In the printing world, the terms “collated” and “uncollated” are often used when discussing the specifications of a print job. If you have a document that includes multiple pages, it is important to understand the difference between these two key words before submitting your project for print.
What Does Collated and Uncollated Mean?
Let’s start with the basic definition of these terms.
Collate means to collect, arrange or assemble in a specific order of sequence. Usually to prepare a document for binding into a booklet, manual, presentation, etc.
If you need 10 copies of an 8-page booklet, choosing to print collated will give you the 10 copies with the 8 pages already in order and ready to go.
Alternately, printing uncollated would mean the opposite. Printing this same document uncollated will print the first page 10 times, the second page 10 times, and so on. You will have to re-order your booklet by hand.
The Benefits of Collated Printouts
Whether you are printing at home or with an online printing company, collating your print document is going to be more beneficial in most cases. If your print job is considered to be one entity in and of itself, such as a magazine, booklet, program, catalog, etc., then it makes the most sense to print collated. You wouldn’t want these pages to be printed at random where you would have to spend valuable time reorganizing.
These types of projects are also usually collated in preparation for binding, whether it’s a simple stapled spine or something more extensive. Here at PrintingCenterUSA, we offer a lot of binding options for your collated project, such as perfect bound, saddle-stitch, spiral or wire-o binding.
So What About Uncollated Printing?
Printing uncollated has its uses, too. If your print document is a flyer, poster, fact sheet, brochure or some other type of single print out, it may be more useful to print uncollated. Your print file might contain 5 pages that explain 5 different types of products that you will be promoting at a booth, conference, convention or trade show. Having your flyers arranged by product would make it easier to target your customer's interests. This same idea also makes sense for handling print documents for business presentations, classroom lectures and more.
What This Means with Online Printing
There are many reasons why you might want to print something either collated or uncollated, bound or unbound. It’s your project and any online printing center will help you achieve your end goal. The good news is that choosing to print collated or uncollated usually does not have an effect on the overall price of your print job. It's a decision of convenience - not money!