Coded Copy

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Coded Copy


a final typed manuscript that is usually encoded on a six-track punched tape, which serves as the program for automatic typesetting. It is prepared on equipment that includes printing apparatus (usually an electric typewriter), an electronic counter, encoding apparatus (a tape puncher), equipment for automatic printing from the tape, and a control panel for selecting the typeface and point size, composing format, paragraph indent, and number of lines per page. As the final copy is being produced on the typewriter, the perforator automatically punches holes in a paper tape; the location and number of the holes represent the printed symbols. At the same time

the width of each print and space element is recorded by the counter to form the lines.

Printing apparatus that has a typeface similar in appearance to printer’s type (such as composing typewriters with proportional spacing) can be used to prepare scaled coded copy, which, in addition to line-for-line correspondence, is usually graphically similar to a typeset page with respect to size and proportions. The scaled coded copy can be typed with a justified right margin, which further increases its resemblance to printing prepared by typesetting. The scaled coded copy is suitable for publications with figures set in runarounds, and also for pages of complicated makeup (double-page spreads). Final copy with incompletely coded tape—that is, without division into lines in the coded text — is also used. Such tape is converted on special automatic and semiautomatic equipment into fully coded tape, which is suitable for controlling the operation of an automatic typesetting machine, or the tape may be used without conversion if the machine is equipped with special devices. The principal advantages of the incompletely coded tape are simplification of the initial coding and an increase in productivity by a factor of more than 1.5.

Simultaneous programming of composition and preparation of the final copy in the publishing house eliminates the necessity of preparing a program for automatic typesetting at the printing plant; this is the principal requirement for efficient use of modern high-speed technology in automatic typesetting. It also provides a highly accurate reproduction of the copy during composition. The line-for-line correspondence between the text of the coded copy and the set type makes possible proofreading at the publishing house during the preparation of copy for production, in the stage before composition, making unnecessary shipments of proofs and corrected proofs between the publishing house and the compositor. Conditions are thereby created for the shipment of copy to the compositor on a continuous open schedule, and the production time is shortened by a factor of 2 to 4 as compared with ordinary methods of typesetting. The use of coded copy is becoming increasingly widespread in the publishing houses of the USSR and other countries.


Eidel’nant, I. B. Avtomatizatsiia nabora i izdate’skaia korrektura. Moscow, 1963.
Eidel’nant, I. B. Kodirovannyi izdatel’skii original dlia avtomaticheskogo nabora. Moscow, 1965.
Berlin, A. S. Sistemy programmirovaniia nabora. Moscow, 1971.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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