DIY Guide - Binding Your Own Training Manuals
Training manuals can be beneficial, and they have several different uses. You can use them for educational purposes in school, and for informational purposes on the job. You can also use them for fun, such as learning a musical instrument or artistic technique. Many businesses and organizations have begun preparing and binding their training manuals in-house to save money. The good news is it's easy to do with the right equipment. Here is a step-by-step guide to binding your training manuals:
Writing, Editing, Layout, and Printing
Write your training manual first. Keep your instructions concise and easy to read. You'll probably want a manager to proof the copy to ensure the instructions meet the company standards. When you're ready to edit the document, please make sure a couple of people have had a look at it. (Multiple pairs of eyes will find typos and grammatical errors easily.) Finally, you will need to layout your pages. It's best to print a copy on both sides of the page to save paper. If you are using a half-letter form (5.5″ x 8.5″), you will essentially be able to print four pages of text on one sheet.
Select a Cover
Your training manuals will require covers. You can use Clear or Frosted, Paper or Imitation Leather Report covers, covers embossed with foils, and even ones with windows cut into them. Putting your organization's name or logo on them is a good idea, so people will know the manuals contain proprietary information.
Select a Binding Method
There are many ways to bind your training manuals. Here are three that are worth considering:
- Comb binding is quick, easy, and inexpensive. Combs can bind books that are up to 400 sheets of 20lb bond long and come in many different colors. Most combs are 11″ long, so they're fit for letter-sized documents. Some combs are 14” and are meant for legal sized documents. You can also get combs cut down to any size you want.
- Coil binding is an excellent selection because it allows the document to lie flat for easy reading and photocopying. Also, coils offer a rainbow of colors, and they're suitable for documents up to 375 sheets long. As with comb binding, you can get these coils cut down to any size although 12” is the most common (for binding 11” books). You can also order 36” and cut them down in house. You will also need a pair of crimping pliers to trim and crimp the ends of the coil when you're done and secure the binding.
- Wire binding is something to choose as an elegant look for your training manuals. Wire spines are available in both 3: 1 and 2:1 pitches (the number of holes punched per square inch) and binding books up to 230 sheets long. Online you will find 11” Wire-O length. As with the other types of bindings, you can get any size length needed.
Now that you’ve chosen your binding method, it’s time to get to work. Just follow these instructions:
- Comb binding: punch holes in your document with your binding machine. (if necessary, be sure to disengage any dies.) Use the comb opener to open a comb and stack your pages on the comb's tines. Close the comb and remove the book from the machine.
- Coil binding: disengage the dies (if applicable) and punch holes in the document. Manually insert the coils through the first couple of holes of the document. Spin a coil through the remaining holes. Hold your crimping pliers; ensure the red dot is visible. Trim and twist one end of the coil over the other, then flip the book over and crimp the other side.
- Wire binding: Punch holes in your pages and place a wire spine on the closer part of your binding machine. Slide the tines of the spine through the gaps in your document and close the spine.
Distribute your Training Manuals
Your manuals are printed and bound. Now distribute them as necessary.
That, in a nutshell, is how you can bind your training manuals. Binding them in house helps you save money and hold further control over how your manuals are made. All that’s left to do is congratulate yourself on a job well done!