- The first fundamentally new typesetting technology since the invention of letterpress printing by Johannes Gutenberg, photocomposition does not use solid forms for depicting the characters.
Instead, the set text is created on photographic film. Older machines performed this function by imaging the characters with a flashlight from a negative original or from a very bright screen (cathode ray tube) onto the film.
The move to computer setting is marked by the laser setter which, like the laser printer, uses a laser beam to write text, images and other design elements directly onto film or a printing plate.
- A photographic process using a beam of light that is shot through the transparent image area of a negative, creating a letter image onto sensitized paper or film.