A manuscript is any document written by hand, as opposed to being printed or reproduced in some other way. Before the arrival of printing, all documents and books were manuscripts. In publishing and academic contexts, a manuscript is the text submitted to the publisher or printer in preparation for publication, regardless of the format. Until recently a typescript prepared on a typewriter was usual, but today a digital file with a printout, prepared in manuscript format is most common. Manuscripts are normally required by publishing companies before being published.
Manuscripts are not defined by their contents, which may combine writing with mathematical calculations, maps, explanatory figures or illustrations. Manuscripts may be in book form, scrolls or in codex format. Illuminated manuscripts are enriched with pictures, border decorations, elaborately embossed initial letters or full-page illustrations.