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Glossary of Printing Terminology


Machine Finished (MF)
Any finish obtained on a papermachine. It can refer to either the finish on the sheet as it leaves the last drying cylinder of the machine, or the finish given to a sheet by calendaring, but on machine.

Machine Glazed (MG)
Paper that has had one side made smooth and Silky by pressing and drying in contact with a very large, heated, polished metal cylinder which forms part of the drying section of the machine. The other side of the paper remains relatively rough.

Make Up
Preparing and collecting all elements of a page including images, text, fonts, folios and graphics.

Make Ready
Time spent preparing a machine to run a specific job. The cost of this non-productive time is normally passed on to the client, unlike down time.

Magnetic Ink Character Recognition paper (MICR)
Usually a high quality bond paper with good surface characteristics and dimensional stability for printing with magnetic inks for computer sorting.

Magnetic Information System (MIS)
Computerised modules designed to streamline workflow by providing relevant real time information as a job is going through the press.

Originally paper made from pulp produced partly or entirely of Manila hemp, but now mostly composed of softwood Kraft pulp. Most frequently in industrial uses including the printing industry, especially envelopes.

An irregular pattern of ink, printed in to the second, third, fourth, or subsequent. This it so ‘hide’ information that is required not to be read by certain recipients of forms. (Also known as hatching and Scramble printing)

Matt Paper
A coated paper with a dull smooth finish

Mechanical Paper
A paper that contains a proportion of mechanically produced wood pulp. These papers enjoy good calliper, but will yellow with age and tend to be very weak. Newspapers are printed on mechanical papers.

Micro Perf
A very finely cut perforated edge, designed to stimulate affect of a guillotine cut edge. (Also known as clean edge).

Information about a digital file either attached to or embedded within the file itself. Metadata can record how and when the file was created, and by what equipment, plus details such as size, format, copyright restrictions, usage history, version, and so on.

Mill Conditioned Paper
Paper that has undergone conditioning at the mill to regulate the moisture content and prevent it warping and curling when exposed to the air.

Mini Web Reels
Paper suitable for web offset printing, sometimes coated, which is made into reels for small high speed web printing presses (maximum width about 660mm).

The appearance of a printed image out of its correct position.

An interference pattern formed when two similar grids overlap each other. If a press is slightly out of register, the halftone screens of process colour inks can conflict to produce a moiré. It’s the print equivalent of the wavy pattern seen when a man wears a striped shirt on television.

Moisture Content
The amount of moisture in paper, expressed as a percentage of its weight. A Moisture content of around 7 to 8% is recommended for printing papers.

The appearance of irregular spots or blotches in a printed area that should be even in colour.

Mould Made Originally
Paper made by hand by the traditional method of paper mould, usually from rag pulp. Today, mould made papers are high quality grades made on a cylinder mould machine, as opposed to a Fourdriner or other type of machine, and may be made with or without deckle edges.

Refers to a business form that contains more than one leaf of paper.