Is it possible to use this verb when speaking of printing out, producing a printed copy of a document that has been written on a computer?

(Although "to print out" is usual here.)


  • 2
    "Print up" is generally used in a context that implies more than simply hitting the Print option on a web page. Rather, it implies some degree of preparation, and can be regarded as a shortened form of "make up and print" or some such. Eg, "print up a flier" means to not simply hit "print", but rather to first do the editing and formatting that is required. – Hot Licks Nov 11 '16 at 1:13

I only worked in print and printing for 25 years so what could I know?

In almost all circumstances “print up” or “print out” or any such terms are wholly unnecessary; told by people who know no better, full of seeming meaning but signifying nothing that a simple “print” didn’t cover.

There is a sense in which “print out” means simply “print this/that” but “print up” means “take whatever text and/or graphics we have, turn them into a printable form and then… uh… print it”

Even though that perfectly fits Josh’s Collins and Self-Promoting Musician and Rainbow six definitions it’s rather tenuous; it might be as much hope as customs or practice that led many people to agree…

Yulia, why exactly would you want to use “print up” please?

What in your context would be wrong with either “print” or if you must, “print out”?

(No, Yulia, flyers aren’t usually printed on computer printers but that's because of cost and speed, not technical possibility. "Print up” usually applies to commercial printers, if not specifically to great big printing presses.)

  • Many thanks for your answer. I just wanted to know if it is possible to use "print up" for printing on a computer printer, for printing out. – Yulia Nov 11 '16 at 11:54

Yes, print up is used with the meaning of printing something, but it is mainly an AmE usage:

Print up:

  • In American English, print up means the same as print. [V P n] Community workers here are printing up pamphlets for peace demonstrations. [have/get n V-ed] Hey, I know what, I'll get a bumper sticker printed up.

Collins Dictionary

Print up:

  • to set something in type and print it; to print something by any process. This looks okay to me. Let's print it up now. Print up the final version.

  • to produce something by printing or with a printer: He printed up two copies of the document. She printed some flyers up and distributed them at the meeting.

(McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs).

Other usage examples:

From Self-Promoting Musician:

  • Print up a bunch of flyers with all pertinent information, including contact number. You're competing with a lot of other events so you want your flyer to stand out.

From: Rainbow six:

  • The New York idea is to print up some flyers and pass them out via the NYPD. The local detective is worried there might be a serial killer loose
  • Is print up really a publishing term? I've never seen it heard or used in the context of printing something on a computer printer. - it has always been "print out". – Mick Oct 26 '16 at 7:27
  • @Mick - Yes, it is an AmE usage. – user66974 Oct 26 '16 at 7:37
  • Are flyers usually printed on computer printers? – Yulia Oct 26 '16 at 8:09
  • Note that the Collins excerpt states that it means the same thing as "print", then immediately gives an example that uses it is a different sense. "I'll get a bumper sticker printed up" implies designing the sticker, contacting a printer, and having it printed. This is much different from simply "printing" something on a computer. – Hot Licks Nov 11 '16 at 1:16

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