Slugging it out, and the need to bleed

 Feb 11, 2016

Adobe InDesign - Bleeds and Slugs Bleed and slugs are meant to be cut off after printing. Therefore you don't want them on the page.





  • Bleeds are used to ensure any trimming which may be slightly inaccurate does not result in the actual stock showing at the edge of the piece.
  • Slugs are only used to pass along production notes and are never intended to be part of any actually printed piece a reader would see.


Bleeds and Slugs InDesign


By being outside the InDesign page definition, it should make it clear that when printed, only the actual page will be seen.

When you export to a press-ready PDF or output the InDesign file with printer's marks, the additional areas for bleed and slug are included. The output file is increased in width and height to allow these areas to show in the press-ready documents so that pre-press departments, pressmen, and bindery personnel (the people that cut the final piece) can see them. These are the only people that need to see the bleed and slug.

You can see this yourself if needed. Create a page with a bleed and slug and then place items on the page which extend into these areas (off the page). Then export the file to PDF/X-1a with marks and view that resulting PDF.

Here is an example (not to scale) of how you should build your file:

Bleeds and Slugs InDesign

For more information, take a look at New Horizons' Adobe InDesign courses.

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About the Author:

New Horizons  

New Horizons is Australia's leading corporate training provider, and has been educating business professionals for over 15 years in the areas of Professional Development, Microsoft Office & Adobe Applications, and IT Technical. Our aim through this blog is to bring you relevant stories, articles, and tips & tricks that can help you to improve your skills and productivity in the workplace. Our expert trainers will also be posting their own articles from time to time, so be sure to keep an eye out.

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