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Typesetting Then and Now

Set Down That Type

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Metal Type

A page set in metal type, ready for the press.

CC-SA-By 2.0 Andrein via Flickr.com

Before desktop publishing, text composition or typesetting was a specialized skill that evolved over time. Early typesetters were responsible for physically assembling the lines of metal type from individual characters.

Later innovations involved typewriter-like machines, film, and magnetic tape so that the typesetter was no longer physically handling the type and many typesetting tasks became computerized. Today, we use our computers and page layout software to manipulate digital fonts and do in minutes what once took typesetters hours, even days to accomplish.

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