Paratype Typographic Glossary


A sentence containing every letter of the alphabet. Useful in font demonstrations. Frequently used are phrases like “How razorback-jumping frogs can level six piqued gymnasts!” or “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog”. But less common are “The risque gown makes a very brazen exposure of juicy flesh” or “Jaded zombies acted quaintly but kept driving their oxen forward” or even “The sex life of the woodchuck is a provocative question for most vertebrate zoology majors” and the even more rare “Jelly-like above the high wire, six quaking pachyderms kept the climax of the extravaganza in a dazzling state of flux”.


A font substitution system (in full, PANOSE 1.0) stored in TrueType fonts as 10 digits in the ‘OS/2’ table. Applications wishing to determine the closest installed font to a requested, but absent, font compute the typographic “distance” (that’s a distance measured in 10-dimensional PANOSE-space!) from each installed font to the requested one, whose PANOSE bytes are known. Finally, the installed font with the minimum distance is used. The system was developed by ElseWare Corporation, which was taken over by Hewlett-Packard. There’s also PANOSE 2.0, a major extension into parametric font territory.

Paragon (Great Primer)

An old name for type size of 18 points (~6,33 mm).

Paragraph mark

Also named pilcrow. An old scribal mark used at the beginning of a paragraph or main text section. Also used as a reference mark. The form of paragraph mark widely varies depending of the typeface letterforms.


Double emphasis signs.Used as phrase markers in grammar and in mathematics.


An old name for type size of 5 points (~1,76 mm).


The sign for the end of a sentence. Also called full stop. It was used in Roman inscriptions firstly centered as a midpoint and then in mediaeval manuscripts it was moved to the baseline.

Petit (Brevier)

An old name for type size of 8 points (~2,81 mm).

Phonetic types

Sets of phonetic symbols used to fix the sounds of human speech. Mostly known phonetic set is of IPA (International Phonetic Association) alphabet. It consists of phonetic symbols, diacritics and tonemarks. There are some alternate phonetic sets though.


See Filmsetting


A font of assorted mathematical or other symbols, designed to be used as an adjunct to the text fonts. Also see Dingbats.


A unit of measurement equaling 12 points, or 1/6 inch, in the Anglo-American point system. The Didot equivalent of a pica is called cicero.


A symbol which represents a person or object.


See Pi.


See Paragraph mark.


Measure of font size in horizontal direction. Applicable to monospaced (fixed pitch) fonts. States how many characters fit in one inch line of text. Some popular pitches have special names 10 pitch (10 characters in 1 inch) — pica; 12 pitch — elite; 15 pitch — agate.


A dot in a raster image which can be turned on (printed) or off (not printed) to form the image.


A unit of measurement equaling .01383 inch, the basis of the Anglo-American point system. The Didot equivalent, called corps, measures .01483 inch.

Point size

The height of the type body, expressed in points. A standard type measurement system was originally developed by the Parisian type founder Pierre Fournier Le Jeune in 1737. In the days of metal type, the point size was the total number of points in the height of metal type, including the ascent and descent of the letters, and the metal above and below the letters (i.e., built-in leading).


See Half-Ustav


The printer language developed by Adobe Systems, and used in professional printing. Broadly, it works by describing the output as a series of geometric shapes, rather than the traditional rows of dots, making it easier to work at higher and different resolutions. Type 1 fonts use the PostScript language.
More about PostScript Type 1 in Tech Notes.


One of the feature describing the type Style – the angle of character’s slant to the Baseline. Typeface may be described by posture as upright, Oblique (slanted) and Italic. In Latin, Greek, and Cyrillic typefaces with writing direction from left to right the common angle of slanting is right too. The backward angle is used very rarely mainly in cartography. Nevertheless the left angle may consider normal to Arabic and Hebrew scripts with writing direction from right to left.


Character proportion is the relation of character height to character width. Proportion may vary from very condensed styles to extended ones. Standard proportional increments are known as ultra condensed, extra condensed, condensed, normal, expanded, extra expanded, and ultra expanded. Condensed proportions are sometimes referred to as compressed, elongated, or narrow, and expanded styles could be describe as wide, extended, or stratched.

Proportional type

Type whose character widths vary according to the features of the letters (as opposed to Monospaced type).


The metal tool which is source for a block of type. When “punched” against a piece of hot metal, the convex carving of a letter on the punch leaves the impression of that letter.


A person who cuts punches, the engraver of punches.

Punctuation marks

Punctuation marks are the Analphabetic symbols that structure typographically written and printing text. They regulate the reading tempo by marking the intonations, the logical pauses, and the divisions between words and sentences. Some of them are marks of the end of a sentence (Period, Question mark, Exclamation mark, Ellipsis) and others used in the middle of a sentence (Comma, Colon, Semicolon, Dashes, ellipsis). Also there are double punctuation marks used for emphasis of words or phrases (Parantheses, Brackets, Quotes, etc.). Its usage may be different in other languages or they may have different meaning. In each language there are punctuation rules determine its usage.