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What is Collating in Printing?

As with every industry there are terms you need to be familiar with. To have a greater understanding of printing collating is a term you need to know. Collated printing refers to the process of assembling a set of print pages in a specific order. The purpose of collating is to make sure the pages of the document are in the correct sequence and that each copy of the final document is identical.

Collating Clarified

Collating in printing creates consistency. This means that each copy is printed in full and in the correct order, without the need for manual sorting. For example, the printer might print pages 1-10 for the first copy, followed by pages 1-10 for the second copy, and then pages 1-10 for the third copy and so forth. This ensures that each copy is complete and in the correct order, without the need for manual sorting.

This image shows examples of collated and non-collated documents in printing.This ensures that each copy is complete and in the correct order, without the need for manual sorting. Non collated prints every page of the same number in a stack which means the document must be sorted manually.
Examples of collated and non-collated documents.

However, without collating, if you are printing a 10-page document and you need to print three copies, the printer will print all 10 pages of the document three times. The result will be three stacks of 10 pages, with each stack having the same page content. Collating simplifies this process by instructing the printer to print the pages in the correct order for the entirety of each document.

Why is Imposition Software Important to Collating in Printing?

Imposition software helps to automate the collating process, saving time and reducing the risk factor of human errors. It also helps reduce the amount of paper waste generated. As a result of arranging the pages this way it minimizes the number of press runs to complete the project. Any time you can save on waste is a win for the bottom line.

Print operator setting up a document for printing. Using the collate option on the printer will provide a complete document without the need for sorting.
Collating is a setting offered by most printers.

Imposition software is an essential tool in the printing industry as it allows for efficient and accurate layout of pages for printing via the software commands. Without imposition software, printers would need to manually arrange pages and make calculations for each print job. This is time-consuming and open to error. Imposition software streamlines the process and ensures the final printed product is accurate and of consistent quality.

Overall, imposition software is an important consideration for anyone responsible for accurately collating documents. It plays a critical role in the printing industry by enabling efficient and accurate printing that meets the needs of customers and businesses.

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