used to define a technique whereby photos are produced by a printer with no blank spaces at the edges of the page. Brightness refers to the lightness or darkness of the printed image. A pixel refers to one of the thousand dots of which a digital photograph is made of.

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