Q – ‘QC’ to ‘quire’

This dictionary covers graphic design, prepress and print terminology
Click a letter to see more layout, printing and binding terms of this glossary



Abbreviation for Quality Control.


Abbreviation for Quarter Inch Committee, committee defining standards for tape backup units that use quarter inch wide tapes.

QR barcode

Abbreviation for Quick Response code. This site has a section dedicated to QR codes.


A square space the size of an em that was used in lead typesetting to space out a line to its full justified width so that each letter was held in place when the frame was moved. For example, to quad right, the typesetter placed all the quads on the left side of the line to push the type to the right. Used in photographic typesetting as a placement term. Originally a piece of type metal used to fill out lines and spacing between words.


One of the most popular layout applications on the market, usually refered to as ‘Quark’.


The process of aligning type, as in quad left, quad center or quad right.

quad center

To align a line of type in the center of the preset line length, with an equal amount of space on the left and right-hand sides.


A term used in the color prepress trade to refer to the four separated films, cyan, magenta, yellow and black.


Picture tonal values produced with dot size percentages of approximately 25 percent dot area.


A list of files that are stored on a computer, waiting to be printed or processed.


The graphics model that is used by applications to generate the screen display on the Macintosh running MacOS. The native file format used to store QuickDraw graphics is called PICT. In OS X, QuickDraw was replaced by a technology called Quartz, which is based on PDF.

quick printer

A printer who specializes in quick turnaround and smaller runs using small sheetfed presses called duplicators. Quick printing is done using cut sizes of bond and offset paper. In recent years the difference between a quick printer and a commercial printer has gotten less distinct.

Quick Response code

A QR or Quick Response code is a two-dimensional barcode. Originally this technology was created for tracking parts in manufacturing processes. Nowadays it is also used for adding web links to a printed page. When you scan such a QR barcode using a webcam or mobile phone camera, the QR reader application takes you to a Web site, a YouTube video, or some other web content. QR codes are an easy way of sending people to a site without having to type a URL. Below is the QR code for http://www.prepressure.com.

QR code for Prepressure.com
QR code for Prepressure.com


– An archaic term for 24 or 25 sheets of paper
– a group of pages that have been gathered prior to binding.

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