Glossary of Paper Terms

Glossary of Paper Terms


Symbol in the paper industry designating 1,000. Usually used to designate 1,000 sheets or two reams of fine paper.
Machine Direction
Establishes the grain direction, which is always parallel with the travel of the paper over the wire.
Machine Dried
Process of drying paper on the paper machine as opposed to air drying the paper after removal from the machine.
Machine Finish
Finish that is obtained while the paper is on the paper machine. Expressed as M.F. Different finishes are obtained by the number of times paper is passed through the rollers, either dry or wet.
Hue of a subtractive primary and a 4-color process ink. It reflects or transmits blue and red light and absorbs green light.
Magenta Screen
A dyed contact screen, used for making halftones.
In printing presses, all work done prior to running; adjusting the feeder, grippers, side guide, putting ink in the fountain, etc. Also, in letterpress, the building up of the press form, so that the heavy and light areas print with the correct impression.
Making Order
A paper that is not available off the supplier’s shelf, but they will produce it when ordered. Making orders for special sizes, colors and weights of paper are subject to small minimums.
The unprinted area around the edges of a page. The margins as designated in book specifications refer to the remaining margins after the book has been trimmed.
In color separation photography, an intermediate photographic negative or positive used in color correction. In offset lithography, opaque material used to protect open or selected areas of a printing plate during exposure.
Mechanical (paste-up)
Camera-ready assembly of all type and design elements together with instructions and ready for the plate-maker.
Mechanical Pulp
In papermaking, groundwood pulp produced by mechanically grinding logs or wood chips. It is used mainly for newsprint and as an ingredient of base stock for lower grade publication papers.
Metallic Inks
Ink containing metal substances, used to produce special printed output.
Middle Tones
The tonal range between highlights and shadows of a photograph or reproduction.
Mill Brand
Paper which is brand-named by the manufacturer as opposed to the merchant house, which is known as a "private brand".
Mixed Office Waste
Wastepaper generated from offices, such as letters, memos, invoices, etc. which are collected and sorted for paper qualities. This is the major source of post consumer fiber used in ENVIRONMENT® Papers.
Geometric pattern caused when two screened images are superimposed at certain angles. Occurs when making a halftone from a halftone image.
Moisture Content
Refers to the amount of moisture found in a sheet of paper. Average amount ranges from 5 to 8%. This figure varies from sheet to sheet since paper will emit or absorb moisture according to the condition of the surrounding atmosphere. Moisture loss is realized in the form of shrinkage, which begins at the edges of the paper and moves across the grain causing the sheet to tighten and curl.
Printed in one color only.
In Artwork, several photographs combined to form a composite illustration.
Mottled Finish
Finish, which exhibits high and low spots, or glossy and dull areas on the printed sheet.
Mullen Tester
Device that measures the bursting strength of paper. Sometimes referred to as the pop test or pop tester.

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