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Adobe Font Metrics. A specification for storing (in a text file) font metrics information such as character widths, kerning pairs, and character bounding boxes for Type 1 fonts. Generally replaced by .pfm files in Windows.

  Any substance used for grinding, cutting, polishing, or sand blasting and sand carving. The most popular being different textures of silicon carbide and aluminum oxide.  Such textures are known as GRITS.

ACID BADGING:  Etching the surface of glass using an acid creme transferred from an engraved metal stencil-like plate to special transfer paper for application to the glass surface. Much like, and often replaced by screen printing of acid cremes.

ACID CUTBACKS:  A prep step in cameo carving by which hydrofluric acid is used to remove all excess glass from the background of the design to be carved in high relief. 

ACID ETCHING:  A chemeical erosion of the glass' surface using hydrofluric acid solution. (See French embossing.)

ACID POLISHING: A chemical polishing using hydrofluric acid solutions. The glass is repeatedly dipped in the solution and rinsed between dips until desire effect is achieved.

ALUMINUM OXIDE: A common abrasive used in sand blasting and sand carving; also known as Alumina and Carborundum - which is a trade name.

ANNEALING: A controlled cooling of glass to relieve internal pressure and stresses. Every piece of glass has its ANNEALING range - temperature - which requires it to be cooled evenly.

A hammered surface done to create a white effect.

Advance width
See Set-width

A font’s maximum distance above the baseline.

American Standard Code for Information Interchange. A numbering scheme used for identifying printing characters.

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The imaginary line upon which the letters of a font rest.

Bézier curve
Mathematical equations used to describe the shapes of characters in digital fonts. The Bézier curve was named after Pierre Bézier, a French computer scientist who developed the mathematical representation used to describe the curves. Type 1 fonts use cubic Bézier curves, whilst TrueType use a subset of the curves known as quadratic B-splines.

bitmap font
A bitmap font is a digital representation of a font that is already fixed in size or a limited set of sizes.

BENDING: Heating, softening, and twisting of glass inside a kiln.

BEVELED EDGE: A cut and polished edge on flat glass in the form of an angle or slant. Mirrors, tabletops, and small shapes for assembly in stained glass windows are common example.

BLANK: Any stock piece of glass ready for cutting or decoration of any kind.

BLASTING BOOTH: A room, usually constructed in metal, used exclusively for sandblasting, sand carving.  A blasting room usually implies that the artists works within the room.  A BLASTING CABINETTE is a smaller confined area where the artist works outside the room.

BONDED GLASS:  Pieces of glass held together with glue, cement or resin.

BOROSILICATE GLASS:   Excellent glass used for casting and in laboratory use. Usually offered in dense weights and thicknesses up to 2 inches.

BURNISH: To apply to or finish by the act of rubbing.


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A symbol in writing. A letter, punctuation mark, or figure.

Character encoding
Character encoding is a table in a font or a computer operating system which maps character codes to the relevant shape in a font. Not all operating system use the same character encoding, with Macintosh and Windows using different systems.

Character set
The characters, symbols, and numbers that make up one single font.

CADD: Or CAD. Computer Aided Design and Drafting.

CARVING: Most memorialists will refer to a "carving" as sculpture done upon the face of a stone. That is an acceptable definition. However, carving is actually anything cut into the stone other than lettering. Lettering is engraved.

CAMEO GLASS:  A vase or plate, but can be any glass product, made up of layers of different colored glass. The outer layers are cut away creating a multicolored, multilayered design in high relief.

CARTOON:  Full-sized rendering in pencil or ink of the outline of a design for a stained glass window or sand-carved decoration.

CARVING: To shape by cutting. In respect to sand carving: the sequential cutting of different elements of a design in a way that results in a layered appearence.

CASED GLASS:  Similar to camero glass, but generally refers to a single transparent layer added to a clear underlayer.

CATHERAL GLASS:  A machine-rolled stained glass, usually smooth on one side and textured on the other, and most often 1/8 inch thick.


CERIUM OXIDE: Abrasive used to polish gemstones.

