Printing: Choose between desktop, copy shop, and commercial printing

Different printing projects can require different printing methods. For example, printing to a desktop printer is inexpensive if you need only a few copies. Because the cost per copy doesn't decrease with the increase in the number of copies on a desktop printer, printing projects that require many copies can be less expensive when done by copy shops such as FedEx Office, or commercial printers.

Besides cost, consider also quality, schedule, paper, and binding and finishing options.

Choose among desktop, copy shop, and commercial printing

Use the following table to help you determine which printing method your publication requires. Also discuss your project with the printing professional in a copy shop or commercial printing service. The services that are offered will vary.

Options Characteristics Desktop Copy shop Commercial
Quantity 1-50 copies x
25-500 copies x
200 or more copies x x
Schedule Need it in minutes x ?
Need it in hours x
Need it in a day or more x
Paper Limited stock, sizes x x
Wide range of sizes, weights, finishes x
Binding, finishing Limited to pre-cut or pre-made labels x x
Simple binding, folding x
Special-purpose inks, such as metallic and varnish ? x
Capabilities vary widely by printer x

More information about printing

For help with printing on your desktop printer, click the relevant links below. For information on preparing your publication to send to a commercial printer, click a link in the See also section.

 Note   Some issues may be specific to the type of desktop printer. For help with those issues, consult the manual for your printer.


Print a publication on a desktop printer

Print envelopes

Print on both sides of a sheet of paper (duplex)

Print different labels, name tags, or business cards on the same sheet

Print labels, postcards, name tags, or business cards to a specific position on a sheet

Create a bleed for your publication

Applies to:
Publisher 2013, Publisher 2010, Publisher 2007