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What Does Collate Mean When Printing? 6 Things to Know

If you print often, the term “collate” may be thrown around in your office frequently. Do we really know what does collate mean when printing? The truth is that collating is a relatively straightforward process.

Collating when printing means assembling multi-page documents in the correct order. This is especially helpful when printing multiple copies of a multiple-paged document. The printer assembles them as printed, saving you from collating them afterward.

what does collate mean when printing

What Does Collate Mean When Printing?

Collating when printing means that multi-page documents are assembled in the correct order as printed.

In contrast, uncollated printing means that the first page of each copy is printed. Then the second page of each copy. These documents will have to be manually collated afterward.

1. What Does it Mean to Collate?

You’re printing out a document and see “collate” as an option. What does this mean?

To collate is to gather printed sheets of paper and arrange them in a specific order. 

In most cases, when you print a document, it prints all of the pages at once. After the first set is printed, the machine will print another set automatically. This process continues until the required number of document sets has been completed.

Collate is usually an option, not a default setting. But if you want to ensure that all of your copies are printed in the correct order, it’s a good idea to collate them.

2. Why Should I Collate My Printing?

Collated printing of more than one document copy helps keep each copy separate and organized.

For example, if you are printing out documents for someone else and want to keep them organized. The same goes for printing out multiple copies of something like an essay or research paper. Having them all in separate piles makes it easier to organize your workspace so that nothing gets lost or mixed up.

Also, by collating your printing job while printing, you can save time sorting through everything afterward since everything will be in order when printed! 

If something goes wrong with the printer or ink cartridge (which happens sometimes), then only having one set of printed pages means you won’t have to start over from scratch.

3. What is Uncollated Printing?

When you want to print several copies of just one or two pages in a document, you might think that collating is your best option. After all, it makes sense if you’re printing multiple copies of an entire document. But this is only sometimes the case.

If what you need is uncollated printing (multiple copies of just a couple of pages), then this may be more useful than collating them together into sets before printing.

Uncollated printing can be beneficial because it lets you print just the pages of interest, instead of having to go through the time and effort of printing an entire document only to pull out the pages you need separately.

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4. What are the Benefits of Collating Print Jobs?

Collating print jobs is a great way to increase efficiency and reduce paper waste. By collating your documents, you’ll be able to effectively organize them efficiently and avoid wasting paper by having multiple copies of the same document. It will also help save money on printing costs.

It also means you may save time by not having to paperclip or attach the pages together if you are printing off an exceptionally large number of collated documents to distribute, such as for a seminar or instructive lecture.

what does collate mean

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5. How Do I Collate on My Printer?

Most printers should be the same whether you use ink or toner cartridges. To collate on your printer, you’ll have to go into the settings.

It is vital to ensure that the collate option is chosen in the dialog box or print preview that displays when you click on the “print document” button to print collated documents. A common visual representation of this concept is a stack of three sheets of paper.

Once you choose this selection, your printer should automatically sort and collate your documents before printing. It is also feasible to complete the process manually or automatically offline.

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6. Automatic vs. Manual Collating

When you are printing, you can either collate your documents automatically or manually. If you have a multifunction printer, you can probably use the “collate” button for the next document copying assignment.

But if you want to switch to card stock, a different color paper, or print on a different paper size in the middle of your document, you might need to start with two additional print runs.

  • One for all the pages you want printed on the first stock
  • Another run for all the pages you want to be printed on the second stock.

Separate print runs of each document type can be automatically collated, but the specialized pages will need to be collated manually into the more extensive document.

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Your Turn

The collate option is a great way to save time. This is because it allows you to print multiple copies of a document or photo at once instead of doing each one individually.

You can find the collate function in most printers. It generally involves selecting the number of pages that need printing together before hitting ‘print’. This will automatically collate the documents and print them out. Collating is a quick and easy way to save time, money, and effort by printing multiple document copies in order.