CFM: Cubic feet per minute. Usually used to describe air pressure from a mobile or shop compressor.  Some design experts will instruct a certain CFM (and grit) to be employed when carving particular work. Often referred to in renovations.

CHECK:  A cut away which "steps" away from the stone's body. A RABBIT is a form of a check.  See RABBIT.

COEFFICIENT of EXPANSION:  A recognized degree at which glass expands and contracts during heating and cooling.

COPPER-WHEEL ENGRAVING: The traditional method of engraving glass.  Dates back to the 15th century. Based on gemstone or glyptic arts which dates back to pre-historic times.  This method uses finely shaped sopper wheels charged with emery or grits on a lathe for abrading the surface of glass.  Quality work requires great skill and talent.

CORDS: Optical distortions that appear like waves of water in the glass.  CORDS appear in all lead glass to some degree or another.

CULLET:  Recycled glass.

CULTURED: As in CULTURED ROSE. Heavily engraved..sometimes by hand. Click here to see an example.

CURIOUS GLASS:  Exactly what it says. Old pieces of stained glass you find in garage sales, etc.

CUT GLASS:  Glass decorated by use of wheels, usually are geometric, facetlike cuts, and stylized florals. Fine art figurative renderings would be referred to as wheel engravings.  Such as Copper-whell Engravings.

CUT-THRU:  Technically a BAs Relief with the back surface removed. Any figure or image which is attached to the main stone from only one side. Click here to see an example.



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DALLES: French term for slabs of stained glass in varying thicknesses up to 12 inches square. Used often in high-relief work.

DEEP-CUT:  Relates to the depth of a cut in relation to the thickness of the glass.

DEEP-CUT:  Relates to the depth of a cut in relation to the thickness of the stone. However, modern term means any cut which meets a "V" or further in its depth.

Deep "V" Cut: The cut achieved with a V-edged abrasive wheel. See Peaked-out.

Demi-crystal: Clear lead crystal with less than 15% lead oxide in the glass batch. 

The part of lowercase letters (such as y, p, and q) that descends below the baseline of the other lowercase letters in a font face. In some typefaces, the uppercase J and Q also descend below the baseline.

Diamond Point Engraving:  A method of hand engraving using a diamond-tipped pencillike instrument. Line work and stipple effects are most common.

DIE: The monument proper. A die always sits on top of a base.

Die-cut Stencil: Vinyl-based stencil material incised by a photo-etched plate (die) used to eliminate hand cutting of the stencil.

Dust Collector: Machinery used to collect dust which results from the blasting process.

Typefaces that consist entirely of symbol characters such as pictures, decorations, arrows and bullets.

DOUBLE: Grave sizes are determined by 'width.' A DOUBLE wide grave will usually accommodate 6 burials and up to 9 over an extended amount of time. A DOUBLE grave requires a double sized monument which must be designed to fit 6 to 9 names.

Dust Collector: Machinery used to collect dust which results from the blasting process.

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Encapsulated PostScript. A vector graphics files that uses the same language as Type 1 fonts.

Edge Work: Grinding, cutting, and polishing of edges of 1/4" to 3/4" flat and plate glass. It can be seamed, ground, double and single beveled, O.G., pencil round. 

Engraving: Creating a bas-relief effect  Wheel cutting and sand blasting are the common methods.

Enamelled Glass: A vitreous coating applied to the surface for decoration.  May be frit based - which is ground glass powder - or organic lacquer based.

Etching: Surface erosion of glass. Common corrosive is hydrofloric acid solutions. Hand grinding and hand tapping - as with granite - also is considered etching. In stone: A form of artistic design by which a surface is broken - as in tapped - to create an illusion; usually a photographic illusion. Click here to see an example.


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A bitmap font format. Used by Microsoft Windows.

Companion file to TTF, that mediated between TrueType fonts and earlier versions of Windows. Now used infrequently.

Fire Polishing:  Remelting the surface of glass to achieve a polished effect.

Flashed Glass: Clear flat glass with a colored covering. Also called Flashing.

Float Plate Glass: Flat glass manufactured using a river of molten zinc alloy to form a consistent surface and thickness.  Float Plate has retired processes that required polishing of flat glass known as "polished plate" glass.

