Commercial printers often ask about bleeds when discussing file prep. How do you make a bleed for your project?
Print projects with bleeds can look professional and well-designed. Knowing how to add a bleed to your file increases your design expertise and saves you time and money when preparing your document for print.
For this tutorial, we work with InDesign, a commonly-used piece of design software.
If You are Making a New Document…
- Open InDesign
- Create a New Document
Creating a new document in InDesign can be done in a couple of different ways:
- Keyboard shortcut Ctrl + N (Windows), or ⌘ + N (Mac OS)
- Go to File > New… > Document
- “Create new…” button in InDesign’s default screen
- Select the Bleed and Get Started
In the New Document window, after selecting your other document specs (units, width, height, etc.) scroll down until you see a drop-down for Bleed and Slug. Click on the arrow next to it to open the window and enter your bleed amounts (your bleed amounts should be the same for all sides). Click the blue “Create” button at the bottom of the window to get started!
If You are Adding Bleeds To an Existing Document…
- Open Your Document in InDesign
Opening a document in InDesign can be done in a couple of different ways:
- Keyboard shortcut Ctrl +O (Windows), or ⌘ + O (Mac OS)
- Go to File > Open…
- Click the “Open…” button in InDesign’s default screen
- Open the Document Setup Window
You can open the Document Setup window in one of 2 ways:
- Keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Alt + P (Windows), or ⌘ + Alt + P (Mac OS)
- Go to File > Document Setup. It’s close to the bottom of the drop-down menu.
- Edit the Bleed
Towards the bottom of the Document Setup window is a drop-down area for Bleed and Slug. Click on the arrow next to the Bleed and Slug heading and enter your bleed values. Click the “OK” button once you are finished.
Note: You will know that your InDesign document has a bleed when a red line appears around all edges of your page, making a rectangle.
Adding bleeds to you project in InDesign is an essential step in preparing your projects for print. If you create a new document in InDesign, you can add bleeds while you set up the rest of your document’s details (like dimensions, margins, etc.). When working with an existing project, you add bleeds by editing your preferences in InDesign’s Document Setup window.