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Often, when setting up artwork, you need to create Crop Marks. You can either draw these manually, or you can apply an effect that appears inside of Illustrator. For example, if I zoom in a little bit closer on this artboard right over here, I can select one of these elements, go to the Effect menu and choose Crop Marks. The nice thing about working with an effect is that as I move my artwork around, the Crop Marks move with it. Likewise, if I resize or an edit my artwork itself, the Crop Marks will update to reflect that change as well. However, many designers, production artists and even printers are very particular about how those Crop Marks appear in your document.
For example, these Crop Marks are pretty big. The only way for you to make any edits or changes to these, since this applied as an appearance or an effect, is to go to the Object menu and choose Expand Appearance. However, now in Illustrator CS5, Adobe has given us a Trim Marks command, which makes it easy to apply these marks and also edit them immediately. I'm going to press Undo to remove that effect, and I'll now go to the Object menu and choose Create Trim Marks. The appearance is virtually the same, although as you can see right now, I can select each of these and move them around or make any adjustments that I'd like to them.
Likewise, I can press Undo, select a whole range of objects and apply the exact same Trim Marks to those as well. If you know you want to change the appearance of those Trim Marks, it can be easier to apply this command instead of first applying the Crop Marks Effect and then expanding its appearance. As with so many other things inside of Illustrator, there are often many ways to accomplish the same task. The new Trim Marks command, in Illustrator CS5, is one such example.
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