Printer’s Terminology Explained: What Is “Bleed”

“Bleed” refers to the area beyond the final trim size of a printed document or image.

This is perhaps one of the most fundamental basics of printing. For any background or image that prints all the way to the edge of the page, your file should allow an extra 1/8″ on all 4 sides. At Marathon it is also due to our imposition system which sets up pages for the press we are printing on, and needs the 1/8″ bleed on all 4 sides to properly place the pages on the larger parent sheet we are printing on.

In short, even if there are no photos that “bleed” – we still need the entire document to be setup with the bleed settings, or we will have to under trim the book.

Most customers we work with are using Adobe InDesign to layout files for print.
When setting up the document for a book, here’s a screen shot of what the settings should look like

But if you have already started the book and need to add the bleed after the fact, you need to go to
File > Document Setup
And then it looks like this

Hopefully you find this helpful. Please contact me with any questions we can assist you with!

Martin Pugh


(402)-371-5040  ext 289