Learn definition highlighted in red in the dictionaryOffice Equipment Terms You Wish You Knew But Were Afraid to Ask

Ever had a conversation with a co-worker or office equipment salesperson and they drop a term you know you should know, but don’t? Kind of awkward, right?

Granted, we all have Google, but in case you are looking for a single source for all of the buzz words commonly used in the office equipment world, here they are:

3D printing - Similar to how an image is printed with ink or toner from a file to a page, 3D printing takes it a step further and prints three dimensional objects, layer by layer, with the fusing of metals and plastics.

All-In-One/MFP - Just like it sounds, all-in-one multifunctional devices that can perform many functions on a single device such as copying, printing, fax and scanning, all in a single footprint versus four.

ADF - Automatic document feeder is the part on a copier or scanner that automatically feeds a stack of originals into device. ADFs can have different page capacities and speeds.

Borderless Printing - On most printing devices, it’s impossible to have true borderless, full bleed printing because the machine needs an unprinted edge to grab on to when pulling the paper through the machine. Some devices, however, have borderless printing capabilities, resulting in edge to edge printing of a page.

Charge Coupled Device (CCD) - an electronic light sensor used in various devices including digital cameras and scanners.

Corona Wire - Nothing to do with the beer, but a charged wire in a laser printer that draws the toner off the drum onto the paper.

Duplex - Not a type of house, but the process of printing on both sides of a page.

Driver - Drivers are no more than software that translate information from your computer to your hardware. Print drivers can exist in multiple formats including Postscript, PCL, and proprietary ones direct from a manufacturer. Many times the final output on a device can be greatly altered depending on the print driver you choose.

Duty Cycle - The maximum number of pages that a device can print in a given month.

EPS - Most commonly used by graphic artists and marketing departments, EPS stands for encapsulated postscript. This type of file is unique in that it can be resized to very large dimensions and maintain its resolution and quality.

ISO - Headquartered in Switzerland, ISO is the International Organization for Standardization, and consists of 164 independent, non-governmental members that provide consensus-based specifications for products, services and systems, to ensure quality, safety and efficiency.

Inkjet Printing - A type of printing that produces a digital image by propelling droplets of ink onto paper or other materials.

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Laser Printing - Unlike inkjet, laser uses toner and an electrostatic process involving a laser and drum unit to place toner particles on a page and permanently fuse them for a final image.

LAN - A local area network, is a computer network in a small area. Most often, a LAN is confined to a single room, building or group of buildings, however, one LAN can be connected to other LANs over any distance via phone lines and radio waves.

Local Printer - A local printer is one that is connected directly to a single computer with a USB cable.

Network Printer - A network printer is one that can be accessed by any computer with permission to do so on an office network, meaning more than one user can send a print job to it.

Monochrome - One color printing process or device, such as black and white. Often monochrome printers are seen when an organization prints a large number of pages each month and color doesn’t matter, rather cost.

Paper Capacity - The amount of paper that a device is capable of holding.

Print Buffer - A standalone print spooler with its own built-in memory that connects a computer and printing device. Print jobs are processed here so that computer resources are not used during printing.

Punch kit - Another term for an add-on option that enables paper to be hole-punched in the machine after it is printed. Punch kits can sometimes have two and three hole options.

Saddle Stitch - The process of stapling a folded page right at the spine like a book.

Thermal Printing - A digital printing process which produces an image by heating coated thermal paper. The coating turns black in the areas where it is heated and creates the image.

Toner - A powder mixture used in copiers to form the printed image on paper.

Wide Format - Be it toner or inkjet, wide format is a way of printing on large paper that is not on a cut sheet, rather on a roll, between 18-100 inches wide. This kind of printing is commonly found in the architectural, engineering and construction markets.

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