Print proofing with a three-up: The two sides show the lightest and darkest prints that are within tolerance. The one in the middle is juust right.

I can guess what it means by reading the whole content, but I don't know why it can be expressed in this way, is it a kind of fixed usage?


In printing, two-up, four-up etc mean "two (four) pages printed at one time" (nowadays, usually reduced to fit on one page). I've never met three-up, but the meaning is clear.

The OED doesn't appear to list this meaning of -up, but it does list two-up, one of whose meanings is given as "Two at a time, two together", with a citation relevant to this question, from 1967: "Master output for photo-litho reproduction ‘two-up’"

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