39 printing and publishing glossaries

Last updated 31 July 2020

The jargon used in printing and publishing can be deciphered and this is why we are lending a hand by collecting glossaries focusing on these two topics. Two categories and short descriptions to help you quickly locate the glossary you need.


Small Printing Solutions – To get you started on those translations, here is a 59-page downloadable glossary of printing terms you might find useful.

Healeys Print Group – A handy print glossary for your personal use right here.

Free Print Management – Over 10 pages of printing terms and related terminology at your disposal. You can even download it for offline use.

Printing Industry Exchange – A glossary of printing and graphic terms, alphabetically organised and with intelligible definitions.

Print4London – A short glossary of the most common print terms out there.

WhatIs.com – If you’re having problems understanding printing terminology, then this glossary will definitely come in handy. Extensive explanations and additional information which may prove useful.

PMCA – A great resource for anyone looking to define design and print terms. Equipped with a friendly search button, it’s very encompassing and well explained.

Translation Directory – A small collection of print-related terms. By no means all the terms you’ll come across, but definitely the most common ones you might find when dealing with printers.

Loughborough University – A downloadable two-page glossary of print terms and printing terminology.

Printing for Less – For anyone with an interest in printing, here is a glossary of printing, binding, graphic arts and typographical terminology.

Dennis Wheatley – Words seem to have conflicting meanings within the printing, publishing and bookselling trades. This glossary aims to shed some light on the problem.

Bishops Printers – Yet another glossary of printing terms, put together to make your experience with printers as easy and simple as it can be. This website also contains information on paper sizes, so why not have a look!

Chilvers Reprographics – All you need to know about international paper sizes on one page. You can even download it for future reference.

Wikipedia – A collection of 69 Wikipedia pages about distinct parts, components and ideas involved in the industrial and commercial process of printing.

Approved Index – In order to make sense of some of those baffling printing terms, this website has put together a glossary of commercial printing terms.

PSD Tuts+ – The world of printing can be hard to understand, but to help you, here is a site that explains the most commonly used terms, split into categories: general printing, bindings, finishing. It also includes pictures.

University of Edinburgh – Still couldn’t find the term you were looking for? Here is another glossary of printer terms, 24 pages long and downloadable.

Printing Tips – An encompassing glossary of printing terms, organised alphabetically and easy to browse. Just click the term for its definition and further explanation.

AllAcronyms – Here is a list of almost 200 acronyms focused on printing.

The Receivable Management Services Corporation – If you still haven’t figured out this terminology, here is a 9-page downloadable glossary of printing-publishing terminology.

Approved Index – A glossary of commercial printing terms. Very handy.

PFL (Printing For Less) – Printing, binding, graphic arts and typographical terminology, all in one comprehensive glossary.

Print Industry – From acetate to wrong reading, all the printing and graphic terms you may need.

Printing Tips – Lots of printing terms, including acronyms and abbreviations, so if you still haven’t found the term you were looking for, it’s worth having a look at this glossary.


North Carolina State University – A desktop publishing glossary, short yet handy. Might be just what you’re looking for.

Next Page – Publishers have their own language and terminology, and this glossary is here to help you figure it out: a glossary of publishing terminology.

Author House – Even if you’ve been around in the publishing business for years, there still might be a few terms you don’t know. To help you figure them out, we’re giving you a book publishing glossary.

Nathan Bransford – Another book publishing glossary. Not that encompassing but with extensive explanations and definitions.

AAUP WIki – From Wikipedia comes a glossary of publishing terms you may come across when dealing with such texts.

Palgrave MacMillan – 4 pages of publishing terms. A bit short, but a reliable source of information on the matter.

AllAcronyms – Acronyms are complicated, and even more complicated when they’re part of the publishing industry. Here are over 250 publishing acronyms and abbreviations explained.

Publishers Weekly – A website dedicated to understanding publishing acronyms and abbreviations.

About – From ‘A4’ to ‘WYSIWYG’, a graphic design and desktop publishing glossary of acronyms and abbreviations.

Wikipedia – Booksellers use specific acronyms and abbreviations. Here is a list of specific jargon.

eBay – If you’ve ever been stumped by an abbreviation in a book listing, then this complete list of book terms and abbreviations for eBay might be what you’re looking for.

Book Logix – Another glossary with a special focus on publishing terms and terminology.

Writers Services – Another handy glossary of some printing and publishing terms and abbreviations.

Inside Book Publishing – Mostly specific to the UK, this glossary is a simple look-up guide to key UK publishing terms, abbreviations and acronyms.

UnderDown – A jargon buster glossary of special terms used in children’s book publishing, containing almost 150 terms used in general publishing as well.