Correct Way to Staple Documents

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Staples are an efficient and effective method of fastening papers together. Properly stapling a document means the papers not only stay together but also make it easy for readers to navigate through various pages without accidentally ripping page corners. Correctly stapling documents depends on the layout format and the type of stapler.

Location of the Staple

Take a moment to align the stack of papers by tapping the stack on a flat surface. All paper edges should be aligned without any corners protruding from the stack. The traditionally accepted location of the staple is the top left corner. The staple should be at a 45-degree angle from the top edge of the paper and slightly in from the edges. Make sure both staple sides are on the paper and not floating off. If the staple is too far in from the edges of the paper, internal pages are difficult to read. Staples too close to an edge create problems when turning pages.

Determine How Many Pages

There are different types of staplers, ranging from simple desk staplers to industrial staplers. Many advanced copiers also have a stapling function. A standard desk stapler usually can staple up to 20 sheets of standard gauge paper stock. Industrial staplers might be able to staple up to 160 or more sheets of paper. Look up the make and model of your stapler online to determine the maximum number of paper sheets. Trying to staple more paper than your stapler is designed to fasten causes staples to clog in the stapler or not go all the way through the document.

Horizontal or Vertical

There are times where documents print horizontally rather than vertically. If the document is primarily vertical with graphs or charts printed horizontally, make sure the horizontal pages are aligned properly. When looking at the picture horizontally, the top right corner is stapled.

Double Staple

There are times when a document is meant to open more like a book. In this case, position two staples parallel to the left margin and no more than a half-inch from the edge of the paper. Position the two staples equally from the top and bottom paper edges and in line with each other.

Copiers With Staple Function

Copiers with a staple function make collating and stapling big projects easy. Take the time to prepare the machine ahead of time to prevent extra work because you missed a step. Double-check that the staple tray is loaded with the correct staples. Check the user's manual to see how many pages the copier can staple at once. Choose to collate documents for stapling. User options usually include one staple or two. Once you set your machine properly, the copier prints, collates and staples everything for you.

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About the Author

With more than 15 years of professional writing experience, Kimberlee finds it fun to take technical mumbo-jumbo and make it fun! Her first career was in financial services and insurance.