While printing a document, collate printing is a technique where pages are printed in the same sequence as they are read. If you have 5 copies of a 100-page long document, then you have two options for printing. You can either choose the collate option or the non-collate option.
In the collate printing, you complete all the pages from 1 to 100 of the first copy before proceeding with the next 4 copies of 100 pages.
In non-collate printing, you print the first page of all 5 copies and then print the second page.
The word collate means a group text held together in a logical order. It has various applications but if we only talk about printing, then it specifically refers to the automated print setting. Here, collated documents mean sheets getting printed in logical sets. The print jobs which are collated, create sets of documents that are printed in a logical order.
Manual collation of documents can also be done. This used to happen during the days of the printing press. But now with the introduction of advanced technology, we have forgotten that basic printer devices can perform the collate function.
Collate printing should be used when you need multiple copies of a document with several pages, which one needs to read in sequential order. If there are more pages and more copies, then it is very advantageous to use collate printing.
For example, if you have to distribute notes of 60 pages to a class of 40 students, then collate printing is what you need to do. Once you do this, then you will not have to sort the pages once you are done printing. This is helpful because the sheets are grouped in the sets that too in the perfect order. Plus, it is very time saving and does not involve much hassle.
Collate printing is extremely useful and it is a standard function in the home as well as office printers. You may have used collated printing more frequently in comparison to non-collated printing. This is because PDF and MS Word documents generally get printed in collations. There is a default check on collated copies whenever you go for printing documents on your Windows computer.
Collate printing can also be used if you want to print books. Automated collation is considered very effective and efficient for perfect binding. Collate printing is extremely beneficial for businesses. This option is great if you want to print large sets of PDF documents.
This feature is the same on almost every printer. If you wish to do collated printing, then you will have to check the option of collate printing prior to pressing the print button. The option has a symbol that represents 3 pieces of paper, one covering the other forming layers.
Select this option and you will be able to print your documents in sequential order. You can also do collation offline. The offline collation can be done both manually as well as automated.
So, this is what collate mean when we talk about printing.