What Does Collate Mean in Printing | Everything About Collating (2023)

Are you curious about the term collate and what it means in printing? This post will explain the definition of collate, as well as some of its key benefits. You’ll also learn about some of the most common methods for collating documents. Keep reading to get all the details!

Collate Definition and Meaning

The word collate is derived from the Latin word “colligere” which means “to assemble”. Collate is a printing term used to define the act or process of arranging printed sheets into their correct sequence before binding them into a booklet or book. Collating machine is a machine that will help us do such collations of documents. It sorts and arranges the pages together correctly. So when you take the pages out of the machine, you will find all the pages arranged neatly and all you need to do is start reading.

How to Collate on a Printer

When you are printing multiple copies of a document, you may want to collate them so that all the pages are in order. To do this, simply select the option to collate in your printer settings. It helps you to print each copy of your document in the correct order.

What Does Collate Mean in Printing | Everything About Collating (1)

If you are printing a large number of copies, you may want to consider using a printer with an automatic collating feature. It saves time and ensures an order-wise print of your documents.

  • Open the printer’s properties dialog box. Right-click on the printer icon in the Windows Control Panel and select “Properties” from the pop-up menu.
  • Click on the “Advanced” tab in the properties dialog box.
  • In the Printing Defaults section, click on the “Printing Shortcuts” drop-down menu and select “Collate.”
  • Click “OK” to save your changes and close the dialog box.

Now, when you print multiple copies of a document, you will see them in the proper order.

Different Ways to Collate Pages

Below are a few traditional ways of collating pages.
1. Stapling: This is the most common type of collating and involves using a machine that staples the pages together.
2. Punching: The punching machine creates holes in the pages. We stitch them with either wire or plastic combs.
3. Saddle stitching: similar to punching, saddle stitching uses special equipment to bind the pages together with wire staples through the spine

A perfect collation is when all of the pages are correctly assembled through gluing, stitching, or stapling together in order. If there are any missing pages, you have an imperfect collation. The above-mentioned traditional methods are still being implemented to collate the pages. But it becomes a bit more difficult when there are hundreds or thousands of pages to collate. This is where the modern method of collation comes into the picture which is done through a machine. It makes the work easier and faster than the old methods since it has the capacity to assemble a large number of papers within a few minutes.

Why Should I Collate Documents

Collated documents are sorted into piles and can be completed quickly since they’re already organized by page number. Uncollated print jobs have pages out of sequence and require turning each printed document over to see what page should come next. Collating is most often used with multi-page print jobs like mailings or magazines where you want the final product to be ordered properly based on the page number. It basically makes the work easier and gives a “Ready to read” product instantly.

What Does Collate Mean in Printing | Everything About Collating (2)

If your printer asks if you want it to collate, tell them YES! To save even more time (and paper), choose “collate across multiple sheets” for double-sided printing jobs. While collating is not usually necessary for single-page print jobs, it can be nice to have some items like certificates or letters collated (sorted by page number) when you need to present them one after the other. For example, you might want your child’s report card collated when you’re giving it to him/her on a special occasion.

(Video) Meaning of Collate in Terms of Printing

What Is Collate Printing Used For

Collate printing is used for small runs of books, magazines, or newspapers where time is not a factor and only a few copies are being collated. For larger amounts collating each copy would prove to be more beneficial as it will save both money and time in the long run. The choice between collate printing and collating depends on what you plan to do with your book, magazine, or newspaper, how many you plan on producing, and how much effort you’re willing to put into the collating process.

Collated VS Uncollated

What Does Collate Mean in Printing | Everything About Collating (3)

Collated will help us print the documents in order or in a sequence. For example, let’s say you have a document that has three pages to print. Now if you collate and print, you will receive the output on page 1,2,3. You don’t have to rearrange the documents. Uncollated will help us print each page at once when we need multiples copies. For example, let’s say you have a document that has three pages to print and you want 3 copies of it. Now if you do not collate and print, you will receive the output on pages 111, 222, and 333. To understand the definitions of collated and an uncollated better look at the table below.

Prints all pages at oncePrints a single page multiple times
Prints in a specific orderPrints in reverse order
Prints SlowerPrints Faster
Used mostly to print a few copiesUsed to print a large number of copies
example : 123 123 123example : 111 222 333

Advantages of Collate Printing

One of the main advantages of collating documents is that it allows for a more efficient printing process. They minimize paper and ink usage while printing. Additionally, collating ensures an order-wise perfect print. This can be especially important when printing large documents or multi-page documents.

Another advantage of collating is that it can help save time. Collation of documents in proper order beforehand saves time. There’s no need to rearrange the documents. Collating helps us to identify pages that needs a reprint.

Overall, collating documents can help to improve the efficiency and quality of your printing process. By taking the time to collate your documents before printing, you can save yourself time and money in the long run.

Disadvantages of Collate Printing

While collation is a key part of the printing process, there are several disadvantages to it. Perhaps the most significant disadvantage of collation is the potential for errors. Even a small mistake in the collation process can result in a finished product that is unusable or unsellable. In some cases, such errors can be extremely costly to fix. You might even need to reprint the entire batch from the start.

Another disadvantage of collation is that it can be time-consuming and labor-intensive, especially if the project is large or complex. This can result in increased costs and may delay the overall printing process.

Finally, collation can be somewhat tricky and challenging to master. It requires a good deal of attention to detail and a fair amount of experience to do it correctly. For this reason, many people prefer to outsource the collation process to a professional service provider.

(Video) Collate vs. Group - What Is The Difference

Difference Between Collated and Uncollated

Collated printing means printing the documents in a specific order. So, if you have a document with ten pages, you will see the pages print in order from page 1 to page 10. Uncollated printing means printing each page of your document multiple times. So, if you have a document with ten pages, you will see each page 1 printed multiple times as per your instruction and this continues till page 10.

There are pros and cons to both options. Collated printing is excellent if you need your documents in a specific order. However, it can be slower because each page has to be printed in order. Uncollated printing is faster because the pages can be printed at once.

Ultimately, the choice between collated and uncollated printing depends on personal preference. Some people prefer the speed of uncollated printing, while others prefer the convenience of collated printing. Whichever option you choose, make sure that you understand how it works before you start printing your documents.

Examples of Collated and Uncollated Printing

Collated Printing: There are machines that collate books, papers, booklets, etc. all at once. You get the correct order of pages.

Uncollated Printing: It’s not like printers where you can reorder your document if it doesn’t print correctly (if you didn’t proofread). The printer prints whatever it gets from the computer in the order that it receives them without rearranging them for you.

Different Types of Machines Used to Collate

Collating presses come in two user types: machine-to-machine and manual.

You know how sometimes when there is a long line at an office place and people just stand around waiting for something to do so they don’t have to stand in line again? That’s what happens with machine-to-machine collating presses. The print job comes in and the machine sorts each sheet at a time, moving them to the correct bin so they can be bundled later.

Manual Collated Presses: Manual collating presses are exactly like bookbinding or stapling. You separate all of your papers by category (for example, you could have 200 single-sided sheets), stack them perfectly straight together, then staple them together. Now that they’re secure, you can bundle these papers into groups depending on their content (you might want to group all of your business pages together). Later, it goes down the conveyor belt for bundling and binding.

(Video) How to Collate Copies with your Canon Copier without a Finisher

Machine-to-Machine Collated Presses: We must pull the sheets from the input stack and load them onto a collating machine. It takes single pages and separates them by page number and orientation. It sends them through a set of rollers where they pair up with each other.


That’s all there is to it! Printing can be a complex process with many steps, but collating is relatively simple. Collating pages in a document is a quick and easy way to ensure that they are printed in the correct order. You can avoid the hassle of having to manually rearrange your pages after they have been printed. Following the above process ensures correct and order-wise printing of your pages. With a little practice, you’ll be able to collate your pages like a pro!

Frequently Asked Questions

When should i collate?

You should collate whenever you need to gather together multiple pieces of information or data in order to draw insights from it.

What does collate mean when printing double-sided?

(Video) Day177 What is collated Printing

When you collate when printing double-sided, it means that your printer will print all of the odd-numbered pages first, and then all of the even-numbered pages. This is so that you can easily put the printed pages in order. If you don’t collate when printing double-sided, then your printer will print the pages in the order that they are numbered, which can make it more difficult to put the pages in order.

What does it mean to collate copies?

The term “collate” when printing documents refers to the order in which the pages of a document will be printed. For example, if you have a four-page document and you collate it, the pages will be printed in the order 1, 2, 3, 4. If you do not collate the document, the pages will be printed in order 1, 3, 2, and 4. So, collating your document simply means printing the pages in the order in which they appear in the document.

How do i change the printing order?

To do this, open the Page Setup dialog box by going to File > Page Setup. In the Page Setup dialog box, click on the tab that says “Print Order.” From here, you can select the option that says “Reverse Print Order.” This will cause your document to print in reverse order.

Can all printers collate copies?

(Video) Print Command in MS Word | Print Settings | Options of print | Collated and Uncollated Print | 07

Yes, most standard printers offer the “collate” option where you can collate copies. You don’t have to pay extra for it.


Should I select collate when printing? ›

When should collate printing be used? Collate printing should be used anytime when you need a number of copies of a multi-page document that is meant to be read sequentially. The more pages in the document and the more copies you need, the more time you can save through collated printing.

What happens if I don't collate? ›

What does collate mean when printing? When a printer uses the term, this means that the file has multiple pages that need to print in the exact order of the file. Uncollated means that the file's pages will be printed separately.

What is collating used for? ›

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 collating a page? ›

In printing, collating refers to sequentially layering the pages of a multiple page document, book, brochure, etc. in their proper, finished order. Collation is performed during the finishing process. It is often followed by binding the pages together.

What happens if I collate when printing? ›

Collate when printing means that if you are printing more than one copy of a multi-page document, the copies will print all pages of each copy before printing the second copy.

Does collation affect performance? ›

The storage of the data is impacted by the encoding / charset (i.e. Windows-1252 vs UTF-8 vs UTF-16 vs etc), but collation has no impact on data at rest because collation is merely rules for working with the data.

Does collate mean print on both sides? ›

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO COLLATE COPIES? In printing lingo, collate is often used to mean “collate copies.” That means that instead of printing individual papers, the printer “accumulates” these documents together to create a complete set. The next time you are printing a document, check out the print preview page.

Who has to collate? ›

Collation is a legal obligation imposed on all descendants who wish to benefit in the estate of an ancestor, either by way of intestate succession, or as an heir in a will. This obligation is to account to the estate of the ancestor for any gifts or advances received from the ancestor during his lifetime.

WHO MUST collate? ›

Collation is the process by which the inheritance of certain descendants (heirs)of the deceased is adjusted to consider any substantial benefits received from the testator during his lifetime. Collation is achieved by adding to the inheritance the amount due by each heir.

What is an example of collation? ›

Collated: The past tense of the word indicates when one has ordered information at an earlier point. Example: She collated all the inconsistencies in her opponent's position in order to brandish them in their debate.

What is the difference between collecting and collating? ›

The difference is that collection is a set of items or amount of material procured or gathered together while collation is bringing together.

What is collating on a printer? ›

Collate means to collect and assemble printed sheets of paper within a predetermined order or sequence. Typically, all the pages in the document will print once. Once complete, the machine will repeat the process by printing a second set. This continues until the requested number of document sets is complete.

What are the types of collation? ›

Following are the different types of collation sensitivity:
  • Case Sensitivity: A and a and B and b.
  • Kana Sensitivity: Japanese Kana characters.
  • Width Sensitivity: Single byte character and double-byte character.
  • Accent Sensitivity.
10 Oct 2018

What is the purpose of collating and Analysing data? ›

collate, record and analyse information accurately to produce justifiable results. verify the analysis using accepted and valid techniques. select type and range of data to be collected in line with research plan, including primary and secondary sources.

What is another word for collation? ›

The words compare and contrast are common synonyms of collate. While all three words mean "to set side by side in order to show differences and likenesses," collate implies minute and critical inspection in order to note points of agreement or divergence.

How do you know when a table is collating? ›

To view the collation setting of a database

In Object Explorer, connect to an instance of the Database Engine and on the toolbar, click New Query. In the query window, enter the following statement that uses the sys. databases system catalog view. SELECT name, collation_name FROM sys.

What is meant by collating sequence? ›

A collating sequence is a mapping between the code point and the requried position of each character in a sorted sequence. The numeric value of the position is called the weight of the character in the collating sequence. In the simplest collating sequence, the weights are identical to the code points.

Which print option should be selected? ›

The correct answer is Print Preview.

Why do you select the collated or uncollated? ›

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.

How do I print without cutting off? ›

Setting Your Printer

Choose "Printing Preferences" from the pop-up menu, then look at the setup options your print driver provides. Usually, there will be one called "Layout" or "Page Layout." Once you've clicked "Layout," you should have the option to manually set your margins to zero.

Which resolution settings are best for printing Why is this? ›

Recommended minimum resolution for printing is 300 dpi; computer monitors generally have a display setting of 72 dpi or 96 dpi. If we indicate that some of your images have low resolution, they may not look bad on your monitor but will likely print blurry or jagged.

Why are collating marks used? ›

Collation Mark Details. A Collation Mark combines a signature mark and a version mark to check that folded sheets are collated in the correct order for each version. The signature mark is the marking on the spine or fold of the folded sheets that indicates the signature.

What does collate mean when printing double sided? ›

Collated Printing generally refers to multiple originals printed and sequenced in logical numerical order. Each set contains one copy of each original in its defined place in the sequence. More broadly, collated printing refers to any print job that requires pages or paper types to print in a specific order.


1. Collate Printing options
(Computer Solution)
2. Collate Printing Terminology | Collated and Un-collatted Explained
3. What does collate mean?
(What Does That Mean?)
4. Collated Printing with Smartpress
5. Collate documents- Video Model
(ABC of NC)
6. Collating & Grouping Copies


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