How to Collate

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Collating is arranging a number of pages in a specific order, such as in books or reports. Collating can often be done automatically by copier machines, usually by pressing the "collate" button or choosing "collate" from the digital menu. However, it is sometimes necessary to collate a project by hand. Collating projects can be high volume, that is, a large number of finished products, or limited to several copies of a project. By following a consistent sequence, you can make both large and small collating projects become fairly simple and reliable tasks.

Lay out your stacks of pages face up on the counter or table space. Be sure to lay the pages out in reverse order; that is, the last page should be the first stack in your row.

Pick up one page from each stack moving along the row, placing the new page on top of the ones already in your hand. Remember, the last page of the project should be the first page in your hand, and the first page of the project should be added to the pile in your hand last.

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When you have put the final page in your hand (which will be page one) place the collated pile at the end of your row of stacks, far enough away that the pages don't mix together with the last stack.

Place the next completed pile on top of the first pile in the opposite direction. That is, one should lay vertically and one horizontally.

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Place each subsequent pile of collated projects either vertically or horizontally, whichever is opposite of the previous pile. Repeat these steps until your collating project is complete.


  • Keeping your stacks neat will make collating smoother.