Does it Bleed?

template with bleed

What is a Bleed?

It is nearly impossible to print all the way to the edge of a sheet of paper stock. Most offset and digital presses need a small amount of unprinted stock for the machinery to grab onto as the job is being produced. Printers also need a small amount of design space to account for paper movement or design inconsistencies that would otherwise result in unprinted edges on the trimmed item or unwanted ink on the back of the page.

To achieve a printed piece that has ink all the way to the cut edge, designers create a document slightly larger than the size needed, with images and background colors extending past the trim line. Once printed, the unneeded part is trimmed off. “Bleed” is the part of the printed document that is trimmed off. When you are getting ready to send your document to, make sure that all pictures, background images and color you want to see at the cut edge of the page are extended 1/8” past the trim line into the bleed area.

How do I add Bleeds to my MS Office document?

Unfortunately, most MS Office products do not include a feature to add bleeds, but you can work around this by making a custom document. If you are trying to create a letter sized document (8.5×11) you can set up a custom sized document that is 8.75×11.25. This will give you an extra 1/8” on each edge of the paper that will be trimmed off after printing.

In most versions of MS Word, you can change the paper size by going to File, Page Setup, Paper, Paper Size, and choosing Custom Size. Add 8.75×11.25 as a size; name the custom size letter+bleed to make it easy to find for future projects. Also in Page Setup, set all your margins to 0, so you can place your graphic or background color all the way to the edge of the layout. Make sure you leave at least 1/8” between the trim line and any text – you don’t want the text so close to a trim line that it gets clipped.

If you are using MS Publisher – you are in luck! Publisher comes with an option for adding bleeds; click here for instructions.

Printems Templates® has developed free templates to make file set up easier. Our .eps, .indd, .jpg and .pdf templates will guide you in designing files that are set up correctly. Simply download a template package for your project here, design it, and upload your print-ready files. If you have other file requirements or need® to set up a custom template, please contact us.