What Does Collate Mean?

When it comes to printing documents with multiple pages, one question that you will get from your printing company is "Do you want your printed documents to be collated or uncollated?". This article explains all about collate in printing business.

So what does collate mean? Collate is a verb that means to collect and combine a number of printed papers in a proper order. In printing, this indicates the electronic files that contain the information that will get printed. See the following collating examples:

PDF documents or word processor files are the most common digital file types used to produce a collated or an uncollated job.

Collated Printing Examples:

Different collated printing jobs can look different, so here are some examples. In every example we assume that multiple copies of each document are necessary.

When a document is long enough to print in multiple pages (because it won’t fit in one single page), collated printing will get you a printed document within which page after page and sheet of paper after sheet of paper the original sequence is respected. We can represent it with the following graph that shows that the information to be printed comes from a digital file and shows what the finished printed job would look like. Since multiple copies of the same original are created, there will be multiple groups of collated documents as a product of the job.

COLLATE DOCUMENT

on this image there are 2 icons that represent digital files that contain the document that will get printed.
on this image there is an arrow following the process that represents printing.
this image shows two groups of sheets in a collated document: The first image shows a collated document that is printed on a single side only. The numbers of the pages is indicated as a reference. The second image shows the same scenario but double sided printing is being used. The numbers of the pages is indicated as well to provide clarity.

When a printed document requires divisions within, such as chapters, sections, special 'tab sheets' are often used. Other times the way to indicate sections is by the use of a sheet that uses a different thickness (example cover stock as opposed to text weight).

COLLATE DOCUMENT

on this image there are 2 icons that represent digital files that contain the document that will get printed.
on this image there is an arrow following the process that represents printing.
this image shows a document that consists of multiple pages and a special section separation which is represented by a yellow tab sheet

Order your collated and uncollated printing through our Color Copies order page

What Does Uncollate Mean? (Collated vs Uncollated)?

Uncollated is the opposite of collated. Uncollated pages are therefore not combined nor gathered at all. In a printing job when multiple copies of the same document are required, you will receive all of the sheets separately. So all page #1 will be grouped by itself, and so on.

on this image there are 2 icons that represent digital files that contain the document that will get printed.

Collated Documents or Products Are Beneficial for These Applications

When the document being printed is considered in itself a single element, having your printing company collate your document is advantageous. In this case, having a single sheet without the rest of the document would make no sense. Here are some examples of printed documents that benefit from having our printing company collate the job:

Collated Documents Are Usually the Same Cost as Uncollated Documents

Requesting collation does not normally add an additional expense, but since we organize differently to produce a collated job than an uncollated job, we need to know your preference before we start to process your order.

Uncollated Printed Sheets are Useful at Trade Shows, Seminars and as Sales Sheets.

When the printed sheets in the document will be used as required, uncollated stacks of sheets are a better way to go. Here are some examples:

  • Trade Shows: Your digital file has product specifications that belong to 10 different products. These printed ‘sales sheets’ or ‘product sheets’ will be handed at a trade show: Because different visitors to your booth might be interested in one of the multiple products that you offer, the visitor will probably want to keep a page or sheet to reference the specific product he’s interested in later when he’s back at his office. Having stacks of sheets, one stack per product could be more convenient.

  • Handouts: At a conference, a speaker might want to distribute a sheet among assistants at a specific moment, then distribute a second document or sheet later on. The reason for this might be to keep the attention of the audience and to not have the audience go ahead of the pace of the event. Under these circumstances, uncollated documents would be useful.

Contact Color Copies USA for Great Service and Prices on Collated and Uncollated Document Sheets

ColorCopiesUSA.com can provide you with all of your collated or uncollated projects. It doesn’t matter how complex your requirement is, if tabs or other special separators are needed, we will work hard to achieve your needs.

Collated and Uncollated Prints Can Be Ordered Online. Can You Get a Proof?

Yes. As long as you have your digital files available and can email them, we can present you with a digital proof or a hard proof at your request.