A-Z of Printing Terminology

In any industry there is specialist terminology that goes with it and the printing industry is no different! In order to get most out of your printer, we have listed the most frequently used printer terminology to help.

ADF Feeder

An Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) allows you to print or scan multiple documents simultaneously without having to manually insert individual pages.


A very common printing term which allows printers to print beyond the edges of the page. This feature is most commonly used when printing posters or artwork.


Consumables refer to the items that are consumed by the printer during the printing process and are replaced by user when they are depleted, for example ink and toner cartridges.

Duplex printing

Duplex printing is the ability to print on both sides of the printer.

Energy saving mode

Many devices are now fitted with Energy Saving Mode, where your device will automatically go into sleep mode to conserve energy during periods of inactivity.


Finishing is the final step to preparing the printing pages to use, for example folding, stapling, punching or trimming.


Ghost prints happen when the drum or fuser unit within your printer won’t heat the particles of the toner powder to a high enough temperature. This causes the marks on the paper to be much lighter in colour and appear more faded.


Hard Disk Drive for physical data storage.


Inkjet printers place small droplets of ink onto the paper to create an image.

Job Separator

A job separator is used to separates multiple print jobs, for example scanned documents and printed documents will remain separated when on print tray.

K Toner

The letter K is generally used to describe the Black toner or ink. The letter K is used as it’s the last letter of the word “Black” and is not occupied by any other colour.

Laser printers

Laser printers use toner powder which is fused to the page to create the image. They are durable and ideal for high volume printing. The toner cartridges are more expensive to purchase but produce a higher printing yield so don’t need to be replaced as frequently. Making them a cheaper option in the long run.

Managed Print Software

Managed Print Software is a printer and copier management software that allows companies to control their printer and copier expenses and increase the efficient of their machine.

Network printing

Multiple users can use the same printer when connected to the network.

Optional extras

A selection of optional extras can be added to a standard machine in order to ensure the machine fits your requirement, for example additional feed trays, fax cards, wireless cards, job separator and finishers.

Print speed

Print speed measured in pages per minute (PPM) for text and images per minute (IPM).

Quiet mode

Quiet mode option reduces the noise the printer is making when printing by slowing down the speed of printing. This option can be turned on or off from the control panel.


Resolution refers to the amount of ink or toner dots in a given area. A higher resolution means a better print quality.


Simplex or single side printing is where a printer can only print on a single side of paper.


Toner cartridges are a cylinder container filled with toner powder. The toner is transferred to the paper via an electrostatically charged drum unit and fuser to the paper by heated rollers during the printing process.

UV Printing

UV printers use ultra violet light to dry or cure ink as it’s printed. The UV lamps move back and forth with every pass of the printhead, instantaneously fixing the printed image to the paper. Just like latex printing the prints are dry as soon as they come out of the printer.


Abbreviation for Volatile Organic Compounds, petroleum substances used as the vehicles for many printing inks.

Wireless printing

Wireless printers connect to your PC or Mac using your home WiFi network and can be accessed from anywhere in your house, meaning you don’t even have to be in the same room to print.


An alternate term for photocopying.


Toner yield relates to the amount of the pages that an ink or toner cartridge will print.


Enlarging or reducing the image to a selected percentage. This allows user to enlarge a small image by using zoom feature.

If you would like to discuss your print requirement or any of the features shown, then contact our sales & Support Team on 0800 142 2737


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