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service bureau

Short for prepress service bureau, a company that provides a variety of desktop publishing services. In particular, service bureaus have imagesetters that can produce high-resolution output on paper or film. This is a necessary step before printing a document with offset printing.

In addition to providing high-resolution output, many service bureaus also offer scanning services, as well as general consultancy. Some service bureaus have computers equipped with desktop publishing software which you can rent by the hour.

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