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Staples Online Printing & Web Binding

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Cattledog writes:

I'd still rather buy the print version of a rulebook when it gets over 30 or 40 pages.

Otherwise I use my own printer and print out the pages I need minus "fluff".


Revision Log
5 July 2007page first published

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10,393 hits since 5 Jul 2007
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As an update to our previous article on Printing & Binding from PDF, I decided to try Staples new online printing service.

I'll admit that I was pretty skeptical, as a previous attempt with Kinkos online printing service had been a flop. (Their special software failed to work on my computer.)

The Staples online printing center webpage

Fortunately, this experience was more pleasant. I didn't have to download any software - just make selections on a webpage, then click a button to upload my PDF file.

The particular rulebook I selected has a lot of highlighted text in blue, so I decided to splurge and get color throughout. I also opted for double-sided pages, a clear cover, a black back-cover, and plastic coil binding.

The service then gave me the option of paying for a rush order, or taking regular service... but didn't seem clear on exactly when my order would be ready. (I got the impression that it would be the next day.)

I was also given the price for my order: $33.37 USD. (Expensive, those 62 color pages...)

I was surprised when I received an email later that afternoon, saying that my order was ready. That was fast.

Printed rulebook

The final cost was slightly less than the online estimate:

$30.38 USD - color copies
$1.00 USD - other finishing
$31.38 USD total

(I didn't notice until I got home that they messed up on one thing - they printed the pages single-sided instead of double-sided...)

Printed page

As you can see, the printed version faithfully captures the black-and-blue text of the original - and the quality is better than anything my home printer can accomplish, particularly with color pictures. However, I could have ordered a printed copy of the rulebook, including shipping, for only £13.10 GBP!

Web Binding

While I was picking up my book, I had the copy center also bind a rulebook that I'd printed out at home. The beautiful blonde in the blue copy-center uniform was enthusiastic about their new, "more professional looking" web binding - so I gave it a stab. The binding automatically comes with its own clear cover and black back-cover.

Webbound rulebook

The web-binding process is much faster than the coil and wire binding process, which may be why the clerk was so enthusiastic. grin

The binding

The cost worked out to be:

$2.49 USD ¼" cvrbind clas
$1.99 USD web-binding
$4.48 USD total
Won't lie flat

It's a nice binding, but the price is high compared to the alternatives, and I prefer my books to be able to lie flat... so I'll pass on the web-binding next time.