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To print your design all the way to the edge of the paper without any margins, make a bleed area slightly larger than your finished print size. Then you’ll add print crop marks, which indicate where the paper should be trimmed to fit the document’s finished print size. These crop marks should not be the end of your design. The excess will be trimmed off after it’s printed, and your design will cover the entire page.

(image credit: adobe help)

Set up bleed when you create your document

You can set up the bleed area when you create your document if you know your design will extend to the paper’s edge.

  • When InDesign opens, select Create new.
    At the top, click the Print tab.
  • Choose your preferred measurement units in Preset Details.
    To expand the panel, scroll down and click Bleed and Slug.

In any unit, type a bleed value. Even if your document uses picas or something else, you can type 0.125 in or 3 mm. Set the bleed to the same value on all sides, or use the chain icon to change the top, bottom, inside, and outside settings.

Note Standard bleed values are.125 in (3mm), though some print providers may require a larger bleed area.
In a slug area that typically extends beyond the bleed area, you can include job notes and instructions for your printer. The slug has also been removed.
Some desktop printers can’t print all the way to the edge of the page. You’ll need to start with a document size that’s smaller than your paper size, then trim the document after it’s printed along with crop marks.

image credit: adobe help

Set up bleed at any time

You can always add a bleed area to your document later, or change existing bleed settings.
Select File > Document Setup from the File menu. To expand it, click Bleed and Slug, and then enter your values.

image credit: Adobe help)

Align your artwork to the bleed guides

Place your artwork on the page and position it so its edges align with the bleed guides. Objects snap easily to the guides, so you can be assured your artwork will print correctly.

Preview the printed document

You can see how your artwork will look when printed and trimmed to its final size now that you’ve aligned it to the bleed guides.

Choose Bleed from the drop-down menu after long-pressing on Mode at the bottom of the Tools menu. This unique preview mode shows all of the printing objects within the bleed area, including the bleed. To see how your document will look after trimming, select Preview.

How to Set a Print Bleed in InDesign
image credit: adobe help

Create a PDF that includes bleeds

When it’s time to send your document to the printer, save it as a PDF file to keep track of the bleed and slug information.

Select the Adobe PDF (Print) format from File > Export. Choose the Adobe PDF preset that your printer recommends. Select View PDF after Exporting from the General tab. Select Crop Marks and Use Document Bleed Settings from the Marks and Bleeds menu. If you added any notes to the slug area, select Include Slug Area.

Select Export.

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