Learn Technical Writing – Terms You Should Know

Comb bound
Comb binding is a way to secure pages using a piece of plastic with ‘teeth’ that fit into holes punched into the paper. It’s often called GBC binding because GBC is a popular manufacturer of the machines used to do the binding.
Die cut
Die cutting means altering paper from its original, rectangular shape or cutting holes or slits into it. Examples of die cuts include slits in a folder where a business card can be inserted, a ‘window’ on the front of a brochure so some of the inside can be seen, and cutting the paper to create the silhouette of an object.
DTP or desk-top publishing is a quick, inexpensive method of producing print material using only a computer and, often, the printer connected to it.
A dummy is a preliminary layout that shows where graphics and text will fit in the final product. It can also be blank pages that show the size, shape, and general layout of a piece. A piece can be ‘dummied’ or ‘dummied-up’ before anything is written.
Four-color print
In four-color printing, cyan (blue), yellow, magenta (red), and black are combined to produce ‘full color’ prints. Full color means they have the full range of the spectrum. This is frequently referred to as CMYK for the primary colors of ink plus black. (I don’t know why black is designated with a K.)
Perfect bound
Perfect bound books are a number of pages laid together and glued on the ‘binding’ edge. It’s the most familiar type of binding. Libraries are full of perfect bound books. They’re sometimes called adhesive bound.
Red, green, and blue or RGB are used for designs on the web. A computer monitor displays color through light, and RGB is the primary color scheme for light.
Recto is the right-hand page of an open book or a two-page spread.
Three-color print
Three-color printing is a full-color printing process that uses three separate plates. Each plate reproduces one primary color. This is a fairly expensive type of printing.
Saddle stitched
Saddle stitching is a type of quick, inexpensive book binding. Sheets of paper are folded to make a book and then stapled two or three times right on the fold.It’s also called staple-stitching.
Spiral bound
Spiral binding is done by inserting wires in spiral form through holes punched along the edges of the pages.
Verso is the left-hand page of an open book or a two-page spread.
White space
White space refers to areas on a printed page where there is no copy or graphics. It includes the margins and the spaces between pieces of copy or graphics. Pages with a lot of white space are easier to read.
WYSIGY (pronounced wizzy-wig)
In computer-talk, WYSIGY stands for ‘what you see is what you get’ and means that what you see on the monitor screen is generally the same as what the hard copy will look like.
If you can write a simple sentence in English and organize your thoughts then technical writing may be a rewarding field. You can easily make it a second income stream in your spare time.

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