Cropmarks from Photoshop

19/12/2008

Photoshop is a raster application for image manipulation. It has no notion of bleed and as a consequence it cannot place cropmarks correctly when producing a PDF. Designers usually use guides as a boundary between the page and bleed areas. Converting this to a vector-base design requires changes to page size, setting bleed and cropmarks.

The source Photoshop file

Web-to-print Photoshop canvas size/

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The canvas size is 9,53 by 5,72 cm. You can measure it using the rulers on the screen or check Canvas size option in the menu (Alt+Ctrl+C).

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Web-to-print Photoshop guides and rulers/

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The area outside the guides is the bleed. It measures at 0,3 cm on each side. Usually the bleed is the same on all sides, but placing guides manually may introduce some discrepancy. Round the numbers as needed.

The target vector graphics file

Web-to-print Photoshop safe area/

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A CorelDRAW file begins with a page size. In this case the page size should be the same as the size of the rectangular made by the guides in the Photoshop file.

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Web-to-print page layout/

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Page size is set in Corel’s Page layout menu option.

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We also know the size of bleed from the Photoshop file and set it in the Page layout dialog. Make sure you use the right units, not pixels.

Web-to-print CorelDRAW bleed

Making the bleed visible

If all the dimensions are set up correctly you should see the image stretching to the bleed area outline. The best way to check it is to make bleed visible and switch to Wireframe view.

Web-to-print enhanced view/

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Enable bleed outline: View / Show / Bleed area.

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Web-to-print wireframe view/

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Change view type: View / Enhanced or Wireframe.

PDF settings

Change PDF settings when the template is uploaded to ZetaPrints to include bleed and cropmarks.

Web-to-print PDF settings

Our web-to-print software will place cropmarks to crop the design to the size of the page as set in CorelDRAW file leaving the bleed outside. It will be physically trimmed by the printer using a guillotine when the designs are printed. Trimming is not very precise and may be 1 or 2 mms off the mark. This is why the cropmarks are placed well away from the printed area.

Web-to-print PDF with cropmarks

See also: