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The following terms are defined as they are used in printer documentation. If you do not find the term you need, refer to the index or to the IBM Dictionary of Computing, SC20-1699.

The following cross-references are used in this glossary:


adaptive bi-level image compression (ABIC)
A 4-bit image capable of displaying up to 16 shades of gray.
Advanced Function Common Control Unit (AFCCU)
An IBM RISC-based control unit with code common to all printers that use the AFCCU.
Advanced Function Image and Graphics (AFIG)
A integral facility within the printer to directly process IOCA image and GOCA graphics data streams.
all-points addressability
The capability to address, reference, and position text, overlays, and images at any defined point on the printable area of a page.
The use to which an information processing system is put; for example, a payroll application, an airline reservation application, a network application.
application program
A program written for or by a user that applies to the user's work, such as a program that does inventory control or payroll.
application programmer
A person who develops application programs. Contrast with system programmer.
auto load
In the printer, the automatic forms threading facility.


bar code
A code representing characters by sets of parallel bars of varying thickness and separation that are read optically by transverse scanning.
basis weight
The weight in pounds of a ream (500 sheets) of paper cut to a given standard size for that grade; for example, 25 x 38 inches for book papers, 17 x 22 inches for bond papers, and other sizes for other grades. The basis weight of continuous forms for computer output is based on the size for bond papers.
binder holes
A series of holes or slots punched at set intervals that allows the form to be inserted in a loose-leaf or ring binder.
bond (paper)
Paper formulated with at least 80% wood pulp. Bond-paper forms work best in the printer.


A process to make paper smooth or glossy by passing it through a series of metal rollers during the last steps of a paper-making machine.
calender cut
Slits, glazed lines, or discolored lines across the paper caused when wrinkles pass through the calender rollers.
The thickness of forms. This is usually expressed in thousandths of an inch.
(1) The material separated from a data medium when punching a hole.
(2) The residue separated from the carrier holes in continuous forms.
As used in printer action messages, instructs the printer operator to remove and discard a used component and then install a new one. For example, the CHANGE TONER COLLECTOR message indicates that the operator should take out the toner-collector bottle, throw it away, and put in a new one.
channel command
An instruction directing a data channel, control unit, or device to perform an operation or set of operations.
A letter, number, punctuation mark, or special graphic used for the production of text.
character set
(1) A finite set of different characters that is complete for a given purpose; for example, the character set in ISO Standard 646, "7-bit Coded Character Set of Information Processing Interchange."
(2) A group of characters used for a specific reason; for example, the set of characters a printer can print.
As used in printer action messages, instructs the printer operator to inspect a component. For example, the CHECK TONER COLLECTOR message indicates that the operator should look at the toner-collector bottle and ensure that it is physically present, in the proper place, and correctly installed.
As used in printer action messages, instructs the printer operator to remove crumpled forms, paper scraps, and other debris from the printer. For example, the CLEAR UPPER TRACTOR message indicates that forms are wedged in the transfer station area, and the operator must remove them before the printer can operate.
coated paper
Paper that has had a surface coating applied to produce smoothness.
Code Page Global Identifier (CPGID)
A unique code page identifier that can be expressed as either a two-byte binary or a five-digit decimal value.
(1) The arrangement of a computer system or network as defined by the nature, the number, and the chief characteristics of its functional units. More specifically, the term configuration may refer to a hardware configuration or a software configuration.
(2) The devices and programs that make up a system, subsystem, or network.
The procedure used to customize the printer to a specific operating and communication environment.
A means of establishing electrical flow.
constant data
Data that does not change; for example, the company letterhead and standard text in form letters, or the headings and boxes on a preprinted form. Contrast with variable data.
continuous forms
A series of connected forms that feed continuously through a printing device. The connection between the forms is perforated to allow the user to tear them apart.
controlled-access area
An area where access is limited to authorized personnel.
controlling computer
The processing unit to which the printer is attached through a channel interface.
controlling computer system
The data-processing system to which a network is connected and with which the system can communicate.
corner cut
In a form, a cut or opening of any size containing one or more right angles.
A small diameter wire (or wires, depending on the function) to which a high voltage is applied, causing ionization of the air. The ionization creates an electrical charge to perform various functions during the printing process.
The process of drying ink sufficiently for minimum transfer of the ink to any parts of the printer it contacts.
The severed part of a perforation. Cuts are separated by ties. See also perforation.
A part of the form that has been eliminated or perforated for subsequent removal; for example, corner cuts and binder holes.


data streaming
A non-interlocked method of data transfer used by the printer channel to decrease data transfer time during write operations.
developed image
The image that has been exposed onto the photoconductor and covered with toner by the developer.
developer mix
A combination of carrier beads and toner in which the beads electrically charge the toner.
Pertaining to the detection and isolation of errors in programs and faults in equipment.
diagnostic mode
The operational mode in which the printer can check itself in case of a malfunction. When the printer is in diagnostic mode, it is not accepting information from the attached controlling computer system. In the printer, only service representatives can use diagnostic mode. Contrast with print mode.
direct attach
The environment in which an application program directly allocates the printer.
The curve a stack of forms takes when folded or refolded at the fold perforation.
A thin, flexible, magnetic disk enclosed in a protective jacket.
Document Composition Facility (DCF)
An IBM licensed program that provides text formatting for the printer.
down fold
Fanfold forms are alternately folded. When fanfold forms are unfolded and held horizontally, a fold is a down fold if it points down from the horizontal surface.
The resistance to forms feeding freely into the printer; for example, the form rubbing against the carton.
duplex printing
A mode of printing on both sides of a form. Contrast with simplex printing.


electronic overlay
A collection of constant data electronically composed in the controlling computer. Can be merged with variable data on a page during printing. An electronic overlay defines its own environment. It can be in coded form or raster pattern form. See also preprinted form.
electrophotographic process
The creation of an image on forms by uniformly charging the photoconductor, creating an electrostatic image on the photoconductor, attracting negatively charged toner to the discharged areas of the photoconductor, and transferring and fusing the toner to forms.
To press and raise the surface of paper into a design. Embossed paper appears thicker than non-embossed paper, can increase printer wear, and can degrade print quality.
end-of-forms sensor
A sensor that detects when the last sheet of a form enters the printer.
error log
(1) A data set or file in a product or system where error information is stored for later access.
(2) A record of machine checks, device errors, and volume statistical data.
ESCON channel
A channel having an Enterprise Systems Connection channel-to-control unit I/O interface that uses serial-by-bit optical cable as a transmission medium.


Continuous forms that are alternately folded at regular intervals, usually on a perforation.
Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI)
An ANSI standard for a 100Mbps LAN using optical fiber cables.
Fiber connection.
fold memory
The ability of a form to refold at the fold perforation after exposure to heat during the fusing process.
fold perforation
The perforation on which a form is folded during manufacture and refolded after printing. See also page perforation.
Font Library Service Facility (FLSF)
A licensed program that provides a way to make changes to a font while retaining its correct format, as defined by the architecture and as required by Print Services Facility.
Font Typeface Global Identifier (FGID)
A unique font identifier that can be expressed as either a two-byte binary or a five-digit decimal value. The FGID is used to identify a type style and the following characteristics: posture, weight, and width.
(1) The arrangement or layout of data on a data medium.
(2) The size, style, type of page, margins, printing requirements, and so on, of a printed page.
The material on which output data is printed, such as paper. The area between perforations on continuous printer forms. See electronic overlay and preprinted form.
forms path
The entire route that forms travel during processing. The forms path usually begins where the forms are loaded and ends at the stacker. Synonym for paper path.
form definition (FORMDEF)
A statement that specifies the attributes of a physical page, such as the number of copies and one-sided or two-sided printing.
To use heat and pressure to blend toner onto forms to make a permanent bond.


A symbol produced by a process such as handwriting, drawing, or printing. See also vector graphics.
Graphic Character Set Global Identifier (GCSGID)
A unique graphic character set identifier that can be expressed as either a two-byte binary or a five-digit decimal value.
Graphical Data Display Manager (GDDM)
An IBM licensed program that allows pictures to be defined and displayed through function routines.


IBM branch office
The local IBM sales office.
IBM installation planning representative
An IBM representative who assists customers in planning and meeting the requirements for installing hardware.
IBM marketing representative
An IBM representative who takes your order.
IBM service representative
An IBM representative who services IBM products in the field.
IBM World Trade Corporation
A subsidiary of IBM that manufactures and markets IBM products outside of the United States of America.
impact printer
A printer in which printing is the result of mechanical impacts. Contrast with nonimpact printer.
(1) In system development, preparing and placing a functional unit in position for use.
(2) A particular computing system, including the work it does and the people who manage it, operate it, apply it to problems, service it, and use the results it produces.
installation verification procedure
A procedure distributed with IBM licensed programs that tests the newly installed IBM programs to verify that the basic facilities of the programs are functioning correctly.
Intelligent Printer Data Stream (IPDS)
Information the system sends to printers that contains decision-making capability. Generally, this information contains basic formatting, error recovery, and character data.
Interface point
Interface between the public supply network and the user's installation. Other customers may be connected to the public supply network (see EN 6100-3-11 section 3.2).
ISO sizes
Pertaining to a set of paper sizes selected from those standardized by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) for use in data processing.


In a printer, a condition where forms have become blocked or wedged in the forms path so the printer cannot operate.
An MVS subsystem that receives jobs into the system, converts them to internal format, selects them for running, processes their output, and purges them from the system. In an installation with more than one processor, each JES2 processor independently controls its job input, scheduling, and output processing. See also JES3.
An MVS subsystem that receives jobs into the system, converts them to internal format, selects them for running, processes their output, and purges them from the system. In complexes that have several loosely coupled processing units, the JES3 program manages processors so that the global processor exercises centralized control over the local processors and distributes jobs to them via a common job queue. See also JES2.


landscape orientation
Text and images that are printed parallel to the longer side of the forms. Contrast with portrait orientation.
laser (light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation)
A device that emits a beam of coherent light.
latent image
In a printer, the invisible image that exists in the sensitized material after exposure but before development.
layout plan
A list of requirements, such as electrical and space, that must be considered before installing the IBM printer.
A collection of related files. For example, one line of an invoice may form an item, a complete invoice may form a file, and the collection of inventory control files may form a library. The libraries used by an organization are known as the data bank.
licensed program
A separately priced program that bears an IBM copyright and is offered to customers under the terms and conditions of the Agreement for IBM Licensed Programs.
line printer
A printer that prints a line of characters as a unit. Contrast with page printer.
logical page
A presentation space in which the page data is presented.
An identifying emblem, statement, or motto of a company.


In the printer, refers to the microprogramming stored on the control unit hard disk. Microcode is used by the control unit to manage the printer and its functions.
Extremely small perforations. After forms are separated, those with microperforations typically have smoother edges than those with regular perforations.
Multiple Printer Controller
Controller used with Infoprint 4000 printers for on-demand printing. Sometimes referred to as a Print On Demand (POD) server.
Multiple Virtual Storage/System Product (MVS/SP)
Consisting of MVS/System Product Version 1 and the MVS/370 Data Facility Product operating on a System/370 processor.


network Line Impedance (Z)
Network Impedance at the power frequency.
nonimpact printer
A printer in which printing is not the result of mechanical impacts. Contrast with impact printer.
nonprocess runout (NPRO)
An operation that moves forms through the forms path without printing.


offset paper
A grade of paper to which sizing is added to resist moisture and surface during printing by ink presses.
operating environment
The physical environment; for example, temperature, humidity, layout, or power requirements.
operating requirements
A list of requirements, such as environmental, electrical, and space, that must be satisfied before the IBM printer can be installed.
Operating System/Virtual Storage (OS/VS)
A compatible extension of the IBM System/360 Operating System that supports hardware and the extended control facilities of System/370.
optical character recognition (OCR)
Character recognition that uses optical means to identify graphic characters.
The number of degrees an object is rotated relative to a reference; for example, the orientation of an overlay relative to the page point of origin. See also text orientation.
See electronic overlay.
Overlay Generation Language/370 (OGL/370)
The licensed program that is used to create electronic overlays.


An object that contains presentation data. See also logical page.
page definition (PAGEDEF)
A statement that specifies attributes of a logical page, such as the width of its margins and the orientation of text.
page perforation
The perforation that defines the page of a form. It may or may not be at a fold in the form. A form may have several pages between each fold. See also fold perforation.
page printer
A device that prints one page as a unit. Contrast with line printer.
Page Printer Formatting Aid/370 (PPFA/370)
A licensed program that creates form definitions (FORMDEFs) and page definitions (PAGEDEFs).
A portable platform for handling, storing, or moving materials.
paper break
A separation, either at a perforation or from a tear, of the continuous-forms paper.
paper path
The entire route that forms travel while they are being processed. The paper path usually begins where the forms are loaded and ends at the stacker. Because not all forms are paper, the term forms path is preferred.
parallel channel
A channel having a System/360 or System/370 channel-to-control unit interface that uses parallel cable bus-and-tag as a transmission medium. Contrast with ESCON channel.
A variable that is given a constant value for a specified application and that may denote the application.
In Basic N_Up printing, the division of the medium presentation space into a specified number of equal-sized areas in manner determined by the current physical medium.
PC drum
A hollow cylinder that is covered with photoconductive material.
pel (picture element)
(1) An element of a raster pattern; a point where a toned area on the photoconductor may appear.
(2) On an all-points-addressable output medium, each pel is an addressable unit. On a row-column addressable output medium, the only pel addressable is the beginning of a character cell.
A linear series of unconnected cuts in the continuous-forms paper. The interval between cuts is referred to as a tie. The perforation defines either a fold or page boundary. See also cut, fold perforation, microperforation, and page perforation.
The material that is wrapped about the drum. The medium for transferring images to paper.
physical planner
The person in an organization who plans the environmental, electrical, and space requirements for your facility.
See pel.
planning coordinator
The person in your organization who is responsible for coordinating all the planning and installation activities for the printer.
A manufacturing location.
point of origin
The location of the first print position on a logical page. The point of origin is usually stated in terms of X and Y coordinates. The point of origin used by a printer can be affected by factors such as printable area and forms orientation.
portrait orientation
Pertaining to a display or hard copy with greater height than width. Contrast with landscape orientation.
preprinted form
A sheet of forms containing a preprinted design of constant data with which variable data can be combined. See also electronic overlay.
Print Management Facility (PMF)
An interactive menu-driven program that can be used to create and modify fonts and to define output formatting for data printed on the printer.
print mode
The operational mode in which information is received from the attached controlling computer system and printed output is produced. Contrast with diagnostic mode.
print position
The physical positions of the characters constituting a print line relative to the form.
print quality
The quality of printed output relative to existing standards and in comparison with jobs printed earlier.
Print Services Access Facility (PSAF)
A menu-driven, print-parameter selection program for page printers controlled by PSF.
print surface
The side of a form that receives the printed image.


(1) In computer graphics, a predetermined pattern of lines that provides uniform coverage of a display space.
(2) The coordinate grid that divides the display area of a display device.
(3) In the Printer Subsystem, an on/off pattern of electrostatic images produced by the laser print head under control of the character generator.
raster pattern
A series of picture elements (pels) arranged in scan lines to form an image.
In printing, refers to the relative print positions of images that are printed at different times. For example, when you process preprinted forms, the registration is good if the new image printed by the printer aligns correctly with the preprinted image. Print that extends beyond box edges and text that overlaps other text are examples of poor registration.
(1) People, equipment, or material used to perform a task or a project.
(2) Any facility of a computing system or operating system required by a job or task, including main storage, input/output devices, processing units, data sets, and controller processing programs; for example, page printers use resources such as form definitions, page definitions, and fonts.
reverse heading
A heading where each character is highlighted by reversing the color of the character with its background; for example, changing a black character on a white background to a white character on a black background.


A device that examines OCR, graphics, MICR, or bar-code patterns and generates electrical signals corresponding to the pattern. It sends the signals to a computing device for processing.
screen or screening
In document printing, a sheet of material, usually film, carrying a regular pattern of small dots. When printing, ink adheres only to the dots, and many dots close together appear solid. This method prints large areas of ink on paper but uses much less ink than printing the same area with solid ink.
security paper
Specially formulated paper used for negotiable documents, such as checks, which improves the anti-fraud characteristics of the document.
Service current capacity (Iscc)
Current per phase, which can be taken continuously by the user at the interface point without exceeding the rating used by the supply authority in the design of its system (or the maximum load current per phase).
In practice, the service current capacity is the rating of the main service fuse or over current protection setting of the circuit breaker at the interface point.
A scheduled work period. For example, a 24-hour day is often divided into three 8-hour shifts.
Short circuit ratio (Rsce)
The ratio of the short circuit power provided by the supply at the interface point to the load apparent power.
simplex printing
Pertaining to printing on only one side of a form. Contrast with duplex printing.
A process where paper is treated to give it resistance against penetration of liquids.
special-purpose materials
Printable items other than blank forms; for example, preprinted forms.
See system reference code.
stack lean
A measurable slope from the vertical of a stack of forms. Excessive stack lean can cause failures when feeding and refolding forms.
system reference code
A code that contains information, such as a failing field-replaceable unit, for a customer engineer.
system programmer
A programmer who plans, generates, maintains, extends, and controls the use of an operating system, with the aim of improving overall productivity of an installation. Contrast with application programmer.
An upward-compatible extension of the IBM System/360. A large collection of computing system devices that can be combined to produce a wide range of computing systems that share many characteristics, including a common machine language.


A basic unit of work to be accomplished by a device or an operator.
Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol. A set of communication protocols that supports peer-to-peer connectivity functions for both local and wide area networks.
tensile strength
A measure of the force that the paper forms can withstand without tearing.
text orientation
The position of text as a combination of print direction and baseline direction.
The interval between cuts of a perforation. See also perforation.
The material that forms the image on the paper.
(1) A record of the running of a computer program. It exhibits the sequences in which the instructions were executed.
(2) To record a series of events as they occur.
(3) In the printer, a service representative and customer analysis procedure.
The mechanism that controls movement of continuous forms by way of holes (see tractor holes).
tractor holes
The holes in the side margins on continuous forms. When placed on the tractor pins, the holes maintain form alignment and registration, and control the movement of the forms.
The absence of holes in the side margins on continuous forms.
Two-Channel Switch
A device used with the System/370 channel attachment, that allows an input or output device to be attached to two channels.


up fold
Fanfold forms are alternately folded. When fanfold forms are unfolded and held horizontally, a fold is an up fold if it points up from the horizontal surface.


variable data
The data that can vary; for example, the names and addresses in form letters.
vector graphics
Computer graphics in which display images are generated from display commands and coordinate data. Contrast with raster pattern.
Virtual Storage Extended (VSE)
An operating system that is an extension of Disk Operating System/Virtual Storage.
Virtual Storage Extended/Advanced Functions (VSE/AF)
The minimum operating system support for a VSE-controlled installation.
(1) A missing part of the printed character.
(2) A missing piece of a continuous form.