Set Up Bleed in InDesign Document

When sending a document off for professional printing it will typically be printed on a larger page and then trimmed down. Even the slightest misalignment during trimming would result in a sliver of white running along the edge of the document where graphics or images should have reached that edge. To prevent this from happening, bleed was introduced into the design/printing process.

When added to a document, bleed adds a small region outside the document. During the design stage, any graphics that reach the edge of the page should be extended to the edge of the bleed. After printing, the document will be trimmed, thus removing the bleed.

Typical bleed sizes…
– 0.125inch (one eighth)
– 3mm
Be sure to check with the printer what bleed size they require.

Within InDesign the bleed can be added at the time of document creation. It can also added if forgotten, or edited after creation, from the Document Setup option within the File menu.

The bleed can be previewed or hidden by changing the Screen Mode. The Normal and Preview modes can be access via the bottom of the Tools panel or toggled between one another by pressing the W key.

When exporting out a PDF from InDesign for professional printing it is imperative that the bleed be included. If using PDF presets the bleed may not be automatically included. Within the Marks and Bleeds section of the Export Adobe PDF dialog box ensure that the Use Document Bleed Settings is selected.

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