Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Typesetting involves the presentation of textual material in an aesthetic form on paper or some other media. Before the development of such late 20th century innovations as dot matrix and inkjet printers, printed material was produced in print shops.
In spite of centuries of innovation, the principle of printing remains the same: either a particular part of the page is marked with ink, or it is not. This has remained true at the microscopic level even for halftone and four-color printing. Typesetting is the technology of deciding which parts of the paper should be marked, and printing is the technology of making the marks. However, the two are not rigidly separated: for example, ink flows during the printing process, and type design has to take into account the dynamics of ink on paper.
The setting of individual letters was rendered obsolete by hot-metal setting machines such as the Linotype machine.
The computer era
Computers are useful in automatically typesetting documents.
Character-by-character computer-aided phototypesetting replaced systems such as Linotype in the 1980s, and was in turn rapidly rendered obsolete by modern systems which employ a raster image processor to render an entire page to a single high-resolution digital image which is then photoset.
In the late 1980s desktop publishing on microcomputers became available, starting with the Apple Macintosh. Programs like Adobe's PageMaker and InDesign have not only popularized desktop publishing, but have also given more control to professional typesetters.
The TeX system is a widespread and powerful automatic typesetter.
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