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Printing Lingo: What is Perforating?

In the commercial printing industry, Perforating refers to a procedure that creates a series of small punctures in paper or cardstock, usually along a straight line, to allow a portion of the printed piece to be easily detached by hand.

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A line of holes or slits can be perforated through paper or cardstock to allow sections of the document to be easily separated
These punctures, called perforations, reduce the tear strength of the paper so that it can be pulled apart cleanly without the use of scissors or other cutting device. Depending on the project, the perforations might be created as small round holes or they might be created as tiny slits.

The size of each perforated hole or slit, and the spacing between them, is what determines the amount of effort needed to separate the paper along the perforation. Some applications require a perforation that pulls apart effortlessly (known as a micro perf). Other applications require a perforation that takes more force to separate (known as a macro perf).

Perforations improve the function and practicality of a printed piece. Adding a vertical and/or horizontal row of perforations allows one or more sections to be separated quickly and precisely from the main document.

For example, bound documents such as workbooks, notebooks, checkbooks and multi-part forms often have pages that can be removed neatly along a perforated line.

Printed matter that includes a removable stub, such as inventory tags, repair tags, inspection tags, claim checks, door hangers and similar items use a perforation to make the tear-off portion easier to detach.

In addition, labels and raffle tickets - whether on a sheet or a roll - are frequently perforated to allow quick and easy separation into individual pieces. Likewise, coupons, response cards, and remittance slips are almost always perforated for convenient removal.

If you have an upcoming print project that will require perforating, give Formax Printing a call at 866-367-6221. Or, if you already know your specs, click here to submit our quote request form. As always, we look forward to assisting with your printing and finishing needs!

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 book printing, full-color printing, laminated printing, map printing, plus 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 866-367-6221. Keith and Formax have been providing worry-free printing and related services since 1985.

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