Whether you’re willing to print an art catalogue, a photo album or a recipe book, you’ll probably need to know what bleed is, and how to properly create it. Here are some tips to follow when preparing your print files in Adobe InDesign.

What is bleed?

Bleed is the section of artwork that goes beyond where the paper is cut: in other words, it is additional material that will be printed on the outside of the finished format.

When do I need to add bleed?

Whenever an element (text, image, photo, color background, etc.) needs to be printed up to the page’s edge (on the cover layout as well as on the interior layout of your book).

Bleed on a cover file

Why do I need to add bleed?

To ensure that elements are printed to the page’s edge, and to avoid having white unprinted areas appear near the page’s edge.

How to set up bleed in an InDesign file?

1. When creating your new file, specify in the Bleed and Slug settings 0.125 in at the TOP, BOTTOM, LEFT and RIGHT.

Setting up bleed in Adobe InDesign

2. Always bear in mind when creating your design that the image or background needs to be at least 0.125 inches larger than the printing area.
The red square around the document (at 0’59” in our video tutorial below) represents how far the bleed must extend.

3. When your masterpiece is ready, make sure you include bleed in your exported file. Do this by going to the Marks and Bleeds section, and ticking the Crop Marks box.

4. Congratulations! You have created a PDF with perfect bleed.

Video tutorial

Rapido's Resources

Discover all our video tutorials to help you create your next book:

  • How to Create a Barcode?
  • How to Set Up Bleed in InDesign?
  • How to Create a Paperback Book Cover in InDesign?
  • How to Create a Hardback Book Cover?