Glossary Of Terms

The PRINTING United Alliance Glossary of Terms serves as an excellent industry terminology resource. It is the language by which we all communicate, without it universal understanding would be impossible. Language and our ideas about how it is interpreted change rapidly. PRINTING United Alliance is aware of this and continues its effort to keep our constituents well informed about changes to the increasingly complex industry terminology. The definitions are for general reference only. Usage may vary between companies, individuals, or national and country customs. The information presented is as accurate as the authors and editors can ascertain and PRINTING United Alliance assumes no responsibility for the use of information presented herein.


  • M weight
    The weight of 1000 sheets of paper cut to its basis size.
  • MA
    Acceptable abbreviation for milliampere.
  • Macerate
    The shredding of fibers, such as for use in a molding resin.
  • Machine coated
    Paper or board that has been coated with a mixture of a mineral pigment and a suitable adhesive during the papermaking process.
  • Machine direction (grain)
    Indicates the directional flow of a paper web from wet end to dry end on a papermaking machine; used interchangeably with grain direction.
  • Machine finished
    Any paper whose surface has been finished to a generally smooth to medium finish on a papermaking machine.
  • Machine glazed
    A paper with a high gloss finish on one side only.
  • Magenta (M) (process red)
    A purplish color; one of the four process color inks used in printing process.
  • Magenta contact screen
    A contact screen that has a dye instead of silver dot pattern, makes it possible to control halftone contrast by the use of color filters.
  • Magenta printer
    In process color reproduction the prepress material used to produce the magenta image.
  • Magnesium carbonate
    A very light odorless white extender used in some screen printing inks.
  • Magnetic ink
    Ink made from iron oxide pigments (ferrosoferric oxide (Fe3O4) in a special crystalline form, made for magnetic ink character recognition (MICR).
  • Magnetic ink character recognition (MICR)
    The process of machine reading characters by means of magnetic sensing.
  • Magnetic ink character recognition paper
    Paper free of all metallic and magnetizable particles with superior strength, levelness, good stiffness, and propensity for flatness despite continual handling.
  • Magnetron
    A device designed to produce very short radio waves in radio-frequency energized UV lamps.
  • Main exposure (highlight exposure)
    A camera exposure that establishes highlight and intermediate tone detail.
  • Make ready (set up)
    The procedures necessary to properly adjust production equipment to perform a print or finishing operation; the act of making ready or setting up to print.
  • Make-up
    The arrangement of lines of type and illustrations into pages or sections.
  • Male and female die
    Convex and concave matching dies.
  • Maleic resin
    A hard synthetic resin formed by the reaction of maleic acid and modified resin.
  • Mandrel
    A spindle or round device for supporting ware during printing.
  • Manganese dryers
    Materials containing chemically combined manganese used to accelerate oxidation and polymerization of an ink film.
  • Manila
    A fiber from cardage, rope, or hemp plants used to manufacture strong tough papers.
  • Manometer
    An instrument for measuring the pressure of liquids and gases.
  • Maquette
    A preliminary model or prototype, usually smaller than the final work, designed to estimate, measure or gauge overall appearance during product planning.