FOUNDATION FEE: Refers to all charges imposed by a cemetery during the process of building and erecting a monument. Said fee includes, but is by no means limited to, the actual footing needed to hold the monument on the grave.

Free Air CFM: The measure of air delivered by a compressor into the atmosphere, measured in cubic feet per minute.  Always stated in relation to a specific pressure.  Thus a compressor may be rated at 90.2 cfm at 100 psi  (Pounnds Per Square Inch.)

Frosted:  The act of hi-liting the surface of stone, usually by steeling the surface. Frosting is always white in color.

FULL-SIZE: A full-sized detail drawing of the finished product to be produced in stone.

Short for ‘typeface’; the style of a font or set of character images, eg. italic.

A family is all the fonts that comprise a group, as in Arial Light, Arial Light Italic, Arial, Arial Italic, Arial Bold and Arial Bold Italic.
Some families will also include other weights, like Semi-Bold or Book, and fonts that have been Condensed or Extended, or any combination of these two, weight and aspect ratio.

A font is a set of printable or displayable text characters in a specific style and size. The type design for a set of fonts is the typeface and variations of this design form the typeface family. Thus, Arial is a typeface family, Arial italic is a typeface, and Arial italic 10-point is a font. In practice, font and typeface are often used without much precision, sometimes interchangeably.

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In information technology, a glyph (pronounced GLIHF) is a graphic symbol that provides the appearance or form for a character. A glyph can be an alphabetic or numeric font or some other symbol that pictures an encoded character. The following quote is from a document written as background for the Unicode character set standard. An ideal characterization of characters and glyphs and their relationship may be stated as follows: A character conveys distinctions in meaning or sounds. A character has no intrinsic appearance. A glyph conveys distinctions in form. A glyph has no intrinsic meaning. One or more characters may be depicted by one or more glyph representations (instances of an abstract glyph) in a possibly context dependent fashion. Glyph is from a Greek word for "carving."

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HAND LEVEL: Usually the bottom of a monument; a surface made level by hand. Usually the surface is expected NOT to be level. This surface is employed when a stone cutter need to have cement adhere to the surface.

HIGH RELIEF: Leaving your design 'high' and away from the surface of the glass. One of the three "Choices" in glass design: Intaglio, Reverse Intaglio and High Relief.

Hints are instructions built into outline fonts that enable character shapes, especially subtle curves printed at small point sizes and low resolutions, to print as close to the designed character shape as possible. TrueType fonts contain complex hinting information. TrueType fonts can hint each character, different sizes of a character, and rotated text.
At its most basic level hinting (or, more accurately, instructing) a font is a method of defining exactly which pixels are turned on in order to create the best possible character bitmap shape at small sizes and low resolutions. Since it is a glyph's outline that determines which pixels will constitute a character bitmap at a given size, it is often necessary to modify the outline to create a good bitmap image; in effect modifying the outline until the desired combination of pixels is turned on. A hint is a mathematical instruction added to the font to distort a character's outline at particular sizes. Technically, hints result in operations which modify a contours' scaled control point coordinates before the outline is scan converted.

HONED: A highly smooth surface, but not yet polished. See POLISHED.

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INSCRIPTION: Any secondary script within the body of a message engraved on a monument. Mostly this is referred to when another name and set of dates must be added to a monument at a later time.

INTAGLIO: Cutting your design into the surface of  glass. One of the three "Choices" in glass design: Intaglio, Reverse Intaglio and High Relief.

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Kerning is the reducing/ increasing of the space allocated between two glyphs to make them fit more comfortably.

Kerning is the system by which the variable space between letters in a font is defined. A good font will have built into it a table of pairs of characters which have been specially adjusted or kerned so that they look better when used together. Take a look at A and V next to each other in a monospaced font and then look at them in a kerned font. You will see that they are moved closer together to get rid of the unsightly gap in the kerned font. Some programs have automatic kerning features and some fonts don't really need kerning because their characters are very square and uniform in shape. Other fonts require a great deal of kerning, and if you turn kerning off in the program in which you are using them they will look awful. For example, fonts like our Folkard font which have characters with parts which extend beneath or above other characters have to be thoroughly kerned or they will have huge gaps between the characters in many words.

