Paper Terms | Paper Glossary

This glossary includes an alphabetical list of common terms in the Paper Industry with brief explanations.


Adhesive– A matter that can clasp two materials in unison by attaching their surfaces.

Adhesive: Cold Temperature– An adhesive that sticks to refrigerated or icy surfaces (normally +35 degrees F or colder). This is particularly originated for freezing storage, frozen foods, and frosty outdoor applications. This bonding agent faces limitations on its performances when it comes to extreme, sub-zero temperatures, and that is the reason why careful testing is required. While in warm conditions, this adhesive can bleed from the border of the label, which can give birth to fan folded labels to chunk or glue together.

Adhesive: Permanent – It is defined as pressure sensitive glue which has very high degree of adhesion and can be used to attach a number of surfaces. In order to disjoint the two surfaces joined by this, a huge amount of force is required. For surfaces that do not require to be removed, this type of adhesive is used. It is very strong as compared to others but it still cannot be termed as totally reliable.

Adhesive: Removable – It has low power and surfaces joined together using this glue can be removed later on. This does not damage the surfaces upon removing and it is known to ideal for temporary use. However, it has a tendency to become permanent in some cases and cannot be termed completely reliable.

Adhesive Residue – When the label is removed from the surface, some adhesive is left which is known as adhesive residue.

Application – 1) positioning of a label on a surface. 2) It is known as the life cycle of the label.

Application Temperature –It is the temperature of a label during the application. All adhesives have a particular minimum application temperature ranking. It is recommended that you test adhesives in minimum and maximum application temperatures.

ATM Paper – ATM Receipt Paper Rolls are widely used in supermarket, ATM machines and POS machines. We can print logo, advertisement and black sensor mark on both sides.


Backing – See: Liner, let go of Liner.

Bar Code/Bar Code Symbol – It is a specific pattern comprised of lines and spaces. It has variable width, which symbolize alpha or numeric data in machine-readable form. A start character, data or message characters, a stop character, and a trailing margin is usually among the most general format for a bar code. See: Picket Fence, Step Ladder.

Bleeds – Bleed: Printing that goes to the borders of the sheet after garnish.

Butt-Cut Labels – Rectangular, square-cornered labels in constant form that are alienated by a solitary knife cut to the liner. Typically, the matrix is not detached.


Caliper – It is said to be the thickness of a sheet of a paper or plastic. It is calculated in units of one thousandth of an inch. The measuring units are known as mils or points. See: Thickness.

Camera-Ready Art – Black and white or color-separated artwork delivered in its final form for printing groundwork. Usually, it does not need any kind of alteration other than photo enlargement or reduction. See: Line Art.

Carbonless Paper– A pressure sensitive paper which does not utilize carbon.

Coat Weight – The quantity or mass of coating per unit area. This is uttered in different units, including grams per square meter or pounds per ream. The expression applies to adhesives, primers, varnishes, and lacquers.

Coated paper – Clay coated printing paper that has a very smooth finish.

Cold Temperature Adhesive – See: Adhesive – Cold temperature.

Color separations – It is the process of readying artwork, transparencies, photographs, or computer-generated art, for printing and is categorized in four primary printing colors.

Colorfastness – The capability of a pressure sensitive label to hold on to its true color in typical conditions and/or to oppose change in color when out in the open, either in light or heat, or other influences.

Computer Continuous PaperComputer continuous papers run on dot-matrix, line-matrix, and other tractor-driven printers. We are able to supply all sizes and grades paper to meet customer’s requirement.

Copy – All furnished substances or disc availed in the manufacturing of a printed product.

Core/Core Size – It is the diameter of the cardboard core in a roll of labels.

Crop – It means cutting off fractions of a picture or an image.

Curl – the inclination of paper to bend or warp, which can be by itself or it, can be because of a coating or laminate.

Cyan – It is blue color, one of the standard colors.


Die – It is the instrument or apparatus availed for imparting or shaping a preferred shape, appearance, or finish from a given substance.

Die Cut – The true form of a pressure sensitive label which is designed by the cutting rim of a die.

