What is Bleed?

Jun 22, 2022

Have you been asked to provide a print ready file that includes bleed, and might not know what that is?

Bleed refers to the area around the print that will be trimmed away. Picture ink ‘bleeding’ or spreading past the edges of a painting. As all print machines will have some degree of movement (up to 3mm), then this extra space will be cut into and you won’t end up with uneven white lines on your print.


If you are using design software such as InDesign, Illustrator or Canva, you can add bleed area in the page set up settings. Just remember that when you export the file as PDF to send to a printer, you make sure to keep the same bleed area, as sometimes it can overwrite this and export it at the finish size.

If you are setting up a document in Word or PowerPoint, then these won’t explicitly give you the option to add bleed. But you can go into the page size settings and make your document 3mm bigger on all sides. Then, just make sure that any background patterns or the edges of images fill this space, without any important content falling into this extra area. So, an A3 document (420mm x 297mm) would become 426mm x 303mm. This will give the printer enough space to trim into the paper without uneven white edges becoming a problem.

If you need any advice on setting up bleed to make your artwork print ready and get in on the presses fast, get in touch with us at Response@D2RCrossmedia.com or give us a call on 01923 601035.



Category: print