Editorial terms – L

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label: in line images, textual material within the image that identifies or explains the graphic content; labels must be edited to match the style and content of the text.

landscape: a page or object (eg an illustration) whose width is greater than its height. See also portrait.

LaTeX: a typesetting program primarily used for technical and scientific documentation that relies on text being given appropriate codes/tags. Pronounced ‘lay-tek’.

layout: how material is placed on the page.

leading: the spaces between lines of type; originally, leading was a strip of lead added between the rows of characters, which is why the word is pronounced ‘ledding’.

legend: the term for a caption that consists of an incomplete sentence, although this distinction is not often made and the term caption is used for both complete and incomplete sentences.

ligature: a link created between two characters that enables them to fit together rather than clash, or simply look more elegant side by side. A combination that commonly carries a ligature is ‘fi’.

line editing: a term that some editors use to describe sentence-level stylistic work that considers sense, voice, mood, viewpoint, pace and flow. While line editing, editors may seek clarification from the author and suggest revisions.

line images (or line drawings): images with no variation in tone, eg graphs, diagrams, charts, maps, black-and-white cartoons; see also halftone.

lining figures: in numbers, all the figures line up at the top and the bottom, as if there is an upper and a lower line they must touch. See also non-lining figures.

literal errors (or literals): spelling slip-ups, excess or insufficient word spacing, or other clearcut unintended errors; see also typos.

long list: a list where each entry comprises a complete sentence or more than one sentence.

lower case (lc): historically, the ‘small’ letters were kept in the lower part of the typesetter’s tray (the lower case) and the capitals in the upper case; today, a lower-case letter is any letter that is not a capital.