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Let's say you're making a flyer and you want this background color to extend all the way to the edge of the page. Well, if this is an on-screen document, this is only going to be displayed on-screen, then this is fine, just take it to the edge of the page. But in order for this to work in print, you have to actually extend it pass the edge of the page onto the pasteboard. Here's why? Let's say it reaches just to the edge of the page, when it ends up on a printing press the paper might move just a tiny amount, but you'd end up with a white sliver down one side. So to compensate, printers want you to extend the object off the page onto the pasteboard.
This is called a bleed, they print the whole thing on a larger sheet of paper and then they trim it down to where the edge should be. So I'm going to select this object and drag it out pass the edge of the page, but how far pass the edge do I want to go? Well, in order to do this it's useful to have guides and InDesign has Bleed guides built in. To get them, you go to the File menu, choose Document Setup and make sure that More Options is turned on, when it is turned on, you'll see Bleed and Slug at the bottom of this dialog box, and I can add a bleed to this.
Most printers want about between 9 and 18 points, but I'm going to leave this at 9 points and I'm going to make sure this button is turned on, this link icon, so that the bleeds on all four sides are set to the same amount. Now the amount that you should choose, whether it is 9 points or something larger is up to your printer, talk to your printer to get exactly how much they want. While I'm here, I'm also going to add a little bit of a slug, I'll make sure this is turned off, so I can change each of these independently and I'm going to make this something large, may be at 36 points slug here at the top of my page, and I'll show you what that means.
These are just guides, so I'll click OK and you'll see that suddenly I have these red guides around the edge of the page. The red guides are Bleed guides, and if I scroll down slightly by holding down the Option+Spacebar or Alt+Spacebar keyboard shortcut, you can see that there's a blue guide that goes pass the edge of the page. These blue guides are slug guides and a slug guide with a slug area is a good place to put information that you want printed out, but you don't want it on your final trimmed piece. I don't want these notes on my final piece, but I may want my printer to see them.
The red guides are going to tell me how far off the edge of the page I want my objects to bleed. So all I need to do is resize this object to snap to that guide, same thing with this pink box, snap it up to that guide. I'll scroll down and I'm going to snap the lower parts of this as well, see if I can get that image properly, there we go, and then snap it to the guide and this image too; this graphic of this photographer needs to snap down as well. I'll press Command+Option+0 or Ctrl+Alt+0 to see the whole spread, I'll click out here to deselect everything, and I can see that now all of my objects are bleeding off. Oh! I missed one, I missed one, off on the side, make sure all of them bleed off, there we go.
Now they're all bleeding off the side of the edge. If you want to see the final product, that is what the page is going to look like after it's trimmed down, remember the Preview mode. You can press the W key to go into Preview mode and you can see that all that stuff that was bleeding off is actually cropped out now. Press W again and you can see the original all the way out to the Bleed guides. Now I'll be talking my printing and exporting PDFs in a later chapter, but I have to tell you this right now, because it pertains to bleeding. If you're going to be bleeding objects off the page, you must turn on a setting inside the Print dialog box or the Export dialog box.
I'm going to open the Print dialog box with the Command+P or Ctrl+P, and I'm going to go to the Marks and Bleed setting. This is the same thing in both printing and exporting PDFs, you have to turn on Use Document Bleed Settings. If you don't turn that on, then it will crop them off at the edge of the page. So turn this on in order for those objects to bleed out, both in the print or a PDF. Ultimately, when you're bleeding objects off of the page, you must talk with your printer first to make sure they're set up to Print Bleeds and also to find out how large the bleed should be, otherwise you may not get the results you expect.
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