Whether written by hand or set into type, the Latin lower case alphabet implies an invisible staff consisting of at least four lines: topline, midline, baseline and beardline. The topline is the line reached by ascenders in letters like b, d, h, k, l. The midline marks the top of letters like a, c, e, m, x, and the top of the torso of letters like b, d, h. The baseline is the line on which all these letters rest. The beardline is the line reached by descenders in letters like p and q.
Imaginary horizontal line with which the top of the main body of each character, excluding ascenders, is aligned. Corresponds to the top of the x-height. See "x-height." See also "ascender," "baseline," "descender."