What is looseleaf publishing

Looseleaf publishing minimizes the number of replacement pages required to update one release of a publication to the next. Instead of re-issuing the page set for the entire publication, a looseleaf update pack only includes replacements for those pages that have been recently added or updated. This can lead to a substantial reduction in printing and distribution costs because the size of an update pack is typically much smaller than a reprint of the entire publication.

To help the end-user update a printed looseleaf publication from one release to the next, a set of filing instructions is usually included. Filing instructions tell the user which pages should be removed, and where the update pages should be inserted. To facilitate the updating process, the printed publication often takes the form of one or more ring binders which can be opened at any point to allow the insertion or removal of individual leaves. Hence the name loose-leaf.

Looseleaf documents have a place in the world of electronic publishing when corporations and government regulatory authorities are required by law to ensure that their published content identifies the currency of each page. This is usually done by including a release specific label on each page and by providing a list of effective pages.