What Does Typesetting Mean?

Typesetting is the process of arranging letters, numbers and characters on a printed or digital space. Typesetting is done to maximize print space, for graphic design purposes, and, generally, to facilitate a given result for the orientation of text on a page.


Techopedia Explains Typesetting

Typesetting began with the original printing presses, where this process was a profoundly manual task. Workers had to struggle with bulky machinery and manually integrate letters and characters, eventually sets of printed dies, to set up typesetting for print production.

The typesetting processes of today are radically different. Early digital typesetting was done by generating characters on a cathode ray tube. Fonts and typesetting information was stored on disk drives. Eventually, tools like text markup languages, as well as solid-state media and modern networking, evolved typesetting to the point where today’s processes rely on advanced algorithms that know just where to put and how to position each letter or character. The sometimes complicated task of typesetting has been entirely shifted to artificial intelligence tools that can handle practically all of the layout and design for the project.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.