The adjustment of horizontal space between individual characters in a line of text. Adjustments in kerning are especially important in large display and headline text lines. Without kerning adjustments, many letter combinations can look awkward. The objective of kerning is to create visually equal spaces between all letters so that the eye can move smoothly along the text.

Kerning pairs
Combinations of character pairs where the space between them has been modified to improve readability.

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LETTERING: Any and all groupings of letters found on a monument. A monument can be said to have lettering in panels and lettering in the design. Thus designating two groupings of lettering. But both groups also comprise the one grouping of the Lettering on said stone.

Letter spacing
Adjusting the average distance between letters in a block of text to fit text into the given space or to improve legibility. Kerning allows adjustments between individual letters, letterspacing is applied to a block of text as a whole. Also called tracking or track kerning.

Two or more letters tied together into a single letter. In some typefaces, character combinations such as fi and fl overlap, resulting in an unsightly shape. The fi and fl ligatures were designed to improve the appearance of these characters. Ligatures are generally only available in Expert typestyles.

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Multiple Master font file. A variant on the Type 1 font format, Multiple Master fonts allow the user to easily change the weights of a font, without distorting the design.

Mean line
The top (imaginary) point of all lowercase characters without ascenders. Also called x-height.

Font information such as ascent, descent, leading, character width, and kerning.

Monospaced type
Like typewritten characters, these all have the same width and take up the same amount of space. Use of this type allows figures to be set in vertical rows without leaving a ragged appearance (as opposed to proportional type).

MARKER: Any self-contained stone which single purpose is to identify a site or grave.

MONOLITH: A monument without a base which stands taller than is wide (and is also thinner than is wide.)

MONUMENT: Any object, notion or concept which commemorates an event. Said object must be permanent by means of its own nature...such as stone, a mountain, landscape, etc.

MEMORIAL: Anything which commemorates and event.

MEMORIALIST: An organization certified individual who studies the arts and sciences of death care and procedures. For the most part, one who builds memorials.

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National Language Support
Windows 95 does not fully support Unicode, but has a less universal approach called National Language Support. This allows use of TrueType fonts with more than the usual 256 glyphs of Windows (or Macintosh) extended ASCII. For convenience, and to help preserve compatibility with older programs, the user’s selected language setting determines which glyphs are accessible from the keyboard (as in, the correct ones for the chosen language, assuming they’re in the font).

NICHE: A framed area, usually cutback, which holds a image.   Example shows a hand carved profile within a niche. Click here to see an example.

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The OpenType font format (TrueType Open v.2.0) is an extension of the TrueType font format, allowing support for PostScript font data. OpenType was developed jointly by Microsoft and Adobe to produce a hybrid between Type 1 and TrueType fonts, with additional features. As part of the deal, Type 1 should receive built-in support in future versions of Windows.

Outline font
An outline font is a software typeface that can generate a scalable range of font sizes. The two most popular outline font software programs on today's computers are TrueType and Adobe's Type 1.

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Type 1 Postscript font file. (You need .pfb and .pfm to install with ATM.)

Postscript Font Metrics. Type 1 font metrics file for Windows. (You need a fonts .pfb and .pfm files to install with ATM.)

PostScript file. A graphics file, which uses a similar language to that used by Type 1 fonts.

Peaked-out:  A line or any element of a design that has been blasted to the point the the deep V-cuts or peaks result. Further blasting would result in distortions. 

Permanent font
A font which resides in a PostScript printer until the power is turned off.

A unit of typographic measurement equal to 0.166 inches or 12 points.

Square dots that represent the smallest units displayed on a computer screen. Typical monitors display between 72 and 96 pixels per inch. Characters and graphics are created by turning pixels on or off.

A unit of typographic measurement equal to (in electronic typography) 1/72 inch (0.01383 inches).

Point size
The height of the type body. A standard type measurement system was originally developed by the Parisian type founder Piérre 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).

