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Let's say you are laying out this flier and you want this green background color to extend all the way to the edge of the page. Well, here is the thing. In order to make this print all the way to the edge of the page, you have to actually extend it past the edge of the page onto the pasteboard. Here is 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 if it happened, you would end up with a white sliver down one side of the page. So to compensate printers want you to extend the whole object off the page out on to 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 of the page really should be.
But how far off the edge of the page should you extend these objects? It would be helpful if we had Bleed guides. Well, you can get those Bleed guides by going to the File menu and choosing Document Setup. If you don't see the Bleed and Slug area at the bottom of the Document Setup dialog box, just click on the More Options button. Right now, I am going to set this up with a 1p6 Bleed, and I want to set it on all four sides, so I will click the Link button over here. 1p6 is about a quarter of an inch, and that's a pretty reliable amount for a Bleed. I will click OK, and we can see that we now have a red set of Bleed guides around the page. I am going to stretch out this object so that they go all the way to the Bleed guides. There we go.
The problem with bleeding things off the edge of the page is that you don't get an accurate preview of what the final trimmed version is going to look like. Fortunately, InDesign has a Preview Mode that we have talked about in the InDesign Essential Training Title, and we can go into Preview Mode by choosing it from the Application Bar up here, or just by pressing the W key. Now we see the final version trimmed down to the edge of the page. Looks pretty good. We will come out of the Preview Mode by pressing W and we see the whole thing, including the Bleed guides. Once you have laid out your documents with all your Bleeds and you want to send it to your print provider, you go to the File menu, choose Export, click Save, and in the Export Adobe PDF dialog box you want to set up your Marks and Bleeds pane properly.
Here I am going to set up Crop Marks and Registration Marks and so on, but the important thing is to turn on Use Document Bleed Settings. If you don't turn that on then the settings that you chose for your Bleed guys are not sucked up here into this area, and it will actually trim it down, so all your Bleeds are lost. So that's a problem. So either turn this on, or you can type them in yourself, but I just think it's faster just to turn that checkbox on. Let's go ahead and make my PDF. I am going to export it so I can view it immediately after seeing it. I will click Export. It will write the PDF to disk. Now when it opens in Acrobat I can see that I get the objects bleeding all the way off, past the trim marks, just the way I want. Whenever you are bleeding objects off the page you should talk to your printer to make sure they are setup 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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