How to Add a Bleed to a PDF

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Printers cannot print all the way to the edge of the paper so products must be trimmed to get their final look.
Printers cannot print all the way to the edge of the paper so products must be trimmed to get their final look. (Image: Kim Steele/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

"Bleed" is a printing term used to indicate the area with a background image that will be trimmed off after the file is printed and cut to final size. Since the bleed area will be trimmed, there should be no text or other important information in the bleed area. Projects that make use of image bleed should extend any bleeding background and/or images 1/8-inch over the final paper trim edge. You should keep all other text and graphics at least 1/4-inch' away from the final edge that will be cut. This will make your work look professional and that no images or type will me missing in the final product. When working in portable document format (PDF) in Adobe Acrobat, you can add a bleed in just four steps.

Add a Bleed

Click on "File."

Click on "Document Settings."

Locate the "Bleed and Slug" options.

Change the bleed option on all sides of the document you wish to the bleed amount you want in decimal format. The recommended by most printing companies is ".125.'' Save your changes.

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