POLISHED: A surface smooth to its highest sheen. Usually produced by employing 4 to 6 grinding wheels. The glossy surface also darkens and creates needed contrast for the designer.

Polished plate glass: Glass polished to a high gloss and an even thickness by rubbing or grinding.  Obsolete.

The printer language developed by Adobe, 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.

PostScript predates TrueType by about six years. First, we had many different formats for digital fonts, none of which were standardized. Then Apple adopted Adobe’s PostScript page description language (PDL) for its Apple LaserWriter printer in 1985.

Printer font
A font that permanently resides in the printer.

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

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QUARRY: Granite and marble are 'mined' from solid mountains. Once worked, these mountains quickly form holes in the ground called QUARRIES. Click here to see an example.

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RABBIT:  A check which faces up. Click here to see an example.

The process of converting outlines into bitmaps. The outlines are scaled to the desired size and filled by turning on pixels inside the outline. (See pixel.)

ReBang: Not trade terminology. This is an old time Internet term still found on sites which feature games. It means to reset and begin the game again. We employed the term here at GemRock years ago to mean a reshuffling of the designs posted for members to download. The term stuck.

RELIEF: Any milled surface which positioned away from the main body of the total glass. Usually this surface or area is the subject matter of the overall   project. In glass, a relief may also be an inverted (high relief) or submerged (Intaglio)portion of the project.

The number of dots in an image’s screen display or printed output. A monitor’s resolution refers to the number of pixels per linear inch. Printed resolution refers to dots per linear inch. (See dpi.)

REVERSE INTAGLIO: Cutting your design into the surface of the glass so that the subjuct is viewed through the surface. One of the three "Choices" in glass deisign: Intaglio, Reverse Intaglio and High Relief.

ROCK PITCHED: A hewned finish known as ROUGH HEWNED. A surface which appears natural and rough.  Click here to see an example.

ROLL BACK:  A portion of the stone carved as to roll away from the surface of the stone.  Example shows a roll back with a bas relief of roses. Click here to see an example.

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SANDBLAST: Sandblasting, Sand Carved: Re-invented in 1939, an ancient Egyptian method of cutting stone using sand under pressure. This is the most popular method of  glass design in the world today. Also known as SAND CARVED. Unlike in Stone design, there exists many different methods of sand carving in glass ( and sand etching) which have been around for centuries.

SAND CARVED: To shape by cutting.  The sequential blasting of different elements of a design in a method that results in decorated stone.

SAWED: A surfaced which has been wire sawed.

SCHALLED: A process where the stone is layered. Click here to see an example.

SCREENED: A honey-comb effect created by placing a wire mesh between the stone and a sandblasted. Click here to see an example.

SEASON PASS FROM GEM ROCK: Members who hold their membership for 2 consecutive years may begin placing their account into a SEASON PASS once every year. A Season Pass allows the member full access to all our resources except downloading designs, and except for Dial-ups, at no charge. A season pass expires after 6 months.

SERP: SERPENTINE Alike the curvature of a 'serpent.' The most common finish for granite monuments. Click here to see an example.

SETBACK: Described in the amount of the setback, a setback usually implies a design raised (like a relief) above a sunk or tooled background.   The example shows a One Inch Setback.  Click here to see an example.

The width of a letter and its surrounding space; the space needed to set a line of text in a specific typeface. Some programs have tracking to adjust the typeface to make it set looser or tighter. Also known as advance width.

The distance between the origin and the left edge of a character (left sidebearing) and the distance between the width line and the right edge of a character (right sidebearing).

SINGLE: Grave sizes are determined by 'width.' A SINGLE wide grave will usually accommodate 3 burials and up to 5 over an extended amount of time. A SINGLE grave requires a single sized monument which must be designed to fit 3 to 5 names.

SLABS: Blocks from the quarry are shaven and sliced into workable layers of stone called SLABS.

The amount of unused area that exists between characters.

STEELED: STL: A surface hammered with steel shot, usually under air pressure. The finish of this surface appears as white as an axed surface, but is usually more level and pitted depending on the process...and who's doing it.

STENCIL:  Vinyl-based stencil material used to protect the stone during sandblasting and/or painting.

