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twip (twentieth of a point)

A twip (twentieth of a point) is a measure used in laying out space or defining objects on a page or other area that is to be printed or displayed on a computer screen. A twip is 1/1440th of an inch or 1/567th of a centimeter. That is, there are 1440 twips to an inch or 567 twips to a centimeter. The twip is 1/20th of a point, a traditional measure in printing. A point is approximately 1/72nd of an inch.

A number of computer software programs, notably Microsoft's Visual Basic, as well as its rich text file format (RTF), require programmers to specify screen positions and image and icon sizes in twips rather than in another common measure, the pixel. Like the pixel, the twip can be adjusted in size as screen resolution is changed, but, unlike the pixel, expresses an absolute value for printing.

Since not all software development tools work with twips, a programmer may sometimes need to convert between twips and pixels, and the reverse.

This was last updated in September 2005

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