Using Photoshop for Print Design
Since Photoshop does not currently have an easy way to set up your design document with bleed and trim marks, you’ll need to do a little workaround in order to create those markings. Step by step instructions are included below or you can watch a video
with detailed instructions at the bottom of this page.
Create Your DocumentStep 1:
Create a new document at the exact dimensions of your final printed product. Select inches for your unit of measurement and select CMYK as your color mode. For print, your document needs to be created at 300 ppi.
Create Bleed GuidesStep 2:
Place guide marks at the edges of your document. You must first turn on rulers in order to create guides. You can do this by hitting CTRL-R
on a PC or CMD-R
on a Mac or by selecting at the top of your screen View
and then Rulers
Click your mouse somewhere in the ruler area and hold down your button while dragging the mouse out to the edge of your document. This will create a guide line at the edge of your document. Do this for each side of your document.Step 3:
Adjust the size of your document. Select Image
then Canvas Size
When the Canvas Size
dialog box pops up, check the box for Relative
to add an amount of space around the document. To add 1/8″ (0.0125″) to each side of the document, you will add 1/4″ (0.25″) to the total width and height.Step 5:
and your document should have an added 1/8″ to each side of the document. The guides mark the location where the document will be cut. Make sure all of your important content is inside this guide and that your images go to the very edge of the canvas in order for the ink to extend all the way to the edge of your page.
Create Trim Marks
Once you have set up your document and created your artwork, you will need to add trim marks for the printers to know where to cut your art. Photoshop does not have a quick and easy way to do this, but you can create your own trim marks with a little work.Step 1:
Create a new layer in your document to which you will add your trim marks.Step 2:
Right click on your Marquee
tool and select Single Row Marquee Tool
Next click on one of your guide lines and add a stroke to the selected area by clicking on Edit
and then Stroke
. Do this for each side of your document.Step 4:
Once you have created a line on each side of the document, you will need to delete a large portion of the lines. Right click on your marquee tool again and select Rectangular Marquee Tool
Place your cursor in the top left corner just outside of the main canvas area and then drag until you get to the lower right corner.
Click delete to remove the selected area and you will be left with only small trim marks in each corner.
Save Your Document With Trim Marks
When you save your document as a pdf, your trim marks will be included and your printer will be happy!Step 1:
Click on File
and then Save As
Select Photoshop PDF
as the format and click Save
Choose your PDF settings. Select Press Quality
as the Adobe PDF Preset
. You do not need to Preserve Photoshop Editing Capabilities
, but you may if you want to. Selecting this option will allow you to edit your file later, but it also creates a much larger file size. Uncheck the box to Optimize for Fast Web Preview
because you do not want your file quality to be lowered when you intend to print your document.Step 4:
Click Save PDF
and then open your file to confirm that the trim marks are visible and then simply upload your artwork
Watch a Video Tutorial
We really like this video tutorial for adding bleed and trim marks to your Photoshop document.