Die Cut Label – Pressure sensitive labels on a release liner where the matrix, or squander sandwiched between the labels, has usually been detached.

Direct Thermal Infra Red (IR) – Fully IR scan-able straight thermal paper used for extreme speed imaging. It uses print contrast and interpretation verification. It has the ability to scans up to 900nm with very high-speed imaging.

Direct Thermal NearInfra Red (Near IR) – It is a scan-able direct thermal paper for high speed imaging with print contrast and interpretation verification. Near IR has the ability to scan the 670-680 nm range.

Direct Thermal Printing – It is a specialized printing method which uses rapidly heated pins that selectively set off a heat-sensitive coating innate in the face material. The desired copy or images are formed as a result of that.

Dispenser – It is a device that nourishes pressure sensitive labels. It can either manually or automatically, in already set units. Dispensers in a box form can work as containers for a roll of labels.

Dot Gain or Spread – It is term used to differentiate the size between the dot on film and paper.

Dot Matrix Printing – It is a very economic and multi-functional printing that has the ability to generate images by printing tiny dots of ink strongly together. In the first step, a computer transmits data which then decides about the arrangement of pins. Those pins are later fired against a ribbon. Since these pins are in horizontal and vertical rows on the printing head, the pins when fired form an image, when they come in contact with the printing head. See. Impact Printing.

D.P.I. – Dots per inch; It is a measure reference, dot resolution in images formed by dot matrix, laser, and thermal printers and imprinters.

Dwell/Dwell Time – 1). It is referred to as the total time in which a pressure sensitive material stays on a surface before testing for adhesive permanence or removability. 2). Or alternatively, it is the time during which a thermal print-head stays in contact with the surface of a material during printing.


EDP/Electronic Data Processing – It is the data processing by electronic apparatus. Pressure sensitive labels created for imprinting on this equipment integrate in-line hole punching (pin-feed).

Edge Lift – The inclination of the border of a label to rise off the substrate. This state occurs most often in case of small diameter or curved substrates. Resistance to border lift relies on the bond power of the adhesive and the suppleness of the face material.


Face Material/Face Stock – Any paper, film, fabric, foil, or plastic material, which can be used to convert into pressure sensitive labels. In a finished structure, the face material is attached to an adhesive layer and carried on a liner. It is the practical part of the construction.

Face Slit – Slits in face material of a pressure sensitive product. It is usually for the function of aiding removal.

Fan-Fold/Fan-Folded Labels – Referred as pressure sensitive labels on a continuous backing that is perforate, then turned back and forth along the punctured areas, in order to form a flat pack.

Film – It is plastic face material designed from synthetic high molecular weight polymers. Examples are: polyester, polyethylene, polyolefin and vinyl.

Flag – A marker, usually made of strips of colored paper. It is located in rolls of pressure sensitive materials either in printing or converting, to assign a divergence from standard – such as a splice, defect, or a particular change. It can also be used to mark a particular length.

Flexography – A revolving web letterpress technique of printing characterized by raised-image, bendable rubber plates and fast-drying inks.

Flood – To wrap a printed page with ink, shiny surface, or plastic coating.

Fluorescent Paper – It is a paper covered with a dye, which mirrors light in a way that it has a glowing emergence or outcome.

Food Contact Adhesives – Adhesives that are according to the Food and Drug Administration Code of Federal Regulations. These regulations are about the food labeling as well as secondary contact. Particular product recommendations are essential for particular applications.

Four Color Process Printing – Printing and duplication of full color images by means of the four process printing colors – yellow, cyan, magenta and black – in order to form an image with a vague number of secondary colors.


Gloss – A glossy look that can reflect light.

Grain – The course in which the paper fiber lie.


Hairline – An extremely slim line or gap that has the width of a hair or 1/100 inch.

Halftone – Transfers a constant tone to dots for printing.

Hard Copy – It is the output or the result of a computer printer, or typed text sent for typesetting in hard form.

Hickey – Reoccurring spontaneous spots that emerge in the printed image because of dust, fluff, and dried ink.

High Gloss Paper – A cast-coated gloss paper that has aggressive strength stuff and outstanding ink approachability.