A line which may be expanded in width; or the width of the linear elements that compose characters.

A visual variation of a basic typeface used to create emphasis. Type style is important since it can attract (or repel) the reader’s eye. The four basic computer styles are Plain, Bold, Italic, and BoldItalic.

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TOOLED: A surface hammer with a chisel. Click here to see an example.

TRIPLE: Grave sizes are determined by 'width.' A triple wide grave will usually accommodate 9 burials and up to 12 over an extended amount of time. A TRIPLE grave requires a triple sized monument which must be designed to fit 9 to 12 names.

TrueType is a digital font technology designed by Apple Computer, and now used by both Apple and Microsoft in their operating systems. TrueType fonts offer the highest possible quality on computer screens and printers, and include a range of features which make them easy to use.

More widely used than Type 1 fonts, but regarded as the lesser of the two by type professionals. TrueType Open is an extension to the format introduced by Microsoft, but will shortly be superceded by OpenType.

A TrueType font is usually composed of a *.ttf file (the actual font file), but it may include a *.fot file. The *.fot file points to the location of the *.ttf file in Windows 3.1x. TrueType font files are usually stored in the Fonts folder in the Windows folder (Windows 95 and Windows NT) or in the Windows\System directory (Windows 3.1x).

Type 1
Type 1 is a standard outline font (ISO 9541).

A Type 1 font is composed of a *.pfm (screen) font file and a *.pfb (printer) font file. Type 1 font files are installed in the Psfonts directory by default, but you can store them in another location using a font manager (e.g., Adobe Type Manager).

A vector font format. Developed by Adobe using their PostScript printer language, Type 1 fonts are the print industry standard. To use Type 1 fonts on Windows, users must install Adobe Type Manager. However, future versions of Windows may have Type 1 support built-in.

Type 3
Also referred to as user-defined fonts, these are non-Adobe encrypted fonts. They will not appear on-screen if you are using ATM.

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Unicode (ISO 10646)
Unicode is an international standard for representing a broader character set using two-byte encoding for each letter. This allows the encoding of 65,536 characters instead of 256, essentially all the characters for every language in the world, each with a unique ID.

The Unicode Character Standard primarily encodes scripts rather than languages. That is, where more than one language shares a set of symbols that have a historically related derivation, the union of the set of symbols of each such language is unified into a single collection identified as a single script. These collections of symbols (i.e., scripts) then serve as inventories of symbols which are drawn upon to write particular languages. In many cases, a single script may serve to write tens or even hundreds of languages (e.g., the Latin script). In other cases only one language employs a particular script (e.g., Hangul, which is used only for the Korean language). The writing systems for some languages may also make use of more than one script; for example, Japanese traditionally makes use of the Han, Hiragana, and Katakana scripts, and modern Japanese usage commonly mixes in the Latin script as well.

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"V" CUT:  A line or any element of a design that has been blasted to the point the the deep V-cuts or peaks result. Further blasting would result in destortions.

Vector font
Type of font format, examples include TrueType and Type 1 formats. A vector font describes each letter or symbol as a series of geometric shapes, rather than as rows of dots (like a bitmap font). They can easily be resized without losing quality.


The measurement of a stroke’s width; or, in general, the heaviness of a character or font. Common names for weights include demibold, light, and bold. Some typeface families have several weights, ranging between ultra-bold and extra-light.

The Windows Glyph List defined for Windows 95. This Windows "WGL4" character set is a specific "National Language Support" set of some 652 characters, which include all the characters for every European language. This means all the usual Latin regular and accented characters, plus Greek, Cyrillic, Turkish, a host of accented characters, and IBM Linedraw thrown in for good measure.

WIRE SAW: A twin rotary which drives a wire across a stone surface. The wire drags sand over the stone and eventually cuts the stone. The longer the wire, the longer it lasts and the better it cuts. Lengths greater than 50 feet are not uncommon.

What You See Is What You Get. A phrase meaning that the what you see on screen, in terms of layout, fonts, colors and graphics, is as close as possible to what you would see printed out on paper.

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Questions, suggestions, email, Joe@gemrock.com

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