What Does Collate Mean When Printing? Everything You Need to Know

“Collate” is a printing term instructing your printer to organize print jobs. Printing collated jobs allow you to save time and money because you don’t have to flip pages back and forth when printing.

As you print your documents in a wide format printer, you may notice the term “collate printing” among the options available to you at the printer’s interface. What is collate on printer? This article will clarify the collate printing definition and the benefits of this feature.

In short, the collate definition when copying means grouping your pages together so that you don’t have to manually go through and fold each page and staple them together in groups of three or four.

When you choose to collate printing, the printer will automatically feed individual pages into the binding machine one by one so that you can quickly cut and fold them as needed after they’re printed.

To understand the collate meaning, printer sets of papers are arranged in a staggered way.

When Should Collate Printing Be Used?

If you’re in charge of printing documents for your organization, whether for an event or regularly, collating sheets is usually done when printing on a commercial printer like Staples.

The primary benefit of collating is saving time—if you didn’t choose the collate setting on printer, you would have to manually place each page together by taping them or stapling them.

Using a collator means fewer steps and less work! It’s also more precise than taping/stapling because they can be easily calibrated and evenly space each page together.

What Does It Mean to Collate Copies?

Setting up print jobs to be printed one after another is called collating; this is a brief and easy answer for what is collate printing. This is useful if you only print a few photocopies and don’t need to set up a complete print run of each page. There are two ways to set up printing jobs for collation: job collation and page collation.

In most cases, it’s best to use job collation instead of page-level collation because it allows you to change settings for different pages within a job. You can also use the collated definition when copying.

Job-level settings take precedence over page-level settings. If you use the page-level setting, all your pages will be printed with the same printer and tray regardless of what you have assigned at the job level.

Difference Between Collated and Uncollated Documents

Uncollated means that your printer won’t automatically print all pages in a single order. Because pages can be printed out of order, using uncollated paper is a great way to keep track of your documents.  A great collate printing example is an agreement to be printed for each party. The printer will create a complete set of the document, before moving on to the next copy.

There is no way to know if you accidentally print out ten from project one and then five from project two or vice versa. To keep track of each document, it’s better to use un-collated paper so you can see when each set has been printed individually.

How to Activate the Collate Setting on Printer

Typically, when you are printing something in a hurry or want to set up your job faster, you need to use collate on printer setting.

By choosing a collate setting on printer, you can print multiple copies of a single document. The different types of collation settings include:

Single-sided collation: This collate option on printer is when you print a single document onto one side of paper and then feed it back into your printer to print on another side.

Double-sided collation: This setting allows you to print two different documents onto both sides of a piece of paper for brochures, flyers, etc. This will answer your question to: does collate mean double sided? The answer is no if you do not check the respective option.

N-up collation: You can do the n-up collate option on printer by choosing a collation setting that allows you to print multiple copies of each page onto one piece of paper.

Collate printing and uncollated printing setups output pages in different orders.

When Should Non-Collate Printing Be Used?

You don’t need to use the collate setting on printer all the time. The non-collated option is often used for business environments when employees need to separate parts of their project before presenting them to their manager for approval. A few examples of situations where you need to turn off the collate function in your printer include:

  • When printing multiple business cards for different people.
  • When your printouts are intended to be distributed individually and not as sets.
  • When printing different versions of the same form.

If none of these situations apply, it’s usually best to define collate on printer as a basic printing rule, as it’s generally easier and more cost-effective than printing multiple copies manually.

Do You Need Collate Printing Machines? We Can Help You!

We aimed to answer some basic questions in this article, such as what does collate mean in printing something and should I collate when printing? If you’re serious about setting up a print operation, you might want to consider looking into other printing terms; in addition, to collate, printers should be familiar with several other specialized printing terms.

If you’re interested in learning more information about the collate meaning printer, laser printer models and our terms of service, contact us at (888) 484-9292. We have years of experience working with professional printers.

Author: Metro Repro