The term “collate” has several different meanings, depending on the context it’s used in. In general, it refers to organizing pieces of information into a cohesive manner so that the final product can be easily understood. That’s all well and good, but how does that relate to printing?!

This article explores what the term “collate” means when it comes to printing, and when and why you may want to use it. For personalized advice, contact our team at Signworks today.

What Does Collate Mean When Printing?

If you’ve ever printed anything from a computer, you’ve probably seen an option you can select in the printing menu that says “Collate copies” (or something similar). If you didn’t know what it meant, you left it alone. After all, you don’t know what it means and you’ve never purposefully selected or deselected it before, so it can’t be too important, right?

Well, it depends! In printing, collating means assembling the pages to be printed in a logical order. This usually means in order from page one to page two to page three and so on. This can be useful in many different circumstances.

When Should You Collate In Printing?

You may need to collate pages when printing if you’re trying to assemble the pages into booklets or reports, or if you’re printing chapters of a book.

For example, let’s say you’re printing a booklet that contains 10 pages. However, you need to print more than one copy of the booklet. In this case collating may be useful as you can set the printing order to suit your requirements. The booklet needs to have its pages in the correct order for it to make sense and be easy for its audience to understand— for example, a cover page followed by a table of contents followed by the first page, the second page, and so on.

Collating pages when printing ensures that the finished product’s pages are in the correct order and ready for binding. This way, you can minimize the time you need to take to organize the printed pages, and it also reduces waste and the possibility of errors such as pages bound in an incorrect order.

How Do You Collate On A Printer?

The way you collate when printing will depend on the computer you’re using. Sometimes the collate setting is automatically switched off as the default, so in that case you will need to turn it on if you want to use it.

In most cases, the option should be in the options menu within the printer settings. When you go to print a document, you can select “Print preview” which will take you to a dialogue box. The collate option is usually at the top of this box, near where you can select your printer and how many copies you’d like to print. If you don’t see the collate option immediately, it may be within another section such as settings.

Keep in mind that if you’re printing just one copy of your document, regardless of how many pages it is, you won’t have the option to collate when printing.

What Is Uncollated Printing?

Uncollated printing is the opposite of collated printing, where each printed copy of a multi-page document is printed separately and in sequential order. That means that if a document has more than one page, the printer will print all the copies of page one first, followed by page two, and so on, until all of the pages have been printed.

This means that the printed pages won’t be organized in the correct order for reading. When printing something other than a document or booklet, for example if you’re printing business cards, posters, or other single-page documents, uncollated printing may be a more convenient choice.

What Are The Benefits Of Collating When Printing?

Choosing to collate pages when printing can be helpful when it comes to saving time and printer ink. When the pages are printed in the correct order, you have less work to do afterwards as you won’t need to sort through the pages to put them in order. This improves efficiency, which is great for businesses and individuals alike!

Having an understanding of collating is crucial when it comes to printing, as it can give you greater creative control and extend your administrative efficiency. Knowing what all of your printer’s features are and how they work can make your life so much simpler, so if you’re not familiar with them all yet, now’s the time to learn!

Got Some Docs To Print?

If you’re interested in printing a project that will leave a lasting impression in all the best ways, our team at Signworks is ready to help. Collated or uncollated, we do it all! With over 30 years of experience, we’ve printed for developers, business, universities, and even entire cities all across the country. For high-quality printing that brings a sophisticated edge and really speaks to your audience, get in touch with us at Signworks today.