How to Add Crop Marks in Photoshop


The term "crop marks" refers to lines on a page that indicate where the page will be trimmed or cut after printing. Material that falls outside of the crop marks will not be displayed on a printed page. To ensure a high quality product, a printer will often ask clients to include crops marks on documents they submit for printing. Like other digital image editing programs, Photoshop allows users to add crop marks to images they are working with.

Things You'll Need

  • Digital image
  • Access the Photoshop application. Open the image you are working with.

  • Determine the canvas, or working area, dimensions necessary for the project. Take bleed into account. To create a full bleed--which means that the image will extend all the way to each edge of the page--you will need to extend the edges of the image by the desired bleed size. Add twice the bleed size to the image's width and height. For example, a 4-inch by 4-inch image with a .125-inch bleed will require a 4.25-inch by 4.25-inch canvas.

  • Set the canvas to the desired dimensions. Select the "Canvas Size" option from the "Image" menu. Add .25 to the existing dimensions in the "Width" and "Height" fields. Change the units as necessary in the appropriate fields. Select the center Anchor marker, which will equally distribute the additional space around all sides of the canvas as opposed to only one side. Click "OK".

  • Choose the "Rulers" option from the "View" menu. Hold down "Control" and right click on the Ruler. Select "Inches" from the popup menu.

  • Drag a grid line from the horizontal ruler down .125 inch and release. Using the same technique, drag the second grid line up .125 inch from the bottom of the canvas.

  • Drag a grid line from the vertical ruler .125 inch outwards and release. Using the same technique, drag a grid line 0.125 inch away from the right side of the canvas. The resulting marks will show you what parts of the image will appear on the final product and which parts will be cropped out.

Tips & Warnings

  • An image that does not extend past the crop marks will have a strip of white, or the color of printing paper you are using, showing next to the edge in the final product.

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