How To Add Crops & Bleed

You will be asked to provide your artwork with ‘crops and bleed’ for us to print it correctly. This basically means that when you send a print ready file to us, an extra 3mm (or 5mm for large format designs) of colour or image is provided around the edge of your artwork (the ‘bleed’) and cutting markers (the crop marks) placed at each corner to show where the final piece should be cut down.

Your final print ready pdf should look like the example on the right.

Note: the image / coloured area extends (the bleed) beyond the cutting marks (the crops) on all sides as shown by the red circles.

You can read how to add Crops and Bleed in the most common desktop programs below or read/download our How To Guide by clicking here.

How to add Crops and Bleed in Adobe InDesign (if you are starting a new design)

Adding bleed on a new document

Step One

When you create a new document (File > New > Document), the pop-up window has a selector for “Bleed & Slug” at the bottom.  Make this 3mm (or 5mm) and click “OK”.

Red line indicates required bleed

Step Two

See that red line around the edge of your new document? That’s your guide and reminder of the 3mm allowance for bleed.

Bleed content boxes off the edge of the page

Step Three

When you add something that goes over the edge of the final printed page, make sure that your content block meets or goes beyond the red line.

Create a print ready document

Step Four

Create a print ready file (File > Adobe PDF Presets > [Press Quality]). Name your file and choose the file location as usual.

Pages with crops and bleed allow for imposing by your printer

Step Five

Select “Pages” rather than “Spreads” as this allows your printer to impose the files correctly.

Use document bleed settings and check crop marks

Step Six

Click on “Marks and Bleed” on the left of the panel.  Check the box for “Crop Marks” and check the box for “Use Document Bleed Settings”.

How to save a preset for crops and bleed

Step Seven

Click “Save Preset” and give it a name (e.g. Print Ready w/ Crops & Bleed) so you can create a print ready PDF with one click next time!

Create a print ready PDF

Step Eight

Click “Export” and you’re done!

How to add Crops and Bleed in Adobe InDesign (in a piece that’s already set up)

Stretch images to allow for bleed

Step One

OK, so you’ve already created your design but haven’t allowed for crops and bleed. Darn! It’s reasonably easily fixed. First go through your pages and make sure that wherever an image or colour block goes off the edge of the visible page, stretch your content block off the edge of the page a bit and adjust the fitting of the content if required.

Press quality creates a PDF with the right resolution

Step Two

Create a print ready file (File > Adobe PDF Presets > [Press Quality]). Name your file and choose the file location as usual.

Pages rather than spreads make it easier for your printer to impose your document

Step Three

Select “Pages” rather than “Spreads” as this allows your printer to impose the files correctly.

Check box for crop marks and add bleed on all sides

Step Four

Click on “Marks and Bleed” on the left of the panel.  Check the box for “Crop Marks” and then go to the Bleed settings at the bottom and make these all 3mm (or 5mm).

Create a print ready PDF

Step Five

Click “Export” and you’re done!

How to add Crops and Bleed in Adobe Illustrator

Step One

Create a print ready file (File > Save As…).

Step Two

Name your file and choose the file location as usual. Select Format “Adobe PDF (pdf)”.

Step Three

Select Adobe PDF Preset “[Press Quality]”.

Step Four

Click on “Marks and Bleed” on the left of the panel. Check the box for “Trim Marks” and then go to the Bleed settings at the bottom and select “Use Document Bleed Settings” if you set these up…

Step Five

Or… If you haven’t /don’t set your artboard up with bleed*, uncheck box for “Use Document Bleed Settings” and make these all 3mm (or 5mm).

Step Six

Click “Save PDF” and you’re done!

How to add Crops and Bleed in QuarkXPress

Step One

First go through your pages and make sure that wherever an image or colour block goes off the edge of the visible page, stretch your content block off the edge of the page a bit and adjust the fitting of the content if required.

Step Two

Select File > Export as PDF.

Step Three

Name your file and folder location as usual. Click on Options.

Step Four

Click on “PDF Style” and select “Press – High Quality/High Resolution”. Click on the “Compresson” tab and check the resolutions are 300 / 300 / 1200dpi respectively.

Step Five

Click on the “Marks” tab from the left hand menu and select “centred”.

Step Six

Click on the “Bleed” tab and select “Symmetric” under Bleed Type. Set the bleed at 3mm (or 5mm) on all sides. and then click “OK”.

Step Seven

Click “Save” and you’re done!

 

How to add Crops and Bleed in Other Programs

Whilst we don’t recommend the use of the following programs to create artwork specifically for print, we understand that it is sometimes necessary and it’s not impossible to do, its just that the results can vary so we strongly recommend that you carefully check the PDF proof we send back to you for approval.

Microsoft Publisher

  1. Open Page Setup dialogue box.  Go to Page Design > Size > Page Setup
  2. Under page enter the dimensions required for your document – add 3mm on all sides e.g. A4 Portrait would be 303mm x 216mm
  3. Adjust the content of your document to cover the full page area being careful nothing slips into the imaginary 3mm margin.
  4. Go to File > Print  and Select PDF as your printer
  5. Click Advanced Output Settings, and then click the Marks and Bleeds tab.
  6. Select the “Crop marks” and “Allow bleeds” check box, and then click OK.
  7. Always request a print proof to review your final product before it goes on the press! If you see white space, your bleed is not correct.

Microsoft Word

MS Word does not allow you to enlarge your document size for bleeds. It is not recommended to use Microsoft Word to create a printing project. However, if you already have done so here is a “work around”…

  1. Allow enough of a margin to accommodate the bleed in your layout
  2. Request that your PDF be printed at 102%.
  3. Always request a print proof to review your final product before it goes on the press! If you see white space, your bleed is not correct.

Microsoft Powerpoint

MS PowerPoint does not support CMYK and the maximum output resolution is 200dpi which works fine for text and things shown on proejctors or screens but not for a document specifically for print purposes. However, if you already have done so here is a “work around”… (note: results can be unpredictable!)

  1. Open Page Setup dialogue box.  Go to Page Design > Size > Page Setup
  2. Under page enter the dimensions required for your document – add 3mm on all sides e.g. A4 Portrait would be 303mm x 216mm
  3. Adjust the content of your document to cover the full page area being careful nothing slips into the imaginary 3mm margin.
  4. Click File > Save & Send. Click Create PDF/XPS Document. Click Create PDF.
  5. Make sure your select ‘Optimize for: Standard (publishing online and printing) and click ‘Publish’.
  6. Always request a print proof to review your final product before it goes on the press! If you see white space, your bleed is not correct.

 

Now you’re ready to send us your print ready artwork and Upload A File! But if you’re still having trouble… contact us and one of our friendly artworkers will try to help you!