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Adding bleeds to a pdf file

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  • Adding bleeds to a pdf file

    Hi! The printer I work for constantly sends me InDesign files without links and/or the necessary fonts and wants me to put bleeds on the file and send it back to him. He sometimes will send me a pdf as well. I keep asking him to send me the packaged file so I can fix it but he always says his customer doesn't know how to do that. He is saying that I need to get "PitStop" software. Is this what you use or is there another way to get around this issue?

    Thanks so much as always!

  • #2
    You can fix the bleeds without having the images and fonts. It won't (or shouldn't) do anything to the indesign file to save it after repairing the bleeds. Assuming of course your printer client has the fonts and images needed to output the file.....

    Your printer's clients need to build files right. You can't always ''add bleed'' to files if they aren't built right. It absolutely astonishes me, the number of designers who don't include bleed in their files. Sometimes all you can do is enlarge the file, send em a PDF of what the new trim is going to be and hope they say yes. Or no.

    Your printer sends PDFs because likely his clients send him PDFs. If you aren't doing wide format, packaged files aren't likely to happen.

    Does your printer client have PDF job options and graphics standards posted on his website? If not, why not? That goes a long way toward heading off the worst of the badness.

    As for PitStop, it's handy and helpful, but not when a file isn't designed properly or the PDF isn't saved properly.



    • #3
      InDesign files:
      Use File > Document Setup to add bleed. Of course this alone is just a formality unless the designer actually positioned elements to extend into the bleed area. If that's not the case, then in your shoes, I'd assume it's my job (and billable time) to extend the elements that should extend into the bleed. For native-drawn objects, this shouldn't be difficult, but to properly extend placed vector graphics and raster images (without resorting to just making them bigger on the InDesign page), you would need to have the linked files. The exception to that would be placed graphics that are larger than the frames in which they are contained. In those cases, you may be able to just extend the frame edges to the bleed guides and expose additional content to populate the bleed. Again, however, without the linked files, the previews will be obscured broken-link style, which could make it difficult to judge whether what you're doing provides a desirable result. So I'd agree that you could do this without the linked files, but I'd also contend that you'd need the full package to actually do it right. Pitstop couldn't help you here.

      There are perhaps 1000's (at least 100's) of possible PDF "recipe" combinations, and having Pitstop on hand could help alter an already-cooked PDF in ways that would improve the file's output in this or that output scenario, but in terms of adding bleed; you don't need Pitstop for that. And, unless you're going to use the PDF and whatever you can extract from it to rebuild the piece in InDesign with proper bleed, there really isn't any point in adding bleed (area) to a PDF because there won't be anything in it. Even an InDesign file with properly executed bleed, exported to PDF without bleed will be "trimmed" to the media size and bleed added after the fact will just be empty space.
      I'd rather be killed than come to your party, but if you don't invite me, I'll kill myself.


      • #4
        The fun thing with InDesign if you change the File>Document setup to something larger, you run the risk of elements in the design jumping out of position. Especially if they've used column width specifications in their formatting or some element is part of the bleed but not on the original doc setup... It's always crop marks with me. I have to remember to group them before extending the art board to include them (for the times I need them to be included on the art board as part of the print.

        If we enlarge something, it's always the whole layout. And always with a PDF to the designer saying, ''this is what we gotta do to make your stuff work.'' Just enlarging parts constitutes a re-design. That doesn't go over too well.
        Last edited by PrintDriver; 12-29-2016, 09:56 AM.


        • #5
          Originally posted by PrintDriver View Post
          The fun thing with InDesign if you change the File>Document setup to something larger, you run the risk of elements in the design jumping out of position.
          In my experience, you'd be lucky if that's all that goes wrong. That's why I would only ever suggest adding bleeds, if that's what's needed.

          Several attempts long ago (maybe I'll try again someday when I have time to waste), to change a page size, either through Document Setup, or via the so-called Page tool, conditioned me to avoid doing that no matter what. Add the Layout Adjustment "feature" to that mix of unintended results and I'd say you'd always be better off starting a new file at the alternate size and then placing or migrating stuff as necessary. In other words, I NEVER change the page size in InDesign; not ever. I imagine there's a number-of-pages threshold where the trade-off tips the other way, but the extra time it might take to rebuild at a different size while maintaining proper fist-hand control is well worth it, IMO.
          I'd rather be killed than come to your party, but if you don't invite me, I'll kill myself.


          • #6
            Oh, man, don't get me started on that so-called Page tool.
            It has it's uses, don't get me wrong, I lurv it for tiling large pieces across several panels when doing pounce patterns.
            But when it's used inappropriately? Like when the doc setup says one thing and what PDFs out is totally something else?
            Yeah, it's on the list.


            • #7
              Here there's a video explaining how can that be done with Pitstop.


              Normally we add bleed just expanding the whole page a little bit, like 101% or 102% but if it has text very close to the edge, we leave it like that. We call the customer and ask him if he's OK running it with no bleed. If they accept it goes to press like that.

              Other solution, is sometimes I place the image on indesign and I add a background with the predominant color in the page and that's it.


              But all this of course, with the consent of the owners of the company.
              Last edited by danielpuch; 01-03-2017, 12:14 PM. Reason: Mistake


              • PrintDriver
                PrintDriver commented
                Editing a comment
                It always makes me wonder how a design student can graduate college and land a job without knowing how to do a full bleed layout.

            • #8
              I apologize for not responding to these posts. I am not on here often and for some reason I never received notice that anyone responded. I had a different question to ask and noticed these. Thank you all so much for your responses. I think I have the printer finally getting his clients to add the bleeds on before he sends it to me to "fix." THANK YOU!






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