Image Area – Segment of paper on which ink can become visible.

Impact Printing – A printing technique, which relies on a hammer striking a ribbon. This transmits the ink onto a material. See: Dot Matrix Printing.

Impression – Placing an image on paper.

Imprinting – A method in which copy is put to an empty or already printed labels with a secondary printing device, like an imprinter, computer printer, or bar code printer.

Ink fountain – The tank on a printing press that clutches the ink.

Ink Jet Printing – A non-impact printing method in which fluid ink is released from a nozzle straight to a substance in order to form the image that you seek.


Kiss die cut – To cut the peak layer of a pressure sensitive sheet rather than the backing.


Label – The functional segment of a pressure sensitive construction, that includes the face substance and adhesive, cut into different shapes.

Label Adhesion – A common misconception about pressure sensitive labels is that they can be applied with great effect to almost any surface. However, there are some surfaces, which do not willingly allow a pressure sensitive label to stick. To guarantee quality adhesion, surface must be clean and dry (free from silicone, dust, oil, foreign substances). We urge you test a sample of the label material and adhesive on the chosen surface before going for the final label order.

Line Art – Black and white artwork, which can be replicated as is. See: Camera Ready Art.

Line copy – High contrast copy that does not requiring a halftone.

Liner – A paper or film that is a transporter for pressure sensitive labels. Usually, it has a silicone coating to permit trouble-free elimination of the label. See: Backing, Release Liner.


Machine Direction – the course of paper in its onward progress via a paper handling machine or printing press.

Magenta – One of the basic colors in process color, process red.

Makeready – All the actions needed to ready a press for printing.

Matrix – The face material and adhesive layers of a pressure sensitive structure neighboring a die cut label which is usually detached after die cutting. See: Waste.

Matte finish – Tedious paper or ink finish.

Matte Litho – A litho paper with a satin finish (between high shine and tedious finish).It is considered ideal for bar code printing.

Memory – The ability of a substance that forces it to shrink or go back to their original dimensions after being distorted, die cut, or when put in rapid temperature change. For example, vinyl has more memory than polystyrene.

Micrometer – Tools used to calculate the thickness of various papers.


Negative – It is the picture on film, which generates the white areas of originals black, and black areas white.


Opacity – The measure of the quantity of light, which can go through a substance.

Overrun – Copies printed in surplus of the specified amount. (Printing trade conditions allow for + – 10 % to represent a completed order.)


Perforation – It refers to a succession of tiny openings in a material to aid tearing or wrapping along a pre-set line. They are measured in TPI’s (ties per inch).

Pica – It is a unit of measure in typesetting. One pica = 1/6 inch.

Picket Fence – It is a bar code symbol distinguished by vertical bars and spaces. See: Bar code.

PMS –Pantone Color Matching System.

Point – In case of paper, it is a unit of thickness equaling 1/1000 inch. For typesetting, it is a unit of height equaling 1/72 inch.

PostScript – It is the computer language most acknowledged by printing devices.

Pressure Sensitive Label – It is a self-adhesive label. It is actually the die cut and a useable part of a pressure sensitive material, which has been transformed through roll-fed production gears. The final product can be generated in rolls, sheets, or fan-folded stacks.

Pressure Sensitive Material/Pressure Sensitive Stock – It is an arrangement of face material, pressure sensitive adhesive and release liner. And from this pressure sensitive labels are generated. It is typically knows as a ‘sandwich’.

Prime Label/Primary Label – Typically an expressive, attractive product label; the label is usually on the face of a container.

Print Resolution – The class of print; the rank of detail achieved by a printer. It is calculated in dpi. Its standard capabilities are 203 dpi for a Thermal Transfer printer and 300 dpi for a laser printer. Resolution is particularly significant in bar coding.

Process Blue – The color blue or cyan, in process printing.

Process Colors – There are four colors: Cyan (blue), magenta (process red), yellow (process yellow), and black (process black).

Process Color Separation – It is an act of decompressing a color graphic or photo into single-color layers. Each color layer is later printed one by one, one on top of the other in order to provide the intuition of infinite colors.


Registration – The precise positioning of sequentially printed images and/or sequentially die cut pressure sensitive labels.

Release/Releasing – 1) The operation of releasing or unraveling a pressure sensitive label from its liner. 2) It is the force needed to release a pressure sensitive label from its liner.

Release Coat – The silicone coating on a liner, which permits pressure sensitive labels to be easily detached or removed.

Release Liner – The section of the pressure sensitive label material that operates as a transporter for the label. Typically silicone coated, it willingly detaches from the label when the label is detached for application. See: Backing, Liner.

Removability – It is an expression used for pressure sensitive labels in order to describe the force or state in which they can be detached from a material. A detachable label does not do any damage to the substrate or the label when removed.

Reverse – It means the reverse of what you see. As in getting the background of an image upon printing.. For example: Type something on a piece of paper. The opposite of this would be a black piece of paper with a white name.

Roll Labels – Pressure sensitive labels that are wrapped up in uninterrupted roll form.


Scanner – It is a tool or device needed to create color divisions, halftones, duo tones and tri tones. It is also used to scan art, pictures or drawings.

Screen – It is a method of taking a solid image and converting it into dots. The size of the dots controls the printing as in how dark and how light an image should be.

Shelf Life – It can be defined as a span of time (12 to 15 months) in which merchandise can be stored under particular conditions and stay suitable for use.

Skid – A pallet utilize for cases of labels.

Smudge Resistance – It is the ability of a paper or plastic to oppose the spreading of ink straight after printing or imprinting; it is directly connected to the absorption level of the paper.

Splice – It is a process of combining paper or plastic webs in a pressure sensitive roll to generate an operational constant web.

Spoilage – Intended paper waste for all printing processes.

Spot Color Separation – Used to seperate color which is not to be mixed.

Spot Varnish – Varnish which is required to highlight a particular section of the printed sheet.

Step-and-repeat – A method or operation for putting the same image on plates in several places.

Step Ladder – A bar code symbol distinguished by horizontal bars and spaces. See: Bar Code.

Substrate – It is the surface from which a pressure sensitive label is actually applied or adhered.


Tack – It is the ability of a pressure sensitive label that forces it to stick to a surface at the very moment in a very short span of time and taking very little pressure as well.

Thermal Fax Paper – Thermal fax paper is a special temperature sensitive paper. It typically comes on a roll and is fed through the fax machine. We provide high quality thermal fax paper with reasonable price, any size can be made by the customer’s requirement.

Thermal Paper – Thermal paper is a special fine paper that is coated with a chemical that changes color when exposed to heat. It is used in thermal printers and particularly in inexpensive or lightweight devices such as adding machines, cash registers, and credit card terminals.

Thermal Transfer Printing – It is a printing method, which utilizes heat and pressure in order to melt a wax-based ink onto a label.

Thickness – See: Caliper.

Tints – A shade of either only one color or a combination of several colors.

Transfer Tape – It is a covering of pressure sensitive adhesive put to a liner, which is release-coated on both sides. This permits a user to put the tape to a surface and eliminate the liner, only the adhesive is left on the surface as a result of that.


Under-run – Generation of lesser copies than commanded. See: Over Run.

UV coating – Liquid shield joined and healed with ultraviolet light. It is considered to be environmental friendly.


Varnish – A heat-healed covering of one or more substances put to a face material for guard and/or ornament.


Washup – Eliminating printing ink from a press, cleaning the rollers and blanket. Some particular ink colors need multiple cleanings to avoid combining ink and chemical.

Waste – An expression used for intended spoilage. See: Matrix.

Web – A uninterrupted sheet of flexible manufactured substance.

Web press – It is the name given to the type of presses, which print from rolls of paper.

Web Width – The dimensions of the web, which is at a 90 degree angle to the machine direction. It refers to the breadth of the liner or carrier.

Wrinkling – the crumpling or folding of a pliable substance that can emerge from environmental and/or manufacturing circumstances.


Yellowing – An imperfection distinguished by a steady color change in the original form of white paper; the progress of yellowish or brownish hues.