Book Printing: 5 Ways to make Manuals and Handbooks More User-Friendly

Many businesses and organizations print manuals and handbooks to provide guidance on a variety of topics. Common examples include the following:

  • Training and Instruction Manuals
  • Repair, Maintenance and Technical Manuals
  • Equipment, Assembly and Operator Handbooks
  • Employee and Company Handbooks
  • Policy and Procedure Manuals
  • Reference Manuals

Because manuals and handbooks are designed to instruct the user on a particular subject, they generally see frequent use. Hence, it is important that books of this nature be convenient to use.

Below are five ways to make manuals and handbooks more user-friendly…

1) Use Spiral Binding – unlike other binding styles, the spiral binding method allows a book to lie completely flat in the open position, thus permitting both hands to remain free while the user refers to the manual. A spiral bound book can also fold all the way back upon itself, providing easy reference while taking up minimal room on a desk or table.

2) Add Tabs for Quick Indexing – die-cut index tabs provide a simple way to organize a manual or handbook into logical sections. Custom-printed tabs extend beyond the text pages to provide a concise label for each section, allowing the user to quickly locate specific topics within the book.

3) Consider an Oversized Cover to Protect the Tabs – if you elect to add tabs, it is recommended that the front and back covers of the book be made larger so that they extend over the tabs. This will help protect the tab extensions from becoming bent or creased.

4) Put Pockets on the Inside Cover – any manual or handbook can have a pocket fabricated on the inside front or back cover (or both). Pockets provide a convenient way to store and organize any supplemental documents that may be of benefit to the user, such as worksheets, diagrams, sketches, and so forth.

5) Include Extra Pages for Handwritten Notes – many people like to make notes in their manuals and handbooks, especially as they are learning new tasks or procedures. In most cases, adding several blank pages at the back (or front) of a manual or handbook is relatively inexpensive and easy to do.

Whatever type of manual, handbook, guide or reference book your business or organization may need, give Formax Printing Solutions a call at 866-367-6221. If you already know your specs, click here to submit our easy quote form. We look forward to assisting with your next print project!

Take care!  Keith

About the Author

Keith Beaty is the owner of Formax Printing Solutions in St. Louis, MO. Formax provides a complete array of offset and digital printing services. Specialty areas include full-color printing, all types of softcover books, laminated printing, plus fulfillment and mailing services. If you ever have a printing question or project you would like to discuss, Keith is always happy to help. He can be reached at 314-434-5500 or 866-367-6221. Keith and Formax have been providing worry-free printing and related services for over 30 years.

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