The meaning of the word collate is to collect, arrange and assemble in a specific order of sequence. In printing terminology, it is to assemble multiple sheets or parts together to create a set. Collating is most commonly used in the preparation of booklets, catalogs, manuals & collated color copies.
What is the Difference Between Collated and Uncollated Copies?
Alternately, uncollated would mean the opposite. To print uncollated would be to print copies of multiple sheets separately and not assembled in any order. So, if you have a document with 3 sheets of paper, each sheet would not be combined or assembled together with the others to make a set.
In the printing world, the terms collate 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 terms before submitting your project for print.
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Collate printing is the action of taking multiple different printed pages and putting them together into a complete set. Collating is most common with color copies, as the copies can be collated without being bound together. On the other hand, collating is also common in the process of making booklets, catalogs, magazines and any other type of multi-page product.
Not All Bound Printing is Collated
There are some instances in which you may want to have a product bound together but not collated. An example in which you have product bound together but not collated would be Notepads. Notepads are usually in sets of 25, 50 or 100 sheets but each sheet consists of the same printing. The sheets of paper are bound together with a padding compound at the top of the product. The sheets can then be easily ripped away from the pad when needed.
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.
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 shop 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!