What Is Collate Printing and Is it Cost-Effective?

sorting through pile of files

All businesses want an efficient and cost-effective way to operate. Printing and printer supplies can strain many small business budgets, but collate printing may be able to help. 

What is Collate Printing?

Collate printing is a term used when printing more than one multi-page document. It refers to printing sheets pre-assembled or arranged as a set. Rather than printing out all the copies of one page and then all subsequent copies, an entire document prints as a whole before the next document prints. This method ensures all pages are in the correct order. 

Why Should I Print Collated Documents?

If you are printing documents to distribute between employees or clients for a conference or seminar, it is vital to have all pages present and in the right sequence. Collate printing minimizes the labor involved in sorting and organizing documents after printing.

Collate printing is commonly used for color copies and publications that need to be bound, such as brochures, booklets and magazines. 

stacks of clipped paperwork

Is Collate Printing Cost-Effective?

Printing supplies can make a significant dent in a budget, especially if you rely heavily on paper-based communication. Many businesses try to save money on office supplies using remanufactured cartridges, recycled paper and low-resolution printing. However, collate printing can provide you with an efficient means of printing documents to save your company time and money.

Instead of spending hours sorting and stacking sheets in the right order, collate printing produces a complete and final document. It effectively eliminates any labor needed to organize a document. Plus, without the added labor cost of assembling materials, employees can work on a more productive task. 

If you frequently print a high volume of collated documents, consider switching to a laser printer that uses printer toner rather than ink. Ink cartridges yield up to 1,000 pages, but a toner cartridge produces between 2,000-10,000 pages without compromising print quality.

Combine collate printing with duplex printing (double-sided printing) for a cost-effective publication method that’s also environmentally friendly.

How to Collate Documents on Your Printer

A proper printer setup is a vital part of every remote office. Fortunately, it’s just as simple to collate documents from home as it is from the office.

After selecting the print function on your computer, a collating option box allows you to select the number of copies, paper size, resolution, and other printing options. Select the collating box before initiating the printing process. You may need to open advanced printer settings if the collating option is not immediately visible. 

Some printers have an offline collating option available. Other models collate and bind documents, so they are completely ready for publication and distribution straight from the output tray.

Tips for Collate Printing

While collating small batches is relatively simple, large runs and frequent use require an in-depth understanding of the printing process. Here are some professional tips and tricks to ensure your document prints correctly every time.

  • Determine the Best Print Function

Some documents are unsuitable for collated printing, such as posters, flyers and foldable brochures. If you need to print documents with different information in each packet, collating them may not be your best option. 

  • Choose the Right Layout

You can collate documents in various configurations, from standard flat page printing to folded pages ideal for soft bookbinding. To ensure all your information and images are visible after printing, you need to have the right layout.

Make sure you’ve numbered each page of the document clearly and set the margins correctly. Preview the layout of the document make sure it is visually appealing and stays within the margins. Keeping an eye on the margins is especially important when binding pages.  

  • Use the Right Printer and Ink

If you frequently print collated documents, you might ask: what is the best printer with the cheapest printer ink? The quality of your pages relates directly to the quality of your printer and ink. Look for a printer that uses high-yield ink cartridges, such as the HP Inkjet Pro series. You can easily refill eco-cartridges that connect directly to the printer head, such as the Epson Expression.

Consider investing in an industrial printer that can efficiently achieve consistent print quality for large offices or frequent use. 

printer retrieving piece of paper

The Bottom Line

Printing files as a whole packet rather than separate pages can limit time on unnecessary document organization. However, it is important to have the right printing supplies and ink cartridges to ensure high-quality prints. 

InkJet Superstore has the largest selection of remanufactured ink cartridges for a wide range of printer makes and models. If you have any questions after browsing our online catalog, we’d love to hear from you. Please contact our customer support staff at (888) 745-4316 or via live web chat for help finding the right printer solutions for your home or business.