Adding bleed to InDesign documents

If an image or colour runs off a page in any direction it’s called bleed. We need bleed on a document so that when the guillotine blade cuts the print, it cuts through the excess image and leaves no white edges. We suggest a minimum of 2mm extra on each edge, but you can add more if you like, too much isn’t a problem but no bleed gives everyone a headache.

Please see our ‘how to create a print .pdf with bleed’ document for further information, it’s not exactly bedside reading, but hopefully will be of help if you’re stuck.

If starting a new document, make sure all your options are showing by clicking “Bleed and Slug” at the bottom of the menu.


In the bleed section type in 2mm in the Top, Bottom, Inside and Outside sections.


If you already created your document, it is easy go back to your document settings and add the bleed. Just go to File/Document Setup and look for the bleed and slug options. If they are not showing, just click on “Bleed and Slug”.


Extend your artwork to the edge of the bleed area.


Once you have finished your artwork and saved, then choose the “High Quality Print” option from the “Adobe PDF Presets”.

  • Marks and Bleeds – The only thing that should be selected here is “Use document bleed settings”.

  • Output – Use “Composite CMYK”. All SPOT colours and PMS should be converted to “Process CMYK”.


#InDesign #bleed #print #document

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