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Glossary

The following definitions apply specifically to printers.

application
A software program that helps you carry out a particular task such as word processing or financial planning.
ASCII
American Standard Code for Information Interchange. A standardized coding system for assigning numerical codes to letters and symbols.
banding
The horizontal lines that sometimes appear when printing graphics. This occurs when the print head is misaligned. See also MicroWeave.
bit
A binary digit (0 or 1), which is the smallest unit of information used by a printer or computer.
brightness
The lightness or darkness of an image.
buffer
The portion of the printer's memory used to store data before printing it.
byte
A unit of information consisting of eight bits.
characters per inch (cpi)
A measure of the size of text characters, sometimes referred to as pitch.
CMYK
Cyan (blue-green), magenta, yellow, and black. These colored inks are used to create the subtractive system array of printed colors.
color matching
A method of processing color data so that colors displayed on a computer screen closely match colors in printouts. A variety of color-matching software is available. See also ColorSync.
ColorSync
Macintosh software that is designed to help you get WYSIWIG (what you see is what you get) color output. This software prints colors as you see them on your screen.
cpi
See characters per inch.
default
A value or setting that takes effect when the equipment is turned on, reset, or initialized.
DMA
Direct Memory Access. A data transfer feature that bypasses a computer's CPU and allows direct communication between a computer and peripheral devices (like printers), and between one peripheral device and another.
dpi
Dots per inch. The dpi measures the resolution. See also resolution.
drive
A memory device, such as a CD-ROM drive, hard drive, or floppy disk drive. In Windows, a letter is assigned to each drive for easy management.
driver
A software program that sends instructions to a computer peripheral to tell it what to do. For example, your printer driver accepts print data from your word processor application and sends instructions to the printer on how to print this data.
economy printing
Printing in which images are printed using fewer dots to save ink.
error diffusion
Error diffusion blends individual colored dots with the colors of the surrounding dots to create the appearance of natural colors. By blending colored dots, the printer can achieve excellent colors and subtle color gradation. This method is best suited for printing documents that contain detailed graphics or photographic images.
ESC/P
Abbreviation for EPSON Standard Code for Printers, the system of commands that your computer uses to control your printer. It is a standard for all EPSON printers and is supported by most applications for personal computers.
ESC/P 2
An enhanced version of the ESC/P printer command language. Commands in this language produce laser-like features, such as scalable fonts and enhanced graphics printing.
Finest detail
This printer driver setting automatically makes your printouts sharper and clearer, especially when the printouts contain text. This may increase the time required for printing.
font
A style of type designated by a family name.
grayscale
A sequence of shades of gray from black to white. Grayscale is used to represent colors when printing with black ink only.
halftones
Patterns of black or colored dots used to reproduce an image.
halftoning
A method of using dot patterns to represent an image. Halftoning makes it possible to produce varying shades of gray using only black dots, or a nearly infinite array of colors using only a few colors of dots. See also halftones.
high speed printing
Printing in which images are printed in both directions. This results in faster printing.
initialization
Returns the printer to its defaults (fixed set of conditions). This happens every time you turn on the printer or reset the printer.
ink cartridge
Contains the ink that your printer uses when printing.
ink jet
A method of printing in which each letter or symbol is formed by precisely spraying ink onto the paper.
interface
The connection between the computer and the printer. A parallel interface transmits data one character or code at a time. A serial interface transmits data one bit at a time.
interface cable
The cable that connects the computer and the printer.
local printer
The printer that is directly connected to the computer's port by an interface cable.
media
Materials upon which data is printed, such as envelopes, plain paper, special paper, and transparency film.
memory
The part of the printer's electronic system that is used to store information (data). Some of the information is fixed and is used to control how the printer operates. Information that is sent to the printer from the computer is temporarily stored in memory. See also RAM and ROM.
MicroWeave
Printing in which images are printed in finer increments to reduce the possibility of banding and to produce laser-like images. See also banding.
monochrome
Printing using only one color of ink, which is generally black.
nozzle
Fine tubes in the print head through which ink is sprayed on the page. Print quality may decline if the print head nozzles are clogged.
operation check
A method for checking the operation of the printer. When you perform a printer operation check, the printer prints the ROM version, code page, ink counter code, and a nozzle check pattern.
parallel interface
See interface.
port
An interface channel through which data is transmitted between devices.
printable area
The area of a page on which the printer can print. It is smaller than the physical size of the page due to margins.
printer driver
A software program that sends commands for using the features of a particular printer. See also driver.
print queue
When your printer is connected to a network, a waiting line in which print jobs that are sent to the printer are held while the printer is busy.
RAM
Random Access Memory. The portion of the printer's memory that is used as a buffer and for storing user-defined characters. All data that is stored in RAM is lost when the printer is turned off.
reset
To return a printer to its defaults by turning the printer off and then back on.
resolution
The number of dots per inch used to represent an image.
ROM
Read Only Memory. A portion of memory that can only be read and cannot be used for data storage. Data that is stored in ROM is retained when you turn off the printer.
RGB
Red, green, and blue. These colors, in phosphors irradiated by a cathode ray tube (CRT) monitor's electron gun, are used to create the additive array of screen colors.
serial interface
See interface.
spool
The first step in printing, in which the printer driver converts the print data into codes that your printer understands. This data is then sent directly to the printer or to the print server.
spool manager
The software program that converts print data into codes that your printer understands. See also spool.
Status Monitor
The software program that allows you to check the printer's status.
subtractive colors
Colors produced by pigments that absorb some colors of light and reflect others. See also CMYK.
USB interface
Universal Serial Bus interface. Enables the user to connect up to 127 peripheral devices (such as keyboards, mice, and printers) to the computer through a single, general-purpose port. The use of USB hubs allows you to add additional ports. See also interface.
WYSIWYG
What-you-see-is-what-you-get. This term is used to describe printout that looks exactly like it appears on screen.


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