There are tons of acronyms and terminology associated with copiers and MFPs that can leave you with you with a serious migraine. That’s where TBS comes in to help. We’re here to give you a leg up in the world of copier and printer terms. Knowledge is power. We want you to harness that power when shopping for your next machine.

Below are some of the common terms you will hear when shopping around for a new multifunction printer.

Base Amount

Most service contracts have a minimum number of copies per month (often referred to as the “base” amount). A higher base amount will most likely lower the CPC (cost per copy/click).

Bypass tray

The bypass tray is a tray on your copier that can be used to print jobs on paper that cannot be run from the main trays of your device.

Please note – A bypass tray usually holds a smaller volume of paper compared to an integrated paper tray.


Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, blacK—these are the four toner colors required for a color copier or printer (including both laser and inkjet technologies).


This is the process of taking a multipage document and printing it in such a way as to retain its order, even when making multiple copies.

Copies per minute

Every MFP or copier is rated for speed and this represents the average number of copies it can produce every 60 seconds to the output tray. This number will vary depending upon whether the original is coming from a supply tray (slower), or the glass (faster), or whether it involves duplexing.


Pages per minute. The designation of the number of documents that can be scanned or printed by a particular machine.


Print Resolution is simply the level of detail in a printed image. Higher resolution means higher detail, and can be measured in dots per inch (DPI). The more dots (of ink) that are printed per inch, the higher the resolution of the image – therefore the higher the quality in terms of sharpness and detail. 


Page yield is the estimated number of pages that can be printed with a printer cartridge.