Questions? Call us. 480-969-4888

Questions? Call us. 480-969-4888

Training Manuals: Print versus Digital

If you are preparing or upgrading your training manual, you probably think you should decide whether to do a print manual or a digital training manual. But we have a strong argument for why you may not need to make that choice at all! When printing training manuals, you can supplement them with digital training. Let’s explore.

Why Is Print Better Than Digital?

Print is better than digital because you are not reliant on electronics and your trainees can take their print training manual with them as they learn on the job. You have probably seen the training formula of 70/20/10 where the conventional wisdom says 10% of learning comes from formal education, 20% from interactions with peers and the bulk, 70% of learning comes from on the job . Print allows the answers to be right at your trainee’s fingertips.

Studies have shown over and over again that print engages a reader more because it is a tactile experience in addition to a visual one. It is easier to get immersed in the material so more complex information is easier to focus on and absorb.

This means print is also better for reading comprehension for most readers, and for deep processing. Trainers definitely want their trainee’s to be processing, not skimming. We’ll go more in depth on that a little later in this article, but that's another benefit to printing training manuals. 

Why Is Digital Better Than Print?

One reason digital is better than print is because we are now more accustomed to reading digitally. Many learners enjoy the richness of being able to explore at the touch of a finger. It can be easier for some trainees to quickly find material they need using a search feature or to dive deeper into a subject at the click of a button.

Speaking of that richness, digital training can allow for demonstration of the training materials using videos, audio clips, and animations. You can add features, like having a “definition” popup for words they need to learn, or have quick quizzes pop up keep the trainee engaged.

Digital training manuals can also be on different platforms according to your need. You can make it available on computers, cell phones, or tablets. If it contains proprietary information you can restrict access and monitor usage.

Finally, with Digital products you can add analytics to explore how the trainees are using the materials so you can see what could be clarified, or what is a particularly effective portion of the training materials. Of course, with print products, you can accomplish this same goal by simply requesting feedback from your trainees.

How Is Reading Different With Digital Vs. Print?

Reading on a digital device tends to encourage skimming rather than deep reading. It is efficient, but doesn’t encourage deep connection to the material or facilitate comprehension the way reading print does. 

On a more physical level, digital reading is also hard on the eyes and eye strain can cause headaches or discomfort, which is not conducive to learning. 

3 Reasons To Combine Print And Digital

So here is where we come to the logical conclusion that both print and digital together are the perfect combination. Here are 3 reasons they are better together

  1. Flexibility: Using a combination of print and digital gives the flexibility to change, secure and enhance materials with the deep learning possible with print.
  2. Maximize Efforts: Having both available means you maximize your training because those learners who thrive with print and those who thrive with digital are both served well and can excel.
  3. Better Retention: With a combination of digital and print materials you can have a group work by projecting onto a large screen and each trainee can have their own print copy of the training to dive deeper, get focused without distraction, and truly absorb your important training materials.

Take Your Training Manuals to the Next Level

Contact an excellent print company, like us here at Avante Print Center, right away to begin creating your highly effective, highly engaging training manual. We can bring your vision to life, creating exciting print materials to complement digital training, or to stand alone and provide the deep learning your company needs to be competitive and get trainees up to par rapidly. Call us at 480-969-4888 or visit


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