What is the Difference Between Collated and Uncollated?

Three designs. One stack is collated (1,1,1,2,2,2,3,3,3) and the other uncollated (1,2,3,1,2,3,1,2,3)

Most people have projects they want to receive a certain way. Understanding the difference between collated and uncollated is essential for any project coming out exactly how you want it to.

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What does “collated vs. uncollated” mean?

In order to better understand the difference between “collated vs. uncollated”, it’s important to know what “collated” means.

The literal definition of “collated” is: collected and combined (texts, information, or sets of figures) in proper order. When used by a printer, this means that the file has multiple pages that need to printed in the exact order of the file. Uncollated means that the file’s pages will be printed separately.

The difference between collated (1,2,3,1,2,3,1,2,3) and uncollated (1,1,1,2,2,2,3,3,3) sheets
Collated versus uncollated sheets

Let’s say that you have 3 page file and you would like to print 5 copies of each. If you ordered this 3 page file as collated, the file would print 5 times in the order of the file (1,2,3,1,2,3,1,2,3). However, if you ordered as uncollated then all 5 sets of each page will print together (1,1,1,2,2,2,3,3,3).

What types of products are collated and uncollated?

For the most part, the two products that generally fall into the category of collated and uncollated are color copies and posters. There are many reasons why you would want your color copies collated or mini posters uncollated.

People want copies collated when they’re handing out complete “packets” of information to people. For example, when you need to give each student one copy of each flyer. They need them uncollated if different copies will be handed out to different people. Like when you have three stacks of forms on the counter, a person will grab the one that applies to them.

You probably don’t know this since it’s an automatic procedure, but all booklets are printed collated. This allows for easy assembly when binding the sheets together. If the book printing was uncollated, the print company would need to manually put the sheets in proper order before binding.

What will you printing collated or uncollated?

Whether you’re looking for collated or uncollated  color copies, black and white copies or mini posters, Printivity is your one stop resource for all things printed!

Order your collated and uncollated printing online through Printivity on our color copies page. We have a fantastic customer service team ready to answer any questions